Bloating – there is nothing worse than indulging in your favorite meal, only to be left with the uncomfortable pain of carrying around a “food baby” for the rest of the day. Unfortunately bloating is a common occurrence for a lot of people and can end up lasting for days. So you’re probably wondering, what can you do to beat bloating? According to our Toronto naturopath, it’s important to understand how exactly bloating occurs. Bloating is really just SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). Bloating comes from gas production and fermentation. The best way to visualize this process is to think of how we make beer – you add sugar or a grain (like wheat) to the bacteria in beer and then seal it away so that it has no oxygen, and in turn this creates alcohol and bubbles. Similar to our bodies when we eat certain foods (like grains or sugar), they end up in our stomach where there is no oxygen and can feed off the bacteria. This in turn can cause the production of gas/bubbles aka the dreaded “food baby”.
So how come some people react to certain foods with bloating and other people don’t? Well there are a few possible reasons. The first reason is some people don’t break down their food properly. This could be caused by eating too quickly, not chewing your food enough or taking medications that decrease stomach acid, just to name a few. A second major reason could be stress, since we know stress has a major effect on our digestion. If you already have poor digestion and then you eat the “wrong foods” (aka grains or sugar) then you are starting to grow bacteria and/or fungus. This can result in you constantly feeling bloated.
When it comes to dealing with bloating most people think the quick fix is to add probiotics into their diet so they can increase their healthy bacteria. The problem with this is it’s similar to throwing grass seed onto a bunch of weeds and expecting to see instant results. You need to start by addressing why you are experiencing bloating, aka the “dreaded weeds”! Do you constantly feel stressed out? Do you eat in a rush or while driving? Are you always the first one to finish your dinner? Once you determine the root cause then you can start the process to de-bloat. This is where our Toronto naturopath can help. He can recommend a natural treatment for bloating. This usually involves getting to the root cause and making some dietary changes to assist with healthy digestion and saying adios to bloating!