Bloating is found in 96% of patients with gastro-intestinal issues and 10-30% of the general population. Bloating is a subjective term referring to to abdominal distention. Many of my clients complain of bloating. Here are some suggestions to help combat bloating:
Click HERE for a handout on bloating
1. Cut back on artificial sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners are a main trigger for bloating. Sorbitol and Aspartame are artificial sweeteners which are not digestible and a main trigger for bloating. They are often found in sugar-free products such as gum, candy, and drinks.
2. Pay Attention to Dairy
Dairy doesn’t cause bloating for everyone, but to find out if its a trigger for you try going a few days without dairy and be sure to note any bloating. If you see your bloating disappear, you know you found the cause. Many people do not have the necessary enzyme to break down lactose sugar, making them lactose intolerant which causes bloating, pain, and discomfort.
3. Avoid Overeating
Especially rich, fatty foods. Overeating is probably the most common source for bloating and when its fatty foods you’re doing a double whammy since fat is the last thing to leave the stomach. Bottom line, if you’re enjoying a large, fatty meal, be prepared to pay for it later.
4. Test Your FODMAP Sensitivity
FODMAPs are essentially carbohydrates that some people’s bodies can’t digest well. If you have a sensitivity to FODMAPs they are likely to cause you gas, bloating, cramping, and/or diarrhea. Some of the biggest culprits include onion, garlic, rye and wheat based foods, beans, and various fruits and vegetables. If you think you may be sensitive to FODMAPs you may want to try eliminating them from your diet and slowly re-introduce them to determine your personal triggers. For more information on FODMAPS CLICK HERE.
5. Eat Foods That Reduce Bloat
Consider adding foods that can decrease your likelihood of bloating such as those rich in potassium (bananas especially), ginger, fennel seeds, and probiotics. Probiotics are not only used to treat various conditions, they promote a healthier gut environment. To incorporate probiotics into your diet look for yogurts with “live and active cultures” or buy the capsule form (Bacillus coagulans or Lactobacillus GG).