This is a question people ask us a lot. You may have identified one or two foods that definitely set off bloating after eating, but everything else is a grey area. Or you have tried low FODMAP diet with some initial success. But now your bloating or gas has returned with a vengeance, or is being triggered by stress. So what do you do? You can ask yourself the following questions to help identify where to start:
Is the bloating accompanied by alternating bowel movements like constipation or diarrhoea?
If so, you may have IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). The first step for IBS is to remove inflammatory food triggers for at least 5 weeks. To identify your trigger foods try our IgG test options, the most comprehensive being the ImuPro Complete 270. Eliminating IgG trigger foods performed better than a low FODMAP diet for reducing IBS symptoms. This is because it is not always the last food you ate causing symptoms. Delayed food allergies can lead to symptoms hours or up to 3 days after a trigger food is eaten. Additionally, you can pair the blood test our stool test and receive $160 off, via our Gut Health Package.
Have you had antibiotics, excess alcohol/medications or travelled overseas in the last few years?
If yes to any or all of these, your bloating may be originating from dysbiosis of the gut microbiome. This is where the balance of good bacteria in our gut is thrown off, and bad bacteria have been able to set up shop. The result is the production of gases when food lands in the large bowel. Cue the telltale swelling that appears as abdominal distention, leaving you feeling bloated and looking pregnant. Dysbiosis can be set off by antibiotics, too much alcohol, extremely restricted or fatty/low fibre diets, certain medications and some overseas travel destinations. Unfortunately diets like low FODMAP or paleo end up starving our gut bacteria, creating deficiencies in important good species. What happens next is that you cannot break down foods properly and the cycle continues. Some examples of gut dysbiosis we see are parasitic infection, Candida overgrowth, bacterial overgrowths (including SIBO) and deficiency of good flora. To test your gut bacteria we recommend the Comprehensive Stool Flora Analysis. You will find out which prebiotics, probiotics, foods and natural remedies will balance your biome.
Is your bloating triggered by stress?
Removing inflammatory trigger foods and rebalancing the gut microbiome is often enough to completely eliminate bloating and restore gut health. However, if you want to go an extra step and address your stress levels, try the NeuroSpot Stress Test. For many people bloating or IBS is triggered by anxiety, circumstances outside of our control, or just being worry-prone. In all of these situations, distress signals are sent from the brain to the gut via the vagus nerve, called the gut-brain axis. Identify your levels of neurotransmitters (many of which are made in the gut) to gain insight into how to lower your stress response and keep bloating away.