Ways to deal with bloating and IBS

Ever get that feeling that your clothes are getting tighter from one day to the next? That bloated feeling that comes and goes and makes your life difficult. Well it’s a pretty common problem in today’s lifestyle. For those that have done the Body Type test, Blue body types are especially susceptible to this problem.

Sometimes, it may be just your belly not playing nicely but other times it can be joined by other unwanted friends like belching, excessive wind and even nausea. All these are symptoms of trouble arising from your food processing factory that we know as ‘digestion’.

Bloating is commonplace in modern lifesytles

The food you’re eating isn’t getting digested properly – the process is taking longer than it should so instead of that food being digested, nutrients assimilated and waste eliminated efficiently, food items are hanging around too long in your gut (some more than others). These then start to putrefy and ferment and so those unwanted symptoms start to appear.

if you improve your digestion, you will manage your bloat

So, if you can improve your digestion, you’ll be able to manage your bloat and everything that comes with it. And what you eat and how you eat it can make a big difference to that.

A check list for managing bloating


Symptoms

These are your body’s warning lights to tell you to take some action:
• Bloating
• Belching
• Excessive wind
• Nausea
• Tiredness
• Poor concentration
• Low appetite

Causes:
Here are 10 common causes, both physiological and psychological:
1. Poor eating habits (such hurried eating and not chewing food enough)
2. Food sensitivity
3. Low levels of stomach acid (resulting in weak digestion)
4. Incompatible food combinations
5. Imbalance in gut flora
6. Interface between gastric and other hormonal systems
7. Sedentary lifestyle (whether it’s a habit or enforced)
8. Being stressed
9. Being in a bad mood
10. Compromised function of organs (maybe resulting from trauma, injury or surgery)

Irritants:
When you’re in a state of distress, there critters will not help your cause!
• Sugary foods
• Stimulants like alcohol or coffee
• Excessively sweet fruits (such as many tropical fruits)
• Fatty, processed foods (particularly fatty fried foods like donuts or fried chicken)
• (Dairy – for some people)
• (wheat / gluten – for some people)
• Ice-cold drinks or foods

Helpers:
Your food first aid kit should consist of these guys:
• Fermented foods (like live yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and pickles)
• Garlic (if there’s not a sensitivity to sulphur)
• Ginger (for some people who generally feel cold)
• Papaya and pineapples (they contain enzymes that support digestion and are )
• Flaxseed/Linseed infusion (boil a tablespoon of seeds in two mugs of water for 3-4 mins until it becomes gluey and drink it before meals)
• High fiber foods (if you also have constipation)
• Warm water!

Gut aid

Generally speaking, while fermented foods improve our gut flora by helping redress the microbe balance in our gut (the ‘gut microbiome’) by populating it with more of the good guys, processed foods do the complete opposite. Also, remember that getting into the habit of mindful eating – being calm, collected and distraction-free – is a big helper when you’re struggling with digestion.

Sometimes life’s not as simple as that and certain foods can trigger reactions that we’re familiar with and that’s our body telling us it doesn’t need or want a specific food. In that situation, it’s good to know the culprit(s) through a process of elimination. This is something you can do yourself using a set of simple guidelines or you can ask a nutritional therapist.

Just remember that if you’re getting the bloat, it’s what you’ve eaten and/or how you’ve eaten it that got you into this mess and what/how you eat will get you out of it. If it doesn’t it could indicate a more chronic underlying condition for which it’s worth reaching out to an expert like a registered nutritional therapist

This self-care health hack is from Superfied expert nutritional therapist Beata Rachowiecka

To find out more, read our ‘Rethink your wellbeing’ guide

Finding your food culprits

Eating foods that our body doesn’t want or need can trigger a memorable reaction, whether that’s bloating, a skin flare up, swelling, breathing issues or something worse! It could be down to a food intolerance or a food allergy, the latter can obviously be life threatening.

We live in a pill-popping culture

Reported cases of food hypersensitivity are on the rise so it’s important to know if you have any, if you want to strive for optimal health. This doesn’t mean it has to be a complicated and expensive process. You can do it yourself at home with a few simple guidelines. The key is to be focused and systematic in your approach, working through a process of elimination.

food  hypersensitivity  is  on  the  rise  so  it’s  important  to  know  if  you  have  any,  if you  want  optimal  health

Here are five steps to finding your food culprits:

1/ Keep a diary
• Note how you feel at the same time every day, starting when you get up and after each meal
• Look for any similarities and trends between foods and times of the day

2/ Build a shortlist
• Identify which foods are common to the symptoms you’re experiencing (such as tiredness, losing losing focus, bloating or mucous in the throat after eating)
• Cross-refer symptoms with external factors like stress and sleep to identify any patterns

3/ Test your sensitivity
• On your shortlist of potential problem foods, measure your pulse or blood pressure before and after eating that food item at set time intervals. Always sit down when you’re doing that
• For the pulse if it increases (by six points or more) after you’ve eaten the food item you may be sensitive to it. If not, you can remove it from your shortlist

4/ Monitor your food suspects
• Monitor the reaction of each of the foods remaining on your shortlist for 3-4 days each
• If there isn’t a consistent pattern of reaction, remove that food item from your final food list and repeat this exercise for the next food item

5/ Take a food break
• Eliminate all the foods on your final list that you suspect are causing you issue from your diet for two weeks and monitor your symptoms
• Then reintroduce them one-by-one every 4-5 days if the reaction is mild or 1-3 months if the reaction is more acute. This will help your body increase its tolerant for those food culprits

Test guides

If the issue with the identified food culprit is related to protein, the issue could be that your level of stomach acid is low, thereby reducing the efficiency of your digestion. You can easily test this yourself using bicarbonate of soda! Of course the issue could be something else (for example insufficient digestive juices produced by your pancreas) and so that’s the time to talk to an expert.

You can use a number of templates to help you with this food hypersensitivity test process and you can access those and the stomach acid test guide here [LINK]

If you’re still in doubt after going through this exercise, feel further investigation is required or need the support of an expert, a registered nutritional therapist can help you identify any food intolerance or allergies you may have and subsequent advice.

This self-care health hack is from Superfied expert nutritional therapist Beata Rachowiecka

To find out more, read our ‘Rethink your wellbeing’ guide

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