Natural Ways to Stop Bloating
Find Out Why You Feel Bloated and How to Stop It
In today’s world, there are so many different things that can upset our stomach, things we do that contribute to causing issues to our digestion, and things we don’t do correctly to support healthy food process. Understanding basics of how our gastrointestinal system works can be useful for us to know, so we can understand what we can do differently to avoid symptoms like bloating, diarrhea, or stomach ache.
Dr. Meagan Strodel, a Naturopathic Doctor at Shine Natural Medicine, explains all the mystery around bloating, lays out common reasons of why it occurs, and shares easy tips on how to get rid of it naturally.
Understanding how our digestive system works and when it works correctly starts with knowing that every food that we take in goes in two stages of digestion – the chemical stage where breaking down of food starts and our body absorbs it, and mechanical which coordinates the movement of food. Dr. Strodel accentuates that both of actions have to happen for our digestion to be working c.
She touched the subject of microbiome that lives in our gut and why is it super essential for our digestion: “Microbiome is a bacteria in our gut, and their job is to break down food, absorb minerals, and to make vitamins, like vitamin K, for you. We have about 6 pounds of that bacteria in our gut and it’s a mixture of good and bad bugs. Microbiome is important because it’s a part of our immune system which is right behind our gut wall and if microbiome is not healthy, we can’t have a healthy immune system.” Our bodies are fascinating machines, every process in our body makes sense, and everything is connected and has its role in allowing our body to work well. The connection between our digestive and immune system is an excellent example of that, so it’s important to keep in mind that we’re affecting our overall health with what we eat, how we eat and do we listen to our body reacting to the particular type of foods.
Bloating is one of those digestion discomforts that occurs either exclusively after meals or chronically when everything we eat additionally aggravates the symptoms of bloating. The location of bloating is often vital to the professional, so they can diagnose and determine what caused it.
Dr. Strodel names some of the most common causes of bloating:
“Food intolerance happens when over time our body tags a certain type of food and decides that it doesn’t want to eat it anymore, so it causes inflammation in intestines or overall body,” explains Dr. Strodel. This can happen very often when we don’t rotate our diet, like putting spinach or blueberries in our smoothie every single morning or eating the same sandwich every day.
Low Stomach Acid
Stomach acid is there to help our digestion in breaking down the food, so having little stomach acid means that part of the process is not working as it should. Bloating can happen as a result of low acidity in the stomach and it needs to be detected in order for us to stop it.
Leaky gut is a condition in which the lining of the small intestine becomes damaged and causes undigested food, bacteria, and toxic waste to leak through our organs and go directly into our bloodstream. It could cause bloating, but it could also affect the immune system, cause us to be fatigued, have gas, or attach some chronic disease.
Candida and SIBO
Two causes of bloating that will need more attention, and often a full medical treatment are SIBO and Candida. According to Dr. Strodel, SIBO is a small bacteria, one of the good bugs which happens to be in the wrong place - our small intestine. Candida is a yeast that grows in the area where it shouldn’t and in the amount that’s too much which causes bloating. The best way to figure out how to deal with these two conditions is to see a professional who can diagnose it with confirming bloating location and run blood tests to determine what the cause is.
Other causes of bloating can be different types of inflammation or nutrient deficiency which can slow all the reactions in our body down.
There are natural ways to support digestion, and Dr. Strodel mentioned simple tips that we can implement in our lifestyle today:
We should chew our food between 20 and 23 times while on average, people only chew around three to five times. Chewing is essential because it is utilizing the mechanical stage of digestion and movement of the food. Our food should be liquid before we swallow it. We heard it all before; we have to remind ourselves of this more often.
If we drink water during meals, we are destroying the natural process of our digestion where enzymes are supposed to play their part in our GI system. The best thing we can do is to drink more water between meals and to drink more of it in the morning.
If we experience bloating symptoms, the beneficial thing for it to be reduced or completely stopped is to maintain a more regular eating schedule. The gut will then get used to it and expect the food at a particular time, and the whole process will go more naturally.
Dr. Strodel explains that what happens in our brain also affects our gut and if, for example, we are anxious that could be the reason behind bloating. Our stomach needs oxygen, and we should try to center our stress away from our gut with focusing on breathing.
Light pressure in the direction of our colon or applying castor oil directly on our skin with heating pads can help tremendously with any intestinal difficulty. Both are very soothing and calming traditional remedies worth trying when bloating occurs.