The digestion process is very complex and involves many enzymes and hormones. Integral to this is a bacterial eco system that has to be in balance. Even our nervous system has a tremendous influence on our ability to break things down properly and absorb nutrients. With this in mind bloating and uncomfortable gas can be the result of an imbalance in any of these areas. A comprehensive investigation of the foods you are eating and your symptoms can point to some possible causes of your discomfort. Here are some of the main culprits I see in my practice on a daily basis:
1. Food sensitivities.
Foods that don’t agree with your body can fuel inflammation in your gut lining and disrupt the digestion process. Research confirms that food sensitivities can aggravate IBS and avoiding food sensitivities can improve bloating and bowel irregularities. Food sensitivities can be identified through an IgG food sensitivity test. Discuss doing an IgG food sensitivity test with a Naturopathic Doctor.
2. Gut bacteria.
There are billions of microbacteria that line the entire digestive system. Probiotics have been demonstrated time and again to have beneficial effects on digestion. They are not only anti-inflammatory when ingested in high amounts, but they also improve immune function and prevent the binding of harmful bacteria in the gut. Studies show they normalize bowel transit time and reduce bloating.
3. Stomach acid.
Not enough stomach acid leads to improper break down of protein and promotes the growth of bad bacteria. Improper break down of food leads to fermentation and the formation of gas and bloating. Supplementing with hydrochloric acid or taking apple cider vinegar prior to meals can help normalize stomach pH.
4. Food hygiene.
Properly chewing your food assists the body at further breaking things down. Eating in a relaxed setting can also do wonders for your digestion. When the nervous system is stimulated and the body is in “fight or flight” state, digestion is impaired and can lead to loose and frequent bowels and associated bloating. Drinking with your meals can also dilute digestive enzymes and reduce proper breakdown of your food.