Why am I bloated?
Many people feel bloated on a daily basis. This can manifest as an uncomfortable, distended feeling after eating. Their pants feel tighter than normal without any weight gain or that flat tummy from the morning is gone by the end of the day.
There are multiple reasons why individual’s experience bloating. Digestive concerns, including bloating, are a common reason why people seek out care at Annex Naturopathic. The naturopathic doctors at our clinic aim to find the root of the concerning issue in order to figure out the most sustainable solution that helps the body correct itself.
Chronic bloating or “abdominal distention” is not only uncomfortable physically but also affects one’s self esteem and body image.
The naturopathic doctors at Annex Naturopathic conduct thorough intakes to find the underlying causes of why bloating occurs.
Hypochlorhydria, the medical term for low stomach acid
The stomach should maintain certain acidity (a pH of about 2) in order to facilitate the digestive process. A few different factors can contribute to low stomach acid:
- Not enough stomach acid is produced,
- The stomach acid is diluted, or,
- Medications that inhibit its production.
When there isn’t adequate stomach acid, our food isn’t able to break down properly. The food moves into our small intestine in larger particles. The digestive enzymes are not able to work as effectively.
As the undigested food moves down the digestive tract less beneficial bacteria and yeast feed on it and create the byproducts like gas. There are a few strategies naturopathic doctors use to assess and treat low stomach acid.
Bacterial and Yeast Imbalances
The “microbiome” of our gut includes an array of different species of bacteria and yeast. These species are essential in the right balance. Small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO) and excess yeast growth (Candida) can contribute to bloating and other systemic and gastrointestinal problems.
Imbalances or “dysbioisis” in gut bacteria can impair the digestive process, create more gas, and cause nutritional deficiencies.
Naturopathic doctors implement effective ways to both test for and treat SIBO and Candida.
Food Intolerances and Sensitivities
A food intolerance is the result of an enzyme deficiency which creates an inability to digest certain foods or and inability to absorb certain foods. When undigested foods move down the gastrointestinal tract, they are left to be fermented by the gut flora. The fermentation process creates byproducts like gas which contributes to bloating.
A food sensitivity, on the other hand, is an immune system medicated process. Food sensitivities occur when the body makes an immune response to a protein particle in a food item. This immune response creates inflammation in our gastrointestinal tract which can lead to “leaky gut” which can cause inflammation throughout the body.
Although some individuals may experience gas a bloating when then have food sensitivities and intolerances, other may have constipation. When bowel movements do not occur on a daily basis, bloating can be experience as there is a feeling of discomfort and fullness.
Naturopathic doctors are able to clinical assess and of test for food sensitivities and intolerances.
You can start feeling better now
Often a combination of the above factors is involved when a person complains of feeling bloated. Bloating and distention are symptoms of an underlying issue. Naturopathic doctors are trained to identify what that issue is and implement a plan to help the body correct it.
When the distention is alleviated, and many other areas of that individual’s health (in addition to their gastrointestinal concerns) begin to improve.
Yours in Health
Yours in Health,
Dr. Marnie Luck, N.D
Annex Naturopathic Clinic is a clinic in Toronto that offers integrative healthcare solutions from Drs. Marnie Luck, ND, and Tanya Lee, ND