We don't know who needs to hear this, but regularly becoming bloated is not “normal”.
Regular bloating can be caused by a range of problems, including:
- coeliac disease
- food intolerance, usually to gluten, wheat, or milk (lactose intolerance)
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- hormones, including before your period or during menopause
- SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth)
- some medicines, particularly antibiotics
- gaining weight
As you can see from the list above, there could be many reasons contributing to your bloating. However, today I wanted to discuss wandering bacteria, in particular.
Fermentation is a vital stage for digestion, however, when it happens in the wrong place, at the wrong time it can cause a lot of discomfort. In fermentative digestion, molecular substrates are broken down by the action of bacteria and other microorganisms. Enzymatic action upon large molecules is an essential part of fermentative digestion, just as it is for glandular digestion.
This is a good thing however, sometimes the process happens in the wrong locations in your digestive system, such as in the small intestine which is not designed for this purpose and this can lead to SIBO.
Your small intestine makes digestive enzymes, which mixes with bile and pancreatic enzymes to complete the breakdown of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Bacteria in your small intestine make some of the enzymes you need to digest carbohydrates.
So when this happens you need to support the bacteria to make its way back down to the large intestine, and eliminate this bacteria from the small intestine; this is where rebalancing the microbiome comes in handy.
Gut Repair will support this process with the probiotics and prebiotics that it contains. However, sometimes other herbs are required, but Gut Repair can be used alongside these for additional support.
Things that will help support this:
1. Low FODMAP diet – this reduces fermentation in the Small Intestine, where it’s not supposed to happen, while the SIBO is being treated.
(Low FODMAP alone will not get rid of SIBO)
2. Digestive Enzymes to support the breakdown of food.
3. Avoid fermented food while the bloating is still present.
While this may seem counterintuitive, as we don’t know what bacteria is in fermented food we will need to avoid it as some bacteria can exacerbate the bloating rather than reduce and also ad to the fermentation.
4. Eat without multitasking or your phone – Our stomach acid production is reduced if our body perceives that we are stressed. Eating on the go sends a message of ‘stress’ to the body.
If you are particularly stressed at mealtimes, you might even benefit from doing a couple of deep belly breaths before eating.
5. Chew your food properly – By the time you swallow your food you want it to almost be a liquid. This will ensure the load on your digestive system is reduced. It will also ensure enough stomach acid is produced while chewing for proper digestion.