Many people around me regularly complain about their bloated stomach and the positive news is that this condition can be usually treated from the moment we have discovered its cause. Feeling bloated all the time can be quite unpleasant especially in women as it affects their self -esteem and the way they feel about their appearance.
When a person is feeling bloated the doctor is usually looking for this usual conditions
- Irregular meal-times
- Intestinal yeast overgrowth
- Gluten sensitivity or celiac disease
- Insulin resistance
- Poor food combining
- Intolerance of certain types of food
- Lack of digestive enzymes (including lactose intolerance)
- Other causes of dysbiosis – bacterial proliferation or parasites in the small intestines.
Certain conditions can be tested for – gluten sensitivity, food intolerance, insulin, celiac resistance, and in other cases the doctor heals the patient led by his/her symptoms and history of the disease.
Another common cause of bloating is eating whenever you can. When you spend long hours without meals, and then overeat before bedtime, your digestion (and metabolism) will slow down. For example, when you skip breakfast, and then have a large lunch will nearly always make you feel bloated – this comes as a shock to the digestive system, and will also increase blood sugar levels as well as the insulin level as described in the text bellow. At the end you will feel bloated and tired, consuming coffee to stay awake in the afternoon.
We need to have regular and consistent meal times so our bodies could function properly, and our digestive system will work better as well. Have breakfast within 1 hour after waking up, a regularly timed mid-day lunch, and dinner before 7pm. Consume mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks if you want.
2.Intestinal yeast overgrowth
Intestinal yeast overgrow is quite common condition, and in most cases it comes as a result of prolonged antibiotic use. And these are the most common reasons – excessive use of antibiotics in the childhood against ear or tonsil infections, using antibiotics against acne in a longer period of time(tetracycline or minocin), as well as for persistent urinary tract infections. Overuse of antibiotics can lead to changes of the digestive flora which allows yeasts to win the fight against good bacteria
Too much yeast in your body will make you feel bloated and gassy. Gassiness is caused by yeasts that ferment food. There is also a possibility that some people will have greater desire for sugar and carbs, fatigue, brain fog, vaginal yeast infections, binge eating disorder and perhaps fungal skin infections.
Luckily this condition is curable but you need to rebalance your intestinal flora and clean the yeasts with: taking supplements against yeast, no-sugar diet, and restoring the intestinal flora with probiotics.
3. Gluten sensitivity or celiac disease
Gluten intolerance and celiac disease (a more serious form of gluten-intolerance) affect more and more people every day ,and the great changes in wheat over the past 50 years is mostly the reason, as well as regular intake of grain products .A lot of people with gluten sensitivity have problems with bloating, constipation, with or without gassiness or diarrhea.
You can run some tests for gluten intolerance and celiac and many people do these tests, but even those who have negative results, feel much better without consuming products with gluten. People with low level of vitamin B12 who are not on vegan or vegetarian diet can suffer from gluten intolerance.
If you think that gluten is the reason for your problems, you first need to run certain blood tests to confirm it, or another way is to start avoiding gluten the next 5 weeks and see the results. After 5 weeks without gluten, it is vital to start consuming it again so you could clarify the problem. There are a lot of foods without gluten that are beneficial as: quinoa, rice, squash and sweet potato, millet are one of them.
4. Insulin resistance
Because of glucose (sugar) in the blood, Insulin (hormone) is secreted from the pancreas. After consuming a meal, the insulin levels increase. In a healthy person when insulin is produced it activates the body’s cells to use the sugar and fats from the bloodstream. Insulin resistance appears as a result of damaged cells which do not react on the insulin signal. This triggers the body to produce more and more insulin, and in this way toxic levels of glucose are created in the blood, known as high blood sugar levels.
Common symptoms of insulin resistance are: strong desire for carbohydrates and sweets; increased appetite; rapid weight gain (in a period of 2-3 years) and feeling tired and bloated after meals.
