Why am I so bloated all the time??
By sandraljames, Sep 22 2016 02:33PM
This is a common question I get asked in clinic! Bloating is very common but also can be highly upsetting. And the answer as to why it is happening can be complex and highly individual.
It can be due to any of the following reasons:-
Imbalance of gut bacteria, parasites, stress, emotions, female hormone changes, excessive gas, low stomach acid or pancreatic enzyme function leading to poor digestion, poor bile production, food sensitivity, candida all the way through to leaky gut.
That’s a long list – so how on earth can you figure out what’s going on for you?
Getting to the root cause of bloating along with any IBS-type symptoms is often a diagnosis of exclusion. In that you need to consider all of the possible things it can be and rule them all out one by one.
But let’s start with the basics: -
• Check your water intake – not drinking enough water can lead to poor bile flow and constipation and therefore make you bloated. So first thing to do is to drink more water throughout the day.
• Are you eating enough soluble fibre? Ideally from vegetables – aim for 5-7 servings a day. Porridge oats are also a fab source of soluble fibre.
• Are you stressed? There is a clear gut-brain link and so stress directly impacts gut function. Take time out to relax, this can be anything from a daily walk to a meditation, find what works for you
• Take time to eat and chew your food. This makes it easier for your digestion system to work well. Putting whole chunks of food in your stomach is not doing it any favours and can lead to poor protein digestion, fermentation & smelly farts!
• Eat regular meals, i.e. don’t skip meals and then overeat later – this all puts pressure on your digestive system and can lead to bloating.
If you’ve tried all of that and are still having issues then it may be worth looking more closely at your gut function & your gut bacteria – this may or may not mean stool testing but that’s nothing to be scared of! It's a test I sometimes use if I think it will be helpful and can be a highly effective tool that allows you to find out exactly what’s going on and therefore solve it much quicker.
So if you’re dreaming of a flat stomach - try the above first and see if that helps. If you are still struggling and want to resolve whatever the underlying issue is then get in touch.