health and wellness blog
What Dr Google Doesn’t Know About Bloating
Have you been feeling like a beached whale lately? Bloating can make you feel uncomfortable and embarrassed but there’s no need to suffer needlessly.
Susie was worried about her constant bloating and consulted Dr Google for possible causes. As she didn’t think that it was due to swallowing too much air, she came to see me for further health advice.
There are many natural solutions for bloating and digestive discomfort. Firstly ensure that you’re having a regular bowel motion to eliminate excess food waste and toxicity in the body.
Reduce your consumption of highly processed and sugary foods which are low in fibre and can result in reduced bowel flora (bacteria), as this leads to increased fermentation and gas formation in the bowel.
Avoid too many soft drinks (especially diet drinks), and drink plenty of pure filtered water daily to flush your digestive system of accumulated toxins.
Eating too fast or when stressed can also have a negative impact upon your bowel health by reducing or increasing bowel transit time and contributing to IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
Excessive use of medications such as antibiotics are also well known to contribute to bloating and discomfort after eating by affecting the amount of healthy bacteria in the large bowel.
If bloating is worse around your menstrual cycle, then this is probably due to a hormonal imbalance and requires an assessment by a health care professional such as an experienced Naturopath.
After discussing Susie’s health concerns with her and analysing her diet and lifestyle, I concluded that her current diet was lacking in soluble fibre from fresh fruit and vegetables, that she was drinking insufficient pure water, and she required probiotic supplementation to repopulate her bowel with healthy bacteria to keep the unhealthy bacteria and yeasts in check and prevent gas formation. I also tweaked her diet and reduced her wheat and dairy intake which was possibly causing inflammation of her digestive lining, also known as Leaky Gut Syndrome or increased intestinal permeability.
So in summary here are my top 5 tips for a bloat free day:
Include probiotic foods such as sauerkraut and kefir into your daily diet which increase your body’s natural bowel flora (bacteria) and help keep your bowels regular, immune system healthy and reduce gas formation and bloating.
Drink 1.5-2 litres of filtered water daily to aid bowel detoxification, and reduce consumption of caffeine, alcohol and soft drinks which are dehydrating, acid forming and irritating to the digestive system. Herbal teas and fresh vegetable juices are also good sources of hydration.
Exercise regularly to improve abdominal circulation and ensure a daily bowel motion which is your body’s primary method of daily waste removal. A minimum of 30 minutes brisk walking 4 times a week is a good start, and a regular abdominal massage will also aid digestive wellbeing.
Reduce your wheat and cow’s milk intake as these foods contain large protein molecules (gluten and casein respectively) which are irritating to the gut, and are known to contribute to bowel issues such as constipation or diahorrea, bloating or flatulence if consumed in large amounts.
Eat slowly and when relaxed to allow your body to digest food efficiently, preventing poor digestion and fermentation of food. Also practice mindful eating where you observe and chew each mouthful carefully without outside distraction from the TV or the internet.
To find out what is causing your bloating and what you can do to relieve it, contact me for an online or in-person Naturopath consultation (including your personalised diet and lifestyle recommendations), and finally experience a bloat free day!
Is Your Heartburn Due To Low Stomach Acid?
Heartburn, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a common digestive disorder causing pain in the esophagus and discomfort after eating. Unfortunately the acid-suppressing drugs such as proton pump inhibitors used to treat heartburn, have been linked to dangerous side effects after long-term use such as an increased risk of stroke and bacterial infections. 1.
Despite a burning sensation in your chest, heartburn is often caused by too little stomach acid and not too much. And Hypochlorhydria, or a low concentration of stomach acid, has in fact been linked to a long list of health disorders which affect brain, digestive, and immune function. 2.
Low stomach acid can also lead to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and subsequent bloating, due to the bacteria fermentation of undigested food in the digestive system. There is also the possibility that SIBO contributes to heartburn by creating increased intra-abdominal pressure, leading to dysfunction of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach. 3.
Common symptoms of low stomach acid include:
• Bloating after meals
• Upset stomach
• Food sensitivities
• Increased infections
A simple home test to check your stomach acid level which should be acidic or a low pH compared to the small intestine and esophagus which are alkaline, is to take 1 tsp of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar or 1 tbsp of Fresh Lemon Juice in a 1/3 glass of filtered water 20 mins before a meal containing animal protein, and observe if it helps to improve your digestive symptoms and to reduce bloating after meals. Avoid this test if you suffer from a peptic (gastric) ulcer or sensitive teeth, and trial at least 2 hours apart from antacid medications.
For further information and assistance with your health issues, contact experienced Naturopath Wendy for a personalised natural treatment plan.
