Natural Treatment for Bloating
Bloating would be the most common symptom I see in clinic, and often hear complaints like:
- ‘I look 6 months pregnant!’
- ‘I can fit into my clothes in the morning but by the evening they’re tight’.
- ‘I get bloated and uncomfortable quite soon after eating.’
- ‘I eat well and exercise but I still get bloated.’
- ‘It feels like everything I put into my mouth bloats me.’
Feeling this way, with the frustration and self-consciousness that comes with it, can affect your work, social life, and relationships. If you are experiencing symptoms like these there is a reason why. It’s not normal to be experiencing excessive bloating or distension on a regular basis. You need to find the root cause…
What causes bloating?
The causes of bloating can be varied and complex and are produced by a combination of mechanisms that differ from person to person. Observations from recent studies suggest that impaired gas movement, i.e slow moving or trapped gas, is more often the source of the problem.
In clinic the most common causes of bloating I see are:
- Large Intestinal Dysbiosis
- Candida/Yeast Overgrowth
- Food Malabsorption
- Lowered Digestive Secretions
- Visceral Hypersensitivity
Download the Free Guide and discover:
- The latest research on the causes of IBS.
- Which foods you should be avoiding (for now).
- Which tests can help you identify the cause of your symptoms.
- Easy tips for better digestion.
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth or SIBO is a condition where, as the name implies, there is an overgrowth of bacteria in the usually low bacterial environment of the small intestine. (Learn more about SIBO here.)
Fermentation of fibre by bacteria is a normal process in the large intestine, but when this process begins in the small intestine due to an overgrowth of bacteria, the gases produced may create problems. Because the small intestine is relatively narrow, and with no direct outlet, even small amounts of extra gas produced there may cause excessive pressure and result in bloating and discomfort.
Some bloating sufferers may have an inability to fully absorb particular types of carbohydrates. When they arrive in the lower small intestine and colon, these poorly absorbed carbohydrates provide the food for bacterial fermentation, which can lead to bloating, distension and pain.
The most common culprits are: lactose, sorbitol, fructose, and starches.
Learn more about food and bloating here.
Lowered Digestive Secretions
Digestive secretions such as gastric acid, bile and pancreatic enzymes are important in breaking down our food making them easier to absorb. If digestive secretions are lacking, food tends to take longer to digest, sitting longer in the intestines and giving bacteria and yeast more time to eat and ferment, producing gas which may lead to bloating and distension.
Learn more about digestive secretions here.
Dysbiosis or an imbalance of the bacteria in our large intestine can lead to over-fermentation and gas production, and the over-production of bacterial metabolites such as lipopolysaccharide which can irritate the gut lining, causing inflammation.
Gut flora of IBS patients is different from that of healthy subjects, resulting in more gas production due to bacterial fermentation.
Learn more about dysbiosis here.
An overgrowth of Candida or other fungi in the intestines can increase fermentation and inflammation in the gut, contributing to bloating. Learn more about Fungal overgrowths here.
Some people with bloating have an abnormal response to a normal amount of gas. This response is triggered by an extremely sensitive nervous system. When the nerves in the gut overreact to gas, your level of discomfort increases. Patients with visceral hypersensitivity tend to have lower colonic distension pain threshold where a normal stimulus will intensify the pain in the patients.
How do I find out what’s causing my bloating?
As you can see the causes of bloating can complex, and often a combination of these conditions are present. That’s why it’s so important to find the true cause of your bloating. At the Digestive Wellness Clinic I conduct a comprehensive case history, symptom analysis, dietary analysis, and the most appropriate functional testing, including:
- A Comprehensive Stool Analysis which tests your stool for bacterial and yeast overgrowths plus the levels of your beneficial bacterial species, alongside other digestive markers. To learn more about the stool test and see a sample report go here.
- A SIBO Breath Test which measures levels of Hydrogen and Methane gas coming from your small intestine. To learn more about SIBO Testing go here.
How is it treated?
Based on your test results, a targeted, individualised treatment plan is designed for you, which incorporates:
- Removing foods from your diet that cause inflammation and feed bacterial/yeast overgrowths. Learn more about the eating plan here.
- Removing any overgrowths of bacteria and/or yeasts in your gut with herbal medicines..
- Restoring beneficial bacteria and re-establishing healthy bacterial balance in your gut with prebiotic fibres/foods and probiotic supplements/foods.
- Improving motility and restoring digestive secretions.
- Reducing inflammation and repairing the lining of your gastrointestinal tract.
Book Your FREE Consultation
To learn more about the testing and treatment options available it is recommended you take a free 15 minute phone consultation. During this call you can learn more about the programme and have all your questions answered. This call is to determine if we are a good fit for one another rather than a history or complete consultation. There is no obligation, and no strings attached.
It is quick and easy to book your free 15-minute phone consultation using the online calendar. Just click the button below, choose a date and time convenient for you, enter your details, and Matt will call you at your chosen time.