Abdominal bloating is a common, yet non-specific and nondescript symptom of gut dysfunction. Bloating can be associated with disease processes yet can simply be due to overeating. When bloating becomes a regular occurrence, the search for the cause and treatment of this nuisance begins. The question then becomes - how do we solve unexplained gut symptoms? Particularly when our search for answers comes to a halt, or we are labelled with a diagnosis without answers.
Here are three ways to dig deeper and banish bloating:
- Understanding the Power of your Microbiome: the microbiome environment within our gut houses the beneficial bacteria that are responsible for helping us produce vitamins and absorb nutrients, eliminate toxins, and maintain regular bowel function. The diversity and abundance of the these beneficial bacteria is crucial in healing the gut. Probiotics is one of the many ways that we address this. Prebiotic foods - such as leeks, garlic, onions, and artichokes - are also necessary to support maintenance of healthy flora
- Identifying the Cause: Stool testing can provide valuable information on digestion and absorption markers, search for the presence of hidden infections or problematic bacteria, and identify the presence of inflammation in the gut. Talk with your healthcare provider about the right stool test for you! Food sensitivity may also identify the culprit of your bloating!
- Treating the Cause: Use of a thorough history and individualized testing, you can address the cause of bloating that is specific to you! This likely includes removing food triggers or sensitivities, balancing the good and bad bacteria, treating underlying infections if present and adding in the nutraceuticals designed to heal your gut lining.
Fermented foods are also helpful at keeping the good bacteria in balance - check out a recipe for water-based Kefir in our recipe tab!
Dr. Sarah Silverman