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What is bloating?

April 2019

Bloating is a common digestive complaint I see with clients. Often people complain of starting off in the morning with a flat tummy, but by the afternoon their pants are tight and their stomach is bloated. Essentially bloating is gas circulating around your intestines.

Think of it this way; when you’re first trying to blow up a balloon, you need to use real effort for that initial breath because of the size of the balloon neck. Your intestines are the same, it’s hard for that gas to pass through, leading to a bit of a back-up and that common bloated look.

When we eat food our microbiome (which is the bacteria within our large intestines) feed on the food and a by-product of this is gas production. You’re not alone, it is completely natural and everyone produces gas. However, when you’re bloating to the point that you’re uncomfortable and swollen in your lower abdominal area, you have what we call gut dysbiosis.

More commonly referred to as a bacterial imbalance. This could be due to small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), candida, lack of bacterial diversity or lack of bacteria in general. The smell of your flatulence can also be an indication!

How to stop bloating?

Firstly, we need to work out what your triggers are. This can be tracked via a food and symptom diary. You may notice some common recurrences.

– Refined sugar
– Processed foods
– Alcohol
– Refined wheat foods (cheap supermarket bread, pasta, pastries etc)
– Dairy for some
– FODMAPs (Fermentable Oligosaccharides; Disaccharides; Monosaccharides; and Polyols.)
– Beans and legumes

Once you know your triggers, remove those foods and the gut repair work can begin. Down the track you may be able to reintroduce the foods you remove from your diet, it really depends on you and your symptom presentation (this is where working with a nutritionist can help!).

Maintaining bacterial balance

The number one trick to maintaining bacterial balance – eat a diet high in variety.

More colour.
More fibre.
More fruits.
More vegetables.

Different foods feed different bacteria, so to avoid one bacteria dominating over another you need to eat a variety of foods.

Whilst bloating is common it is not something that goes hand and hand with eating. You can reduce the symptoms and severity.

Until next time… x



Written by Jessica Worth, Nutritionist, Sydney, Northern Beaches, Mona Vale.

Jess works with women to help them feel amazing again by carefully fine tuning their diet and lifestyle. Be sure to join the 21-day Reset kicking off on April 29! Click the link at the top of the page.

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