Natural Remedies for Bloating and Digestive Health
Are you experiencing regular bouts of bloating or flatulence (wind) after meals? Do you find certain foods or drinks make you feel uncomfortable? Do you wish you could find a natural solution to your digestive discomfort? Well read on for my top tips for a healthy gut – digestive system:
There are many natural solutions for bloating and digestive discomfort. Keeping a daily food diary is the first step to help identify your food triggers, followed by a food sensitivity test to pinpoint your individual food allergens such as the in-clinic Food Detective test which provides a personalised list of your food sensitivities and only requires one small blood sample.
Many people benefit from reducing their intake of high inflammatory foods such as wheat, dairy, yeast and sugar. These foods are commonly eaten and can contribute to digestive pain and bloating by irritating the delicate small intestinal lining where most of our digestion occurs, and thus contributing to “leaky gut syndrome” or intestinal inflammation. 1.
The large protein gluten which is found in higher amounts in wheat products such as bread, and casein proteins (also known as A1 and A2) found in dairy products such as milk, are also inflammatory and can exacerbate leaky gut. Lactose (milk sugar) can also be an irritant to some people and can lead to lactose intolerance. Digestive symptoms such as constipation, DIARRHEA, irritable bowel and bloating can then occur, particularly if these food groups are consumed frequently. 2.
There have been many species of bacteria isolated in our gut flora over the last decade, linked to all sorts of health benefits including improved immunity, digestion and absorption of nutrients, healthy bowel motions, as well as improved moods. Unfortunately frequent use of medications such as antibiotics, steroids, vaccines and pain relief medications can all deplete these vital healthy bacteria and allow the proliferation of unhealthy bacteria, yeasts and other pathogens which in turn affect our immunity and overall health.
So what are some foods we can eat to aid digestion and help prevent bloating? The probiotic rich foods such as fermented vegetables (sauerkraut), non-dairy yoghurt or kefir (coconut), miso (fermented soybean paste), and non-wheat sourdough bread (rye or rice are options) are all beneficial in feeding healthy gut bacteria and aiding digestive health.
And by reducing our consumption of foods and drinks high in sugar and yeast such as bread and alcohol, we can allow our healthy bacteria to thrive. High quality probiotic supplements which contain multi species of healthy bacteria such as the Naturopath brand Multiflora probiotic, are also beneficial ways of supplementing our own bacteria and helping to relieve bloating and flatulence.
For further information on what you can do to aid your digestive health contact Wendy today for a detailed health and lifestyle plan tailored just for you.
Does Your Child Suffer From Frequent Illnesses?
As a parent you worry about your child’s health and their ability to recover quickly from bacterial and viral infections. Did you know that there are many natural products that can help your child to build natural immune resilience and help prevent re-occurrence of common childhood illnesses?
A good probiotic or healthy bacteria-bowel flora supplement, is crucial to support your child’s immunity from the inside out. Did you know our digestive system is comprised of hundreds of different bacterial species, all of which doing a very special job to keep us happy and healthy?
Common medications such as Antibiotics, Vaccinations and Over-The-Counter Pain Relief can disrupt this natural balance leading to digestive issues, skin and immune problems. An imbalance of gut bacteria can even affect our mental and emotional health due to the delicate brain-gut connection. Contact wendy for the best quality probiotic for your child.
Zinc and Vitamin C are two essential nutrients for immunity as well as digestive and skin health. Both of these important nutrients have multiple uses in the body, but their immune functions are crucial. Zinc is commonly found in animal foods such as oysters, red meat and liver, as well as nuts such as brazils, almonds and cashews. Vitamin C is abundant in many fruits and vegetables.
As these may not be foods your children often eats, a supplement is an ideal way to add Zinc and Vitamin C in your child’s diet, supporting their immunity in a tasty and efficient way. See wendy for a Naturopathic high quality and tasty Zinc and C supplement.
Cod Liver Oil has been used for many years as a natural lung and immune tonic. These days there are tasty versions which your child will enjoy. Cod Liver Oil has the natural benefit of fat soluble Vitamins A and D, as well as anti-inflammatory Omega 3 fatty acids. Vitamin A is a mucous membrane tonic which aids the lungs, eyes and skin and is very safe at the right dose.
It is naturally found in liver and egg yolks, and it can also be converted from yellow-orange vegetables such as carrots as needed. Vitamin D is another vitamin that is crucial to immune health and is often lacking due to our liberal use of sunscreen. The body converts natural sunshine via the skin into Vitamin D, as well as obtaining it naturally from sardines, eggs and dairy products. Ask wendy for a high quality child friendly Cod Liver Oil to add extra A, D and Omega 3 to your child’s daily diet.