Everyone has most likely felt bloated at one point or another, and if it’s not that special time of the month or you are pregnant, bloating is not considered normal.
If this is something you’re so used to that it seems like it’s become a normal way of being, it’s time for a change!
It is one of the most frequent complaints and issues which most of my clients have, but good news is that it is almost always something that can be taken care of with simple diet and lifestyle protocol :)
Some of the most common causes of bloating include food intolerances, yeast overgrowth, gluten sensitivity, irregular meal times, poor food combinations, not enough digestive enzymes, and insulin resistance.
You can get tested for food intolerances, gluten sensitivity and insulin resistance, but otherwise figuring out the root cause of the problem helps to know what to do about it!
If yeast overgrowth is the culprit, you are most likely bloated and gassy, and have probably taken many rounds of antibiotics long term. Antibiotics disturb your natural microbiome and that allows for yeast to take over. If you experience very high cravings for sugar and carbs, tend to binge eat, have brain fog, fatigue, frequent yeast infections, and even fungal skin infections, this could also be the cause!
Good news is that this can be fixed easily with an anti-yeast diet, no sugar, probiotics, and antifungal supplements!
If food intolerance is the issue, this is a form of allergies that presents itself as a delayed reaction to food that causes inflammation, and stress to the immune system that irritates the intestinal tract and causes bloating this way. The most common food intolerances are to dairy, eggs, certain fruits, some nuts, wheat, gluten, and corn.
You can get tested for these food allergies with a simple blood test that takes the guesswork out of narrowing down what you don’t tolerate well.
This is most likely your issue if you have a family history of food allergies, eczema, asthma, autoimmune disease, if you have skin conditions, digestive issues, and low energy. Bloating always improves when you remove these aggravating foods from your system.
If the issue is a gluten sensitivity, you are most likely experiencing bloating with or without gassiness, constipation, or diarrhea. It is also very common to have low levels of vitamin B12, especially if you have low b12 and are not a vegan or vegetarian.
You can get tested for this or try to eliminate gluten first to see how you feel. If you feel some relief then its a sign to steer clear.
Again, simple lifestyle and dietary changes by staying clear of gluten for 5 weeks in a row should definitely make you feel better, and just to make sure and test it out, introduce it back to your diet after 5 weeks to see if it causes a reaction again. That is a sure way of telling and for you to know that a gluten free diet is in order. Going gluten free permanently is easier than ever now as there are really great alternatives and gluten free products out there.
If you tend to eat meals at irregular times, like not eating for long hours, or having a large meal before bed, you could be messing with your metabolism. Another example is skipping breakfast and having a large lunch, this shocks your digestive system and almost always causes bloating, and feeling really tired, searching for a caffeine kick just to get through the rest of the day. If this sounds like you, space your meals out regularly, if you skip a meal, don’t make up for it by eating double but rather have a smaller meal to wake your digestive system up, or simply try not to skip meals !
If you feel constant bloating, pain, indigestion, and irregular bowel movements, there could be a deficiency of digestive enzymes in your system. These are produced by the body to help break down the food you eat so that it can be absorbed. If the body doesn’t make enough digestive enzymes, it can cause all of the symptoms above. What causes the lack in digestive enzymes is either the food intolerances you have causing inflammation as discussed earlier, a yeast overgrowth, or it could be low stomach acid, chronic stress, and aging.
If you are lactose intolerant, that is one form of enzyme deficiency and can be tested for or you can go dairy free for 2 weeks, then reintroduce it to confirm it is the dairy that is causing the issue.
The important thing to fix this cause of bloating is to figure out exactly what is causing it and to treat that imbalance, whether it is the yeast, the food allergies, the stress, or lack of stomach acid.
So remember, bloating is not normal and you shouldn’t have to unbutton your pants at the end of every day to get relief! Figure out what causes your bloat and take the necessary steps to correct it.