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Why am I always bloated?

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Why am I bloated?

It’s unpleasant, unattractive and definitely uncomfortable. We have all experienced it, some more than others and the cause of it can be hard to pin point. Bloating can cause us to experience many unpleasant symptoms like; gas, distended stomach, tight belts, gut pain and feeling “puffy”.

Bloating is something that is subjective – meaning you can “feel” bloated without experiencing any of the symptoms explained above. Other times, it can have a much more dramatic effect to your waistline.

What are the causes of this uncomfortable feeling? How do we prevent it?
1. Stress

GLUT2, the transporter responsible for the absorption of fructose, glucose and galactose (sugars) in the gut can be inhibited by psychological stress. When we are short in GLUT2, our body cannot absorb these carbohydrates and the head towards the colon for fermentation and the production of gas (1).

Stress can also have a big impact on your gut bacteria, making it less diverse giving an opportunity for pathogenic species that are gas producing to overpopulate.

Make sure you have a stress management protocol in place. It’s important to make sure to implement things that can help relieve – meditation, getting fresh air, herbal teas, unplugging and exercise are great areas to start with.

2. FODMAPs

Fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols are meant to be absorbed in the small intestine for the body to put them to use. For people that have a hard time digesting FODMAPs, they end up making it to the colon where fermentation begins with the help of gut bacteria (2).

Fermentation brings on hydrogen gas, which causes those bloating symptoms, and can make things incredibly uncomfortable (2).

If you find you are having trouble with certain foods you have identified, it would be a good idea to follow a FODMAP protocol to help identify which foods you need to avoid to reduce the episodes of bloating and start healing the gut.

3. Wheat

Bloating can be frequently blamed by gluten or wheat. Studies found that those who have more adverse reactions to gluten had higher rates of bloating (3). Gluten and the short-chained carbs that are found in wheat can cause gastrointestinal issues.

One of the most simple things you can avoid to tackle your bloating is wheat/gluten. Cut it out of your diet to see if this has been the culprit to those nasty symptoms.

4. Low Stomach Acid

This can lead to alkaline bacteria establishing ground and causing poor carbohydrate digestion, which promotes poor carbohydrate digestion, which then begins gas production.

Stomach acid plays an important role in aiding the carb-digesting enzymes in the intestines. When we have low stomach acid, this reduces the numbers in those important enzymes and it becomes a lot harder for our bodies to digest carbohydrates.

If you feel like you could be low in stomach acid, apple cider vinegar (with the mother) is a great place to start. A couple tablespoons mixed with water 30min before every meal can help with stomach acid production along with a Paleo diet that is lower in carbohydrates can also improve symptoms.

5. Supplements

Creatine in particular. This is a very popular supplement that has had many, many studies to prove its efficacy. But along with the amazing benefits it can have on your body, those benefits can also cause bloating.

Creatine causes/promotes water retention, or in fancy science terms; increased intracellular water storage. This can cause us to feel or look bloated. “Creatine bloat” can be quite common and as some of you know, it’s part of the process.

Creatine can take some getting used to, but studies prove that it can have some great benefits, so stick with it.Because many of us don’t normally experience water retention, this sensation is new to us and will make us feel bloated.

If you are experiencing bloating frequently, maybe it’s time to start looking at these five points to find out what could be the culprit. Take action so you can avoid this uncomfortable disposition.

References:

(1) Stress and glucocorticoid inhibit apical GLUT2-trafficking and intestinal glucose absorption in rat small intestine.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15297580

(2) [Malabsorption of fermentable oligo-, di-, or monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAP) as a common cause of unclear abdominal discomfort].

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24892470

(3) Self-Reported Prevalence of Symptomatic Adverse Reactions to Gluten and Adherence to Gluten-Free Diet in an Adult Mexican Population.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26197336

(4) Creatine Supplementation Increases Total Body Water Without Altering Fluid Distribution

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC155510/

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