by kate sherriff April 22, 2019

Gut health and how to beat the bloat  

Bloating is one of the most challenging symptoms for gastroenterologists and bloating is becoming more and more common especially in women. Don’t you hate it when you put on a pair of jeans that are comfortable first thing in the morning and by the afternoon your ready to undo that top button?? This is a common problem that many of us experience on a daily basis but we shouldn’t let this become the norm.

I always come back to - what’s the root cause of my problem? Your body is your most important tool when it comes to what’s good and what’s bad for your body– listen to it. Our bodies are programmed to notify us when we are tired, hungry, thirsty, too hot or too cold, and it’s the same when it comes to which food it likes and how much of that food we need to support adequate energy.

I’ve started a new eating plan called “The Me Diet” - Intuitive eating is something I’ve been focusing on the past few months and its doing me wonders. I’ve come to a realisation that something that works for someone else might not necessarily work for me which is why I’ve been trying out different foods and listening closely to how my body responds to that type of food.

When talking about bloating we absolutely have to include the gut microbiome in the equation here. As damage to the gut microbiome affects the way that we process our food. Have you noticed the rise in food sensitivities lately?

A loss of balance in our gut microbial ecosystem, which we refer to as dysbiosis (and others may call “leaky gut”), has been clearly associated with IBS and even with intestinal gas production. [REF: Gastroenterology. 2007 Jul;133(1):24-33] Therefore, our treatment plan to address gas and bloating should, of course, strive to optimize gut health and correct any dysbiosis.

The different overgrowth of bacteria in your gut feed on certain foods – even healthy foods that we think are good for us. This is where things can become extremely confusing for people. I suggest visiting your Health practitioner or qualified clinician to get professional advice around what foods to avoid and incorporate in your diet until your gut bacteria is back to homeostasis. They may even advise you to get a comprehensive gut test done depending on how severe your condition is (which I would highly recommend).

Below are a few tips I have found to help me manage bloating and improve gut health. Try incorporating these into your everyday routine for the next month and see how you feel – what’s the worst that can happen?

 

Low hanging “fruit” in this scenario;

  • Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) and lemon in water first thing every morning to produce more stomach acid (hydrochloric acid plays an important role in the stomach during the digestion process).
  • Chew your food – This sounds simple but its easier said than done when your hungry or trying to hover your food down in-between rushing to your next meeting or picking the kids up. The more you focus on chewing your food (start with over chewing it -15 to 20 chews per mouthful). Also slow down your eating by putting your knife and folk down between mouthfuls this will also make you chew your food more.
  • Don’t drink water with meals as it dilutes stomach acid which is needed to break down food. I have a rule where I don’t drink any water/ liquid 30mins before or after I have eaten.
  • Add a TBSP of AVC to each meal or straight before each meal to help your body breakdown the fiber from your food.
  • Herbal teas – peppermint, ginger, chamomile and Licorice tea to help sooth the gut and bloating. 
  • Avoid raw veggies – although there is a whole lot out there about “raw food diets”, it can be extremely harsh on your digestion tract if your gut balance isn’t in the right state to break own the food. Start with thoroughly cooking your vegetables to make it easier on your digestive tract and help you body to break down the food so it can efficiently absorb the nutrients. You can incorporate raw vegetables back into your diet when your microbiome is in good health.
  • Supplements to consider include prebiotic fiber and probiotics, but in both cases they should be introduced cautiously and under the direction of your physician.

 

Note to take away: The gut microbiome is a very complex, complicated topic that is continuing to be explored on a daily basis. A good place to start is being mindful of what food you are putting in your body and being intuitive with how your body reacts to certain food types.

 

Disclaimer: no content on this site should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



kate sherriff
kate sherriff

Author



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