What role does our gut play in terms of causing/preventing bloating?
What you eat influences the amount of gas you will produce and your gut microbial composition. In other words, if you find certain foods cause you to bloat now, improve the balance of your gut bacteria and you should find that bloating reduces.
Think about it like making your microbiome (the collective term for the bacteria in your gut) more robust to withstand a dose of Brussel’s sprouts or beans. While research is discovering some specific ‘bad’ strains of gut bacteria (bacterim B ovatus) that can lead to hypersensitivity and poor tolerance of intestinal gas, the best approach available right now is to undertake a staged personalised reset of gut health.
Improving lifestyle habits can improve bloating symptoms or can reduce frequency of bloating, but no change will be permanent unless overall gut health is also improved.
Try to always make the time to sit down and eat mindfully. When you eat on the move or while doing other things, you may gulp down air adding to that bloated feeling.
You should be aiming to move your bowels everyday or at least every other day otherwise food can start to ferment in the gut releasing gases which cause bloating and flatulence. To help keep your bowels moving make sure you’re drinking 1.5 – 2L of water a day (note: caffeinated and fizzy drinks do not count towards your water intake), get regular exercise and eat plenty of insoluble fibre or roughage to keep things moving!
Smoking, lack of exercise and high levels of stress have also been found to negatively impact gut bacteria levels which can cause bloating too.
How long does it take to improve symptoms of bloating?
Results change from individual to individual based on severity and duration of symptoms, what their current diet is like and most importantly what’s causing the problem. For some people changing their diet has an impact within a few days, for others it can take longer. It’s a very individual experience as everyone’s gut and their microbiome is unique, a bit like a fingerprint.
The Gut Plan Clinic is designed to help those who are seeking a change in symptoms with the addition of professional nutritional support and education.