Bloating: What’s Really Causing It And 8 Ways To Banish It
A client long ago named me the ‘Gut Whisperer’ and it stuck. She came up with the nickname when she finally started having (satisfying) daily bowel movements – naturally – after life-long extreme constipation and subsequent chronic bloat.
In my practice as a gut expert helping people to find permanent, natural solutions to their digestive conditions, using nutritional therapy, health & life coaching, and EFT, bloating is one of the top three complaints.
I recently came across an interesting definition of ‘bloated’, in relation to business.
According to the Macmillan Dictionary: “a bloated organisation or system is not effective because it is too large or has too many workers”
Although you may not see this as relevant to gut health, but I do! Though this might be because guts are on my mind pretty much all the time.
To put it simply: a bloated gut or digestive system, is also not effective at excreting waste – as it shows that there is a large amount of fermentation going on and an over-production of gas, which will expand the abdomen. And although this is not the only cause of bloat, it certainly is the most common.
Another very common ‘side-symptom’ to bloat is also acid reflux, also called GERD or simply indigestion or heartburn. These occur (in over 90% of cases) for the same reasons and will more often than not lead to bloating.
Why would there be too much fermentation in your (bloated) gut?
One MAJOR cause: you may be producing insufficient levels of enzymes and gastric acid.
If you had the right levels of these digestive ‘juices’, your food would be efficiently broken down into tiny particles and moving easily and swiftly down your GI tract, to be effectively excreted.…before it starts to ferment and cause gas and bloat (and frequently acid reflux/GERD/indigestion/heartburn).
This definitely defies all myths (and antacids’ marketing messages) that you may be producing too much gastric acid.
Why might you be lacking in digestive ‘juices’?
Let’s see if you recognise yourself:
🕷 Eating on the go?
🕷 Not chewing your food?
🕷 Eating at the speed of light and on the go?
🕷 Eating sugar and processed foods daily?
🕷 Over the age of..25?
🕷 Shallow breather or even unconsciously holding your breath a lot?
These are some very common causes of bloat (and many other gut issues), because they will stop you producing enough enzymes and acids.
Mind over matter
Another area less often considered when suffering from or treating bloat and other gut issues is the role of the mind.
Over years of working with gut sufferers, I have long established that food, drink and movement are not the only – and often not the most important contributors to digestive problems. The mind is.
Which is why it is common for me to ask my clients such questions as:
– Which other area of your life feels bloated and overwhelming?
– What in your environment are you not digesting?
– What are you not digesting from your past?
– What are you refusing (consciously or not) to let go? (often relevant for constipation sufferers)
Of course, not everyone I help is initially open to the possibility that their minds have subconsciously created a certain health condition. However, most will eventually come to the realisation that their own minds were directly contributing to their current physical ‘blocks’, as they gain clarity and skills that enable them to let these go.
What can I do to stop this bloat?
- Firstly, understanding the cause(s) of your bloat and how your own digestive system works (or doesn’t) is crucial. Get some tests (through your medical centre/GP) if you also suffer from bleeds or pain regularly. These should not be ignored.
- Start a food diary and record for a few weeks what you eat and your symptoms
- Constipation: if you do not have a daily bowel movement, you will most likely bloat, so make sure to follow point 7 (below) and add some good fats and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables daily.
- Work on chewing your food 20-30 times
- Slow down and be present and fully involved when eating – no more eating on the go!
- Breathe more: take 5 belly-breaths before each meal and whenever you feel your stress levels rising.
- Sip water (not hot drinks) through the day – half your body weight to ounces (convert to litres if need be)
- Dairy: If experiencing burping, acid reflux and other ‘stagnation’ in your stomach, eliminate all dairy food for 6-8 weeks then start re-introducing some – slowly – and note any changes in your diary.
And if you would like some help in exploring how your habits and mind may be keeping your body stuck in repeating negative health patterns, book a free online consultation with me, this link
Or look through my services here