Feeling Bloated? – This May Be Why…
Whether you wake up feeling bloated, or it happens progressively throughout the day, there’s one thing you should know: bloating isn’t normal.
Bloating is the body’s way of communicating to you that something in your diet or lifestyle isn’t right. With that said, there could be several different factors causing you to feel bloated, or there may be just one specific cause.
Take a peek at these four common culprits (and solutions) to see which one(s) may be causing your symptoms.
You Have Low Stomach Acid
If you get bloated immediately after you eat-especially with meals that include animal protein (beef, chicken, turkey etc.) -you may not be producing enough stomach acid. Also known as hypochlorhydria, low stomach acid can make you feel like food is just “sitting” there. You may even feel nauseated after eating animal products (as they need a sufficient amount of stomach acid to digest them properly).
Gas, burping, and acid reflux right after meals are also signs of low stomach acid.
Why Do You Have Low Stomach Acid?
Low stomach acid is common because many factors in our modern-day lifestyle deplete stomach acid, such as frequent use of antibiotics, alcohol, and ANTACIDS, improper chewing, processed foods, and CHRONIC STRESS Stomach acid production also naturally declines with AGE.
If you suspect you have low stomach acid, you can try taking a digestive enzyme, such as betaine HCL or pepsin, which helps with protein digestion.
Also, taking one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar diluted n water approximately 20 minutes before meals can also help stimulate stomach acid production and reduce bloating.
You May Have Food Sensitivities and/or Intolerance
Underlying food sensitivities can cause bloating.
DAIRY PRODUCTS – Many people lack the digestive enzyme needed to digest dairy, which is lactase. In fact, approximately 75% of Americans are lactose-intolerant.
What to eat instead: Replace milk, cheese, and yogurt with plant-based options made from almonds, cashews, and nutritional yeast.
WHEAT AND GLUTEN – A common food sensitivity.
What to eat instead: Gluten-free grains such as Teff or buckwheat. If LEAKY GUT or IBS is an issue, stick to quinoa, which is a seed. Better yet, follow a grain-free diet, like the Paleo diet.
Sugar alcohols (xylitol, erythritol) – Sugar alcohols are hard for the body to digest and may not get digested at all. Artificial sweeteners have also been linked to bloating and should be avoided.
What to eat instead: Green-leaf stevia (a no-calorie, natural, plant-based sweetener).
You May Have FODMAP Intolerance and SIBO:
FODMAPs are fermentable sugars present in plant foods like onions, garlic, apples, pears, and plums, as well as legumes, dairy, and grains. FODMAP intolerance is typically caused by small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). THIS SORT OF BLOATING IS MINIMAL IN THE MORNING AND WORSENS AS THE DAY GOES ON.
If you’re consistently bloated, try adding Probiotic and digestive enzymes after your meals. Taking an enzyme with lipase after your meals, along with a good probiotic, can get rid of bloating.
Avocados, vinegar, egg yolks, and coconut cream are all natural sources of lipase as well.
Also, following a low FODMAP diet can be very helpful. By removing the carbohydrates that are poorly digested and easily fermented by bacteria, you can help decrease bloat. If the enzymes aren’t working, that’s a next step.
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