Do you suffer from bloating?
16 to 31% of the general population suffers from bloating, distension of the stomach, gas, and pressure in the gut.
We’ve all had it sometime in our life, and I know how uncomfortable it is.
It can lower self-confidence, and it can be miserable, especially when trying to sleep.
I’ll cover the causes head to tail, and give 12 simple things that you can do right now to debloat yourself.
Reduce Your Stress
The first thing to start with is stress levels.
This may be obvious, but not intuitive for a lot of people. Stress creates inflammation in the body, and in the abdomen which leads to bloating.
Start with monitoring stress levels for any bloating issues, and find ways to decrease the stress in your life.
This could be as simple as one-minute breathing exercises, or taking adaptogenic herbs, like ashwagandha, rhodiola, or taking little brain breaks throughout the day.
We start with the head by checking stress levels first, then we move down to the second area of focus which creates bloating–the mouth.
Avoid Processed Foods
The number one cause of bloating is processed foods.
If you eat a lot of processed foods, and the thought of cutting them out completely is daunting, try eating smaller portions to help curb your consumption.
You may want to incorporate intermittent fasting (IF), where you take time off from eating. Try to fast 16-18 hours a day and only eat during a six-hour window.
Vegetables are very good for us, but some people may have issues with the fiber depending on where their problem of bloating occurs.
If eating vegetables triggers more bloating it might be helpful to back off those, especially the cruciferous ones:
- Brussels Sprouts
You don’t want to eliminate vegetables altogether, but it may be worth eliminating the above vegetables, for a time, if they trigger your bloating.
The fourth thing to take into consideration is fiber.
The amount of fiber that goes in starts to ferment in the small intestine.
This can come from fruits, grains, and beans that can still be healthy, but also may be too much fiber.
So it’s worth considering going on a little bit of a fiber-fast for two to three weeks to see if it will cut out the bloating.
This may occur more often than not for many people because they’re lactose intolerant or lactose sensitive.
The sour cream, cheese, milk or half-and-half put into the body has a higher propensity to cause bloating.
If you’re bloated, I recommend removing all dairy products from your diet.
Sugar Alcohol Intake
Some sugar alcohols: xylitol, sorbitol, maltitol (and even stevia in some scenarios) can cause bloating
These can irritate the gut, which creates bloating in the system, feeding the bacteria that the body doesn’t want to be fed.
That’s why it is just as important to also consider monitoring the kinds of sugar the body consumes as it is how much.
Attempt eliminating any of these sugar alcohols to get rid of bloating.
The stomach itself can have very low acid levels.
Bloating associated with reflux, GERD or some kind of discomfort in the stomach area such as cramping might be a sign of not producing enough acid.
The easy solution is simply a matter of adding a betaine HCL in the diet.
By putting the proper betaine HCL it gives the stomach the acid that it needs.
Another great addition to a diet that people love and helps lower insulin levels, and supports the breakdown of foods inside of the stomach, is the infamous apple cider vinegar.
The liver or gallbladder can sometimes cause bloating, especially for those who don’t have a gallbladder in the first place.
If you find yourself belching a lot, with bloating accompanied by pain or tenderness this can be palpated under the rib cage.
If it’s painful or tender underneath the rib cage, then we want to support the liver, and the bile.
Comparable to opening a carbonated beverage, it bubbles up, which is what bacteria is doing as it eats.
There should always be bacteria in the small intestine, although much of it should be moving up from the large intestine.
It’s recommended to remove foods that cause symptoms of feeling worse when eating whether it be fiber, vegetables, fruits, or beans, because it might be a warning sign that the body has issues of bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine.
Likewise, if someone takes a probiotic and it makes their body feel more bloated or worse, it may be an issue with the small intestine.
Certain prebiotics and postbiotics will help with bacterial overgrowth; however, it has to be very specific in regards to which type is taken.
Large Intestine Health
If you are eating fermented foods, have enough fiber and probiotics to keep things moving along, bloating can be caused by a large intestine issue.
It helps to take peppermint, peppermint tea or peppermint oil for the lower intestine.
And to assist the large intestine to move foods onto the colon, it benefits to take fibers and magnesiums to help it all move along the digestive tract.
The final tip for decreasing and debloating the body that will help the whole digestive tract, (specifically the colon) is by increasing water intake.
A lot of times our bodies aren’t getting enough, and it’s one of the major factors that’s going to help move the bowels along.
I highly recommend avoiding carbonated beverages due to the fact that it’s going to create more fermentation in the gut.
Additionally, it’s helpful to increase water intake to slow down eating.
Adding water while eating, and drinking it during meals will slow your eating pace down. This allows the body to not take in so much air, which can lead to excess bloating.
If you experience bloating, I recommend using the above methods to find and eliminate the cause to experience relief.