If you have experienced any of these symptoms, and especially if you have a family history of diabetes, you may suffer from insulin resistance. Insulin resistance can be confirmed with the help of blood tests. The positive side is that with diet changes and exercise this condition can be controlled.Do not consume too much sugar and carbohydrate foods, eat more vegetables, fibers, proteins and healthy fats; exercising regularly is highly recommended.
5. Poor food combining
Are you familiar with the fact that combining different types of foods can affect how well they are digested? There are people that react more sensitively than others. Bloating and indigestion can appear as a result of improperly combined foods which slow down the digestive process.
The main rule of food combining is to consume your fruits alone, and is forbidden to consume them with other foods, particularly proteins. For most people, this rule is sufficient. For example, never eat melon or a fruit salad immediately after consuming fish!
Another crucial rule is to avoid combining proteins with carbohydrates. This is quite problematic almost impossible when it comes to vegetarian diet, but for those who consume meat, fish, or poultry try splitting your starches and proteins and see the outcome. You may have improved digestion. For example, have fruit juice for breakfast; nuts for mid-morning snack; consume meat, poultry or fish with various vegetables for lunch; and then have a more carbohydrate-heavy meal for dinner as a baked sweet potato combined with grilled vegetables.
6. Intolerance of certain types of food
Food intolerance unlike food allergy is a postponed reaction to a food, rather than an instant response like swelling, itching or anaphylaxis. Immune stress and inflammation are caused by food intolerances and in that way the intestinal tract is irritated as well which results in bloating. Foods that mostly cause intolerances are: eggs, certain fruits (citrus, pineapples, bananas) dairy, wheat, gluten, corn, sometimes nuts (peanuts and almonds are most common) etc.
In order to find out which foods you cannot tolerate you need to run blood tests so you need to choose wisely what to eat. This condition is most likely in people with a history of eczema, asthma, allergies a family history of autoimmune disease as well as can be linked with numerous skin conditions, lack of energy and problems with digestion. It is expected that the bloating will disappear in 4-6 weeks with excluding any food that is not good for you.
7. Lack of digestive enzymes
Pancreas secretes digestive enzymes which breakdown food into smaller parts that can be absorbed by your body. Enzymes dissolve carbohydrates, proteins, lactose and fats.
When body is not producing enough digestive enzymes, indigestion, bloating, pain, and irregular bowel movements can appear as a result. A deficiency of digestive enzymes can be caused by: 1) overgrowth of bacteria; 2) food intolerances causing low-grade inflammation in the intestinal tract / yeast / parasites; 3) chronic stress; 4) low stomach and 5) aging.
Another form of enzyme deficiency is Lactose intolerance, where there is insufficient lactase enzyme to dissolve lactose, which causes problems with digestion of dairy products.If you want to know if you suffer from Lactose intolerance you can take a breath test, or within 2 weeks to avoid dairy products, after which you should start consuming them again (so you can see what will happen)
You may take digestive enzymes as a temporary solution within your meals, and not to consume dairy products if you suffer from lactose intolerances. But it is very important to find out the root of the problem, and solve it in order to encourage the body to produce enough enzymes on its own.
8. Other causes of dysbiosis – small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or parasites
Digestive tract imbalance is very common condition, and together with yeast as written above, a lot of people also carry many pathogenic bacteria and even parasites in their digestive tracts. This happens mostly in people who travel (especially to Asia, Africa or South America), but even if you eat outside you can pick up some nasty germs. This digestive imbalance typically goes with diarrhea, fatigue and weight loss.
You can run some tests for bacterial proliferating and parasites with a suitable digestive stool analysis in order to find out what is in the intestines. Once the organism(s) are identified the treatment is then much simpler.
To conclude many things can cause bloating, and this condition can be easily treated. It is not normal if you unbutton your pants each night after dinner, or to feel bloated when the day ends. After reading this article you can improve your digestive health by yourself!