Most of you know that bloating is one of the most frequent complaints among the people, but the good news is that it is almost always treatable if we found out what causes it.
Frequent bloating is an uncomfortable condition and the people affected feel unconfident too.
What causes bloating?
Here are some of the most common things that the patients complain of being bloated:
1) Intestinal yeast overgrowth
2) Gluten sensitivity or celiac disease
3) Food intolerances
4) Poor food combining
5) Insulin resistance
6) Deficiency of digestive enzymes (including lactose intolerance)
7) Irregular meal times
8) Other causes of dysbiosis (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or parasites)
Some of the conditions can be tested for – gluten sensitivity, food intolerance, insulin resistance, celiac, or are based on the history and symptoms. When you find what causes a bloating problem, you can also try some of these home remedies to treat the symptoms:
- Intestinal yeast overgrowth:
Intestinal yeast is usually caused by frequent or long-term antibiotic use (long-term antibiotic use for acne, many rounds of antibiotics as a child for ear or tonsil infections or antibiotics for frequent urinary tract infections). Antibiotics change your digestive flora and allow yeast to take over.
The Bigger amount of yeast in the body affects bloating and gassy problems, as yeast ferments foods, causing gassiness. Very high sugar or carb cravings are the consequences that some people experience, as well as the tendency for binge eating, fatigue, brain fog, possibly fungal skin infections and vaginal yeast infections.
You can treat it by rebalancing your intestinal flora with a yeast cleanse: taking supplements to kill yeast, eating a no-sugar diet, and replenishing your intestinal flora with probiotics.
- Gluten sensitivity or celiac disease
Celiac disease and gluten intolerance and are definitely on the rise, largely due to the great changes in wheat over the past 50 years.
If the gluten may be a problem for you, start to do appropriate blood tests to confirm, or a 5-week strict gluten-free trial. After that period to challenge it back into your regular diet to clarify your reaction. Gluten can be substituted by rice, millet, quinoa, sweet potato or squash.
- Food intolerance
Food intolerance is a delayed reaction to a food, not an immediate response of itching, anaphylaxis or swelling. Food intolerances cause inflammation and immune stress and can irritate the intestinal tract causing bloating. The foods that can cause intolerance are dairy, certain fruits (banana, citrus, pineapple especially), eggs, sometimes nuts (almonds and peanuts are most common), gluten, wheat, corn or others.
If you suspect the food intolerance, you can make a blood test to accurately identify them. Food intolerance would occur in someone with a history of eczema, allergies, asthma or a family history of autoimmune disease. It takes usually 4 – 6 weeks to eliminate any aggravating foods.
- Poor food combining
The types of foods together can affect the way of the digestion. An improper combination of foods slows down the digestive process and can result in bloating and indigestion.
– Eat your fruits alone, and not to combine them with other foods, especially proteins. For example, avoid every time a fruit salad directly after a fish dinner!
– Do not combine proteins with carbohydrates (try separating your starches and proteins and see how it feels).
– Have a breakfast consisting of juice fruits;
– Eat a lunch consisting of meat, poultry or fish with lots of vegetables;
– Have a mid-morning snack of nuts;
– Have a more carbohydrate-heavy dinner (a baked sweet potato with grilled vegetables).
- Insulin resistance
Insulin levels spike after consumption of food. In case that the cells do not respond, or respond weakly to the insulin signal then is a sign that insulin resistance occurs. This causes secreting, even more, insulin, and ultimately creating toxic levels of glucose in the blood (high blood sugar).
Usually, insulin resistance symptoms are intense cravings for carbohydrates and sweets; weight gain (often rapid in a period of 2-3 years); feeling tired and bloated after eating and increased appetite.
For all of you who experienced these signs, you may have insulin resistance, especially if you have a family history of diabetes. You can confirm that by doing blood tests.
Fortunately, that condition is treatable and reversible with exercise and diet changes. You can lower your intake of sugar and carbohydrate foods, emphasizing more vegetables, fiber, proteins and healthy fats combining with the regular exercising.
- Deficiency of digestive enzymes
Digestive enzymes help with the breakdown of food into forms that can be absorbed by your body. Enzymes break down carbohydrates, proteins, lactose and fats.
As the body is not producing enough digestive enzymes it can cause pain, bloating, irregular bowel movements and indigestion. A deficiency of digestive enzymes can be caused by:
1) food intolerances causing low-grade inflammation in the intestinal tract;
2) low stomach acid;
3) overgrowth of bacteria / yeast / parasites;
4) aging and
5) chronic stress
Lactose intolerance can be tested with a 2-week dairy-free trial, followed by a challenge or with a breath test.
Taking digestive enzymes with your meals, and to avoiding dairy if you have a lactose intolerances can be a temporary solution to this problem or encourage the body to produce sufficient enzymes on its own.
- Irregular meal-times
Eating at irregular times can also cause bloating. If you stay without eating long hours or have large amounts of food at bedtime, your metabolism and digestion will suffer. It will help to stop up bloating and be tired if you succeed to organize your schedule of meals regularly, because our digestive system functions better with consistency.
Recommended time for meals: breakfast within 1 hour of waking, mid-day lunch, and dinner before 7 pm. If needed – include mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks.
- Other causes of dysbiosis
Many people also carry extra pathogenic bacteria and even parasites in their digestive tracts, due to their travelling in some specific areas such to Asia, Africa or South America, where can be picked up some nasty bugs. It is usually followed by weight loss, diarrhea and fatigue.
The accurate testing for bacterial overgrowth and parasites will pin-point what is growing and the treatment is then much simpler.