Bloated tummies are one of the most common complaints many women have. Despite clean eating and doing all the “right” things many women cannot solve their bloating and end up frustrated despite cutting out gluten, dairy, using probiotics and eating plenty of fibre.Local Eastern Suburbs mum Sofia Potente is a Gut Health Coach, Integrative Health Practitioner, Essential Oil Specialist and passionate mum of two who offers 7 tips on how to beat the bloat.
“Many clients come to me thinking food alone is causing the bloating triggers.
“My approach is to take a holistic approach to try to get to the root cause,”said Sofia.
Sofia’s tips include:
Try chewing slower and in a less hurried way. When we eat on the go we get excess air and don’t digest properly.
2. GUT DYSBIOSIS
A commonly overlooked cause of bloating is gut microbiome imbalances – otherwise known as gut dysbiosis.Our digestive system is home to billions of bacteria, which can be split into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ (or rather – harmful and beneficial) bacteria. We need a healthy balance of both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria for efficient digestive function and immune health – the good bacteria helps to keep the bad bacteria in check. If our gut bacteria becomes disrupted (by way of antibiotics, stress, excess processed foods, chlorinated tap water or medications), the harmful bacteria and yeasts can start to take their place. I always recommend a comprehensive gut microbiome stool test to identify whether there is gut dysbiosis, bacterial or fungal overgrowths present, and whether the microbiome is in a healthy balance.
Food intolerances are far more common than allergies. They are estimated to affect up to 90% of people – and often go undiagnosed. The most common intolerances are gluten or wheat, egg and casein (from cow’s dairy). Fructose intolerance can also be a trigger – fructose falls under a group of indigestible carbohydrates or fibre known as FODMAPs which can cause digestive distress for many people. Low FODMAP diet results are pretty impressive! A 2009 study in the Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis found that 50% of patients with irritable bowel showed significant improvement in bloating and flatulence when reducing FODMAPs. Another study in 2010 found it reduced gas by 75% in patients with IBS. Reducing FODMAPS can be tricky, as they are also in ‘healthy’ foods, such as apples, beans, cauliflower and other fruits and vegetables. But like any food elimination plan designed to relieve symptoms – it’s often well worth the effort.
I highly recommend a food intolerance test.
Stress overall doesn’t help anyone and in the past year we’ve all had our fair share of stress with working and kids at home instead of school. When we stress it tenses our bowels and slows down our digestion plus our cortisol levels rise leading to sugar and carb cravings which then feed the bad bacteria in our gut and then bloating can result. Eating in a calm state is crucial to ensuring optimal digestion.
You may have heard the term “low tox” living, this is all about reducing the toxins in our home, what cleaning products we use, air fresheners to the type of deodorant we use.Toxins from many of these products end up in our bloodstream and eventually our gut, damaging our microbiome, hormones and general health. There are many changes you can make in your home to reduce the amount of toxins such as sourcing natural cleaning products which not only smell better but are safer for you and the whole family.
Pharmaceutical medications can be effective at managing symptoms however they do little to treat the underlying root cause. Further, they often harm the gut microbiome and weaken digestion, leading to more symptoms in the long term.The good news is there are natural, effective options to give your gut relief. Plant-based remedies and herbs have been used for thousands of years for safe, effective relief from digestive distress and to support gut healing. Options to ease symptoms naturally include slippery elm, aloe vera, DGL, marshmallow, mastic gum, mimosa, digestive enzymes or certain essential oils.
Hydration is often underestimated when it comes to gut health. Drinking adequate amounts of water is critical to keep the bowels moving, flush waste from the body and soften stools. Water also helps improve nutrient absorption and supports the metabolic process. Simple ways to increase hydration are to drink herbal teas between meals, eat water rich foods and to start the day with a smoothie. Remember to also ease back of caffeine as it can contribute to dehydration.
If you would like more information on any of Sofia’s tips she offers 8 week Gut Health Programs and is part of our Local Directory of listed businesses click here