Are you bloated?
Are you tired of dealing with a stretched out belly that seems to be larger than life?
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.
Today I want to talk about bloating and a way that’s shown in studies to actually fix a root cause.
Bloating sucks, universally. Although bloating more commonly experienced by women, men frequently struggle with bloating also. The typical “dad belly” is not simply a normal part of growing old, but it can be a mixture of bloating, inflammation and dangerous central fat accumulation.
Something that’s often left unconsidered is the true meaning of bloating, as bloating is typically a clear indication of some sort of gut imbalance. This imbalance could include a wide range of underlying issues and you’ll notice, if you look up almost any disorder, bloating is very commonly listed as a symptom.
Although this might make finding the root cause feel confusing, lucky for you, you’ve got a scientist on your side to tell you about the most common cause of bloating and an easy way to fix it that’s shown to be effective in numerous scientific studies and in practice with my clients.
Bloating: A Common Cause
A common underlying issue that bloating indicates is a bacterial imbalance. If you’ve been aboard the bloated-belly train for a while, it’s likely you already know this. However, the information I have for you is a lot more specific, and today I’ll give you a secret that reveals exactly the type of bacterial imbalance causing your bloating, and how to fix it.
Let’s start off with a bit of a science lesson – my favourite part. You have tonnes of bacteria in your gut that are influenced by what you eat, the chemicals you’re exposed to, what antibiotics you take, whether you were breastfed or not and a whole bunch of factors that shape your microbiome.
Your bacterial populations are dynamic, meaning that they are capable of change. And, since we live in a world where we are constantly facing negative, unnatural environmental exposures such as artificial food additives, chemicals in our cleaning products, antibiotics and even the water we drink and air we breathe, these factors play a huge role in shaping our bacterial balance. In fact, these factors have all shown in scientific studies to significantly influence our gut bacteria in a negative way, even though they are considered “safe” for consumption.
That’s right guys, this is not my personal opinion or a hippie way of thinking, loads of the chemicals, antibiotics, pesticides and other things we are exposed to several times a day have actually shown in numerous scientific studies to significantly damage our gut bacteria as a whole, therefore causing bacterial imbalances or, what we call scientifically, “bacterial dysbiosis”.
When you experience bacterial dysbiosis, this is when you can start experiencing a lot of unwanted digestive symptoms such as bloating, gas and irritable bowel syndrome.
So, today, I want to specifically discuss the symptom of bloating, and how to support a bacterial balance in the gut that can reduce or eliminate bloating.
The Common Accident that Makes Bloating WORSE
If you’re experiencing a bacterial imbalance, one of the best ways to go about improving this balance is by taking probiotics. But – and this is a big but – it’s a really bad idea to just go to a pharmacy or health store and randomly select a probiotic simply because you’ve heard good things about it.
The reason is because doing this can have a major negative impact on your digestive symptoms. Each person has such a different bacterial profile, and each strain of bacteria will accomplish a different thing, so you need to make sure that it’s addressing the right reasons behind your bloating.
For example, people who have digestive distress involving diarrhea often benefit from a particular bacterial strain called Saccharomyces boulardii which has shown to alleviate IBS-associated diarrhea, acute diarrhea and nearly all other types. (If you’re experiencing diarrhea, you can check out this video where I discuss this further).
Anyway, on the opposite end, If you’re experiencing digestive distress with constipation, then you do not want to be taking Saccharomyces boulradii because it can actually make your constipation worse, make you feel more bloated and worsen digestion,
Anyway, the moral is, do not just choose a probiotic at random. You want to actually be getting the particular strains that have shown in studies to work for the issues you’re experiencing, and with over 1000 species out there, the probability of choosing the right one is low.
So, let me help you with that.
Bloating: How to Get Rid of Bloating, The Scientific Way!
When it comes to bloating, a really particular strain that’s shown to balance bacteria in a way that improves bloating is called Lactobacillus GG. Please do not get this confused with Lactobacillus which is a genus of bacteria that encompasses numerous different species, but specifically Lactobacillus GG.
Several scientific studies have shown that supplementing with Lactobacillus GG improves bloating and digestion and, the supplement has shown to work extremely effectively in practice with plenty of great reviews and feedback for quickly clearing chronic bloating.
The most common Lactobacillus GG supplement that has been studied can be found here, and contains 10 billion colony forming units of Lactobacillus GG, so taking it twice a day is great. I recommend taking these probiotics about 30 minutes before eating, so that they are not exposed to as much digestive and gastric juices but, they still move down the digestive tract to reach the colon where they can populate.
One downside that I should note is that, even though I recommend this particular brand due to the large availability of studies and how effective it has been, I am not particularly a fan of what’s in the casing of this capsule. Compared to the supplements I usually work with, which are typically hypoallergenic and all-natural, this one contains additives such as colourants. For this reason, if you are a sensitive individual who reacts to additives, I suggest opening the capsule and either mixing it with water if taking it before your meal or, sprinkling it on top of homemade yogurt.
So guys, if you’re tired of bloating and can’t seem to fix it, I definitely recommend trying out Lactobacillus GG and you may be saying bye-bye to your bloating very soon.
Health begins in the gut,
Anita Tee, MSc Nutrition