When we eat, our bodies produce enzymes that break down food and help us absorb nutrients.
Bloating often occurs when we do not have enough enzymes to break those foods down. When that happens, the food sits in the stomach and ferments, producing gas that causes the stomach to bloat. The most common reason patients may not produce enough enzymes is directly due to stress (all secretions made in your gastrointestinal tract are decreased), but more serious causes can be gallstones, chronic or acute pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer. However, it is quite common for people with a healthy gall bladder and a healthy pancreas to just not quite make enough enzymes to digest well.
Often bloating is in fact NOT caused by low pancreatic enzyme output but by a condition called SIBO or Small Intestinal Bowel Overgrowth. This is ruled out with a breath test and in fact it is estimated that approximately 80% of those diagnosed with IBS actually have sibo. IF you try some of the items from the list below and do NOT see improvement, see you Naturopathic Doctor to pursue SIBO testing.
If you’ve ever felt bloated before (and you most likely have!), don’t fret: here are 5 natural remedies to cure that bloating.
But before going into those remedies, here are 9 ways to prevent bloating from occurring in the first place:
- Only eat when you’re hungry, leaving at least three hours between meals
- Avoid unhealthy food combinations like cheeses, meats and breads
- Don’t eat fruit after meals
- Use digestion stimulating spices like black pepper, ginger, and cumin when cooking
- Take probiotics regularly
- Have a glass of warm water with half a lemon squeezed in it every morning. Lemon juice increases digestive juices, cleanses the bowels and kickstarts the liver to detoxify your body.
- Pay attention to your body’s reaction to dairy and wheat/flour. You may have to reduce your intake or remove them completely from your diet.
- Don’t drink anything cold while eating and up to 30 minutes after eating
- Reduce salt
5 Naturopathic Remedies To Bloating
Now that we know how to prevent the bloating, here are five things you can do right now if you are feeling bloated.
1. Have some (herbal) tea
Hot fennel tea is a great way to ease the bloating.
Prepare fennel tea by crushing one teaspoon of fennel seed and adding it to one cup of water in a pot. Bring the water to a boil, and cover and steep it for 10 to 15 minutes.
Other herbal teas that improve digestion, and reduce bloating are chamomile, ginger, peppermint, and lemon.
2. Get Moving
If you’re feeling bloated, go for a brisk 30 minute walk. At the end, do some jumping jacks. All of this helps increase blood circulation, which helps with digestion, and also helps release gas.
3. Try some herbal medicines
Herbal medicines can help improve digestion. Read up on how to consume Meadowsweet, Gentian, Dandelion, Cardamom, and Radish seed. All of these will help ease the pain and discomfort associated with bloating.
4. Consider supplements
Digestive enzyme supplements that contain papain and bromelain help the digestive system to properly break down foods and reduce bloating.
5. Decrease stress
Experts have found that there is correlation between bloating and stress. Doing light yoga or meditating after eating can help reduce stress, and put an end to that uncomfortable bloating.
Find The Root Of The Issue
If you are suffering from regular bloating, I recommend booking a Naturopathic Consultation to assess what is causing the issue. While treating the symptoms can provide relief, you can reduce the risk of long term health issues by addressing what is causing the bloating. Recall that with bloating SIBO must be ruled out.