3 Common Causes of Bloating & What to Do About It

WRITTEN BY Sarah Greenfield, RD, CSSD

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Get to the bottom of your bloating once and for all.

Bloating is bad enough when it happens once in a blue moon. If you’re constantly dealing with bloat, it may be time to address the root of the problem. Here are three common causes of bloating and what you can do to get your digestive system functioning optimally.

Infographic about the three most common causes of bloating and what to do about it.

3 Causes OF (And Solutions FOR!) Bloating

1. Bacterial Imbalance

Why? 

Maintaining a healthy gut microbiome is essential for overall health. If you’re consistently feeling bloated, it may be a sign that your gut bacteria is out of whack. A bacterial imbalance in the gut can either mean a subpar ratio of good to bad bacteria, a low diversity of gut bacteria, or that the gut bacteria isn’t ideally located. (For more on that last one, check out HUM’s article on SIBO as an example.)

What to do about it.

Consider getting to know your gut microbiome on a much more intimate level with a stool test. Though it sounds kind of out there, it’s a very thorough way of understanding exactly what’s going on in your gut. You’ll learn exactly which strands of bacteria are in your gut and at what amounts.

If you’re unable to take a stool test (or are maybe just intimidated by the process), you can try adjusting to a gut-friendly diet with lots of probiotic-rich foods.

2. Too Many Processed Foods

Why?

There are a few different reasons processed foods can cause bloating. First, they’re typically high in sodium, which causes our bodies to retain water and bloat. Then, processed foods also may contain lots of sugar which feeds bad bacteria and yeast in your GI tract. Finally, processed sweeteners like sorbitol and fructose are difficult for the body to digest and can also cause bloating.

What to do about it. 

You guessed it: Avoid processed foods. No downside to this one, folks. It’s simple, environmentally friendly, and great for your digestion.

3. Lack of Digestive Enzymes

Why? 

Digestive enzymes help to break down the macronutrients in your digestive tract including carbohydrates, protein, fat, and fiber. If your body doesn’t have enough digestive enzymes to break down food properly, it can sit in your GI tract fermenting and ultimately causing more gas and bloating.

What to do about it. 

Fill up your plate with enzyme-rich foods. Bananas are rich in amylase to break down carbohydrates. Pineapples contain bromelain and papaya has papain, which both help to break down protein. Finally, avocados have lipase, which helps to break down fat.

To get all your enzymes at once, consider taking a broad-spectrum digestive enzyme supplement like Flatter Me. It contains all of the enzymes listed above and more!

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