'Why Am I So Bloated? I Look Pregnant!' Finally Get Answers From Australia's Bloating Naturopath
How devastating is it when someone asks ‘when are you due?’ when you aren’t pregnant and you’ve been eating super healthy, going to the gym and not you’re not even wearing tight fitting clothing.
I completely understand your pain and struggle as bloating is the biggest issue I see (and successfully treat) in the clinic.
Now if you are anything like my Instagram followers who leave comments, or patients when they first see me in my online Melbourne based clinic, you have probably been to several doctors and gut health specialists, had many tests and countless medications and supplements (I mean you could start your own pharmacy) yet no-one can find anything wrong with you, give you a reason why you are bloating or give you a treatment plan that actually works.
You are tired, exhausted and without hope. Please know I am sending a big virtual hug to you.
Good news! I have helped hundreds of bloating, IBS and SIBO sufferers get rid of their bloating for good, let me tell you how.
What is bloating?
Bloating is essentially gas stuck in your digestive system. Yes, you can experience bloating from fluid retention but generally speaking people describe this as feeling puffy rather than the pain or pregnancy bloat that comes with gas/air trapped in the digestive system.
What causes bloating?
There are two main reasons for bloating; the overproduction of gas and/or an issue with gas elimination. There are multiple reasons for each of these (which we’ll discuss) and when there is the deadly combination of these two present it results in painful or uncomfortable abdominal distension aka the pregnant bloat.
Some reasons for overproduction of gas include:
- Dysbiosis (bacterial or fungal) causing excess fermentation
- Enzyme and acid deficiencies causing proper breakdown of foods and maldigestion
- Leaky gut which can affect enzymes and bacteria involved in the breakdown
- Consumption of bubbles such as cider, beer, soda, kombucha
Some reasons for poor elimination of gas include:
- Motility (movement) issues in the gut that come from nervous system dysfunction
- Over or under functioning of abdominal muscles that doesn’t support proper peristalsis
- Adhesions such as from surgery or endometriosis that impairs the flow
- Microbiome dysbiosis that may slow down motility
See how I didn’t mention food such as milk, watermelon, beans or garlic as a cause of bloating. These aren’t causes, these are triggers.
What foods cause bloating?
Aside from foods that contain bubbles (where you are literally swallowing bubbles into your digestive system), food isn’t the cause of bloating.
Food is the trigger.
Food is triggering one of the issues listed in gas overproduction. When you have enzyme, microbial, gut lining issues your body can’t digest food properly. This is especially true for high fiber and prebiotics foods as seen in grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds which is why eating a ‘cleaner’, ‘healthier’ diet can make you feel worse.
How to relieve and reduce bloating?
While removing trigger foods may make you feel much better in the short-term, it is only a band-aid solution.
In fact, long-term avoidance of these high fiber foods can have terrible consequences on your gut health, microbiome and mental health. Plus no-one wants to eat a restrictive diet forever, right?!
Ultimately what you need to do to reduce your bloating (so you can eat all of these foods with freedom, confidence and NO bloating) is to treat the root cause! I’ll be first to say that it can take some time to test, identify and address the root cause of your bloating, which is why symptom relief support is an important part of the holistic treatment plan.
But don’t fall into the trap of staying stuck on these band-aid/symptom relief interventions that focus on quick relief and reduction. I share my favorite symptom reliefs in my free masterclass.
Keep digging deeper to identify your root cause for long lasting results.
How to test and find the cause of your bloating?
The best way to test for bloating and find the root cause is by using a combination of:
- Diagnostic tests such as blood tests, colonoscopies and gastroscopies to help diagnose any gut related conditions that can contribute to bloating.
- Functional tests that assess the dysfunction of your digestive system. An example of these would be comprehensive stool tests, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth tests and leaky gut tests.
Unfortunately, not many people are aware of functional testing which is why so many bloat sufferers experience a doctor saying ‘all your tests are normal’, ‘there is no cause for your bloating’ and ‘we can’t find anything wrong so it must be IBS.’
This no-hope advice tends to be the end of the road for many and they are left with no answers or effective solutions.
Fortunately, this is where functional tests shine! It tends to be the type of testing that FINALLY gives people answers (that they have never been able to get) or provides further detail and information on top of answers received in diagnostic tests that can help refine treatment.
In the Bloated to Body Confident course I share with you my favourite functional tests, how you can order them, interpret them and then treat them using my clinical protocols.
How to treat and get rid of bloating for good?
You can only effectively treat and get rid of bloating for good when you are treating the root cause. You need to understand your unique set of causes for bloating to create an effective treatment.
This means any treatment that is focused on purely providing symptom relief, such as dietary restriction, antibiotics or multiple supplements you can’t stop without a symptom flare.
I will be the first to admit that this can take months and even years depending on your unique circumstances but I will also be the first person to say you CAN do it and it is 100% worth it.
The reason it takes time is because we are looking WAY beyond the symptom relief (the tip of the iceberg) and going into the deep submerged root causes which may have been subtly triggering the cascade of bloating causes for years (even decades).