Gas & BloatingDec 12, 2019
Gas. We all have it. Sometimes it smells, Sometimes it's loud. Most of us release that gas 10-15 times per day. However, excessive gas and bloating tend to be more common among clients I work with.
What causes gas?
Most of the gas we experience comes from the air we inhale as we eat, drink (especially carbonated beverages), and chew gum. Gas also comes from the fermentation of the foods that we consume. The amount of time undigested foods sit in our bowels, fermenting, the smellier it makes our gas. The fermentation processes can also make you “balloon up” or bloat as the gas increases. Sulfur-rich foods - cruciferous vegetables, onion, garlic, eggs, asparagus, avocado, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, dried fruits, and beans - can also contribute to the smell associated with gas. While it can cause a stink, sulfur is an important mineral for our body. It aids in glutathione production. Glutathione is our master antioxidant! It aids in liver detoxification, supports healthy skin and joints, and boosts your immune system.
So what happens if we are unable to tolerate these foods? If our gas smells so bad we can clear a room all the time, not only after consuming sulfur-rich foods but most foods? Are you embarrassed about the thought of someone using the bathroom after you and suggest that a person be prepared with a match or room spray to try and mask what just happened in there? That, my friend, is not normal.
Why am I so gassy?
So what’s the deal? Why are you experiencing excessive, possibly smelly gas, and bloating? There are a few possible avenues to explore involving the small intestine. Here are a few possible culprits.
Are you eating too fast? Slow down! This will not only reduce the amount of air you’re inhaling with each bite but also give the digestive enzymes in your mouth time to help break down the foods you’re eating. Supplementing with digestive enzymes and/or stomach acid support could also be beneficial. Digestive enzyme and stomach acid production begins to slow with age. You may need to give your body a boost with digestive enzymes or stomach acid support with meals. This could also be important if we need to work on healing your gut. Eating delicious, healthy food has way more benefits if you’re actually absorbing the nutrients in the food.
Bacterial Imbalance or Overgrowth
A majority of our gut bacteria should be living in our colon. Occasionally these bacteria forge their way back upstream and begin to take up residence in our small intestine, where they don’t belong. When they begin increasing in that abundance in the wrong location, you can begin to have some GI discomfort. This is known as SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth). When these gas-producing bacteria are now living in the small intestine, you can start experiencing gas and bloating. Foods that are high-FODMAP can exacerbate gas and bloating as well. (Fermentable oligo-, di-, monosaccharides, and polyols. Carbohydrates that are resistant to digestion).
Candida is another cause for the gut microbe that can be out of balance. Candida overgrowth can be caused by antibiotic use, birth control pills/hormonal imbalance, chronic stress, and sugary or highly processed foods. Inflammation, weight gain, fatigue, joint pain, gas, bloating, thrush, genital yeast infections, nail fungus, diarrhea, or constipation, or diarrhea can be symptoms associated with candida overgrowth. Sugar cravings can also be associated with candida as the fungus thrives on sugar. Read more about ways to combat candida here.
Food Sensitivities/Leaky Gut
The immune system produces IgG antibodies in response to something it views as a threat. IgG antibodies can stimulate inflammation. Inflammation can cause the tight junctions of the intestinal lining to weaken. When the intestinal lining is compromised, undigested food particles, microorganisms, bacteria, and toxins are able to leak into the bloodstream, which initiates the immune response again. It’s a vicious cycle with leaky gut! When we continue to assault the GI system and not give it a chance to heal, we will have an increasing number of foods we can no longer tolerate. This can result in gas and bloating. But there is some good news! Having IgG antibodies present does not necessarily mean you can never have that food again. Once you work through a gut healing protocol, you can usually re-introduce the foods back in and be able to tolerate them on an occasional basis. Learn about IgG Food Sensitivity Testing here.
Image from Genova Diagnostics
Gas and bloating are symptoms that almost everyone can relate to experiencing at one point or another. With that being said, the frequency or severity of the gas and bloating may or may not be related to the underlying causes I mentioned in this post. The body is very complex! With the GI system housing 80+% of our immune system and the production of many of our neurotransmitters, the gut is the first place to explore the root cause of the symptoms you may be experiencing. You can learn more about the gut testing packages I offer here.
The information available on this website is for general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely exclusively on information provided on the Website for your health needs. You can read more about our disclaimer here.
There’s no one-size-fits-all fix to health concerns and symptoms. Why? Because there’s no single, standard issue body out there! My processes don’t conform to any standard prescription. They’re fluid, diverse, and customized to accommodate the uniqueness of each body, each lifestyle, and each individual’s differing needs.
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