Bloating is one of the most common digestive problems nowadays. It affects thousands of people every day and unless accompanied by specific symptoms, it is most often harmless. Bloating can be treated and prevented naturally and we’re going to show you how.
The most common causes of bloating are insulin resistance, irregular meal times, poor diet, gluten sensitivity, food intolerances, yeast overgrowth, digestive enzyme deficiencies and dysbiosis (intestinal overgrowth of parasites). Some of these causes can be tested for, while others require more extensive testing.
Identifying the root cause for bloating is of vital important as the treatment depends on it, so the soon you detect it, the better. Once you’ve identified the culprit, you can try the following natural remedies to resolve it:
Intestinal yeast overgrowth
This is a pretty common cause of bloating which is triggered by long-term antibiotic use. We’re constantly being bombarded by antibiotics nowadays for numerous problems and over time they can affect our intestinal flora, resulting in the overgrowth of yeasts. In this case, you will feel constantly bloated and gassy.
Some people can experience sugar cravings as well, binge eating, fatigue, vaginal yeast infections and even brain fog. You can regulate the balance of your gut flora by avoiding sugar, taking supplements which can kill yeast and taking probiotic supplements as well.
Food intolerances differ from food allergies – they are a delayed reaction to food instead of an immune response. The intolerances can cause inflammation and stress in the body, which will definitely irritate the intestinal tract. The most common food intolerances are fruit intolerance, egg intolerance, dairy intolerance, gluten intolerance and nuts intolerances.
These intolerances are commonly detected via a blood test and are more common in people with allergies, eczema, asthma or autoimmune diseases. The bloating usually goes after more than a month once you eliminate the problematic foods from your diet.
Gluten sensitivity and Celiac diseases are on the rise in recent years due to the changes in wheat over the last few decades. Bloating is a common symptom of gluten sensitivity, which can also cause diarrhea, constipation and gassiness. If left untreated, the condition can get quite difficult and may even be fatal.
The good news is that gluten intolerance can be tested for and is easily treatable by going on a non-gluten diet. If you think that gluten might be the reason for your digestive problems, you can take blood tests or go on a 5-week gluten-free diet. If you feel better by the end of it, it means you’re gluten intolerant and should avoid foods rich in it.
Insulin is a hormone released by the pancreas which has the role of eliminating excess glucose from the blood. The glucose levels spike up after a meal and if they’re not lowered down properly, the high blood sugar levels can lead to insulin resistance. If left untreated, this can result in higher insulin production which will eventually lead to diabetes.
The most common symptoms of insulin resistance are weight gain, sugar and carb cravings, increased appetite and bloating and fatigue after meals. If you’ve experienced these symptoms or you have family members with diabetes, you need to take a blood sugar test to see if you’re suffering from insulin resistance. If this is the case, you can talk to your doctor about managing the condition.
Poor food combinations
Of course, bloating can be caused by a poor diet or eating foods that don’t go well together. Some people are more sensitive to some food combinations than others. Foods that don’t go well with each other can slow down your digestion and cause bloating and even bigger digestive problems.
For example, many people mix fruits with protein which is a big no-no. Fruits should be eaten on their own as they require special enzymes to be digested. Proteins and carbs don’t go great as well, just like protein and starch. If you don’t know which foods don’t mix, talk to a nutritionist.
Irregular meal times
Eating at irregular intervals can harm your digestion and metabolism and cause bloating and other digestive problems. Many people often skip breakfast and eat a large lunch later thinking they’d replace the calories they skipped. However, this will only make you overeat and shock your digestive system, resulting in bloating and fatigue.
Our bodies work best when we eat at regular times. Eat your breakfast about an hour after getting up, your lunch at mid-day and your dinner no later than 7 PM in order to keep your digestion in perfect shape.
Digestive enzymes deficiency
Our digestive system uses digestive enzymes in order to break down food and absorb all its nutrients. These enzymes break down fats, protein, lactose and carbs and lack of them can lead to bloating, indigestion, stomachache and irregular bowel movements. The deficiency of digestive enzymes usually comes as a result of bacterial or yeast overgrowth, parasites, stress, aging and inflammation.
Lactose intolerance is a type of digestive enzyme deficiency – in this case, the body lacks the lactase enzyme which breaks down lactose from dairy products. This can be detected with a simple breath test or a 2-week no-dairy trial. In order to resolve the problem, we suggest talking to your doctor who can identify the real culprit and put you on an appropriate therapy.
Parasites in the intestines can also cause bloating, especially if their numbers have grown quite a bit. They may also cause weight loss, fatigue and diarrhea and can be detected with a stool sample analysis. Once the specific parasite has been identified, your doctor will recommend a treatment that should eliminate them.