Bloating is a common and uncomfortable phenomenon most of us experience from time to time, however, feeling bloated doesn’t have to be your normal.
“Feeling bloated doesn’t have to be your normal.”
Bloating typically occurs when your body (or your bacteria!) has interacted with food, leaving you with inflammation or a bloat around the belly button. While bloating is considered common in the modern world, it’s actually not normal to ever experience bloating; it’s a sign of intestinal inflammation. If you do experience extreme bloating often, you may be experiencing food sensitivities and/ or gut issues such as SIBO.
SIBO stands for small intestine bacterial overgrowth and is a common reason we experience bloating around the belly button that tends to increase over the day.
“SIBO stands for small intestine bacterial overgrowth.”
SIBO is when some of the bacteria (this may be beneficial or non-beneficial) makes it way from the large intestine to the small intestine. When this happens, the bacteria in the small intestine begin to ferment our undigested food - before we even get the chance to! It’s the fermentation process happening in the small intestine that causes gas and bloating - it’s not necessarily the food that you are eating.
“The bacteria in the small intestine begin to ferment our undigested food - before we even get the chance to!”
However, this does not mean that the food you’re eating has nothing to do with it. And ironically, even some of the healthiest eaters experience bloating! This is because everyone’s body and microbiome are unique to them, so if you’re not eating right for you, your microbiome may become out of balance
When our microbiome becomes out of balance, we can lose the diversity of our bacteria. When this happens we may experience an overgrowth of one bacteria or yeast and they too, start moving from the large, into the small intestine. Even good bacteria in the wrong place can cause problems.
“Even good bacteria in the wrong place can cause problems.”
There are many factors that contribute to the development of SIBO, however, the two main reasons we see at the BePure Clinic are; low stomach acid and an unbalanced microbiome.
Low stomach acid is associated with stress, a deficiency in zinc and/or other gut issues. Strong stomach acid is required to maintain the correct pH of your small intestine. Ensuring you have the right pH in you small intestine will discourage growth of the wrong types of bacteria or yeasts. The stronger our stomach acid, the better the balance of bacteria is.
“The stronger our stomach acid, the better the balance of bacteria is.”
A diverse microbiome is linked to great health and digestion so conversely, low diversity is linked to bloating and digestive issues such as SIBO. Antibiotics, alcohol, caffeine and a diet high in processed sugar and refined grains contribute towards a loss of microbiome diversity.
So what can you do to support your body if you have SIBO? We’ve put together these 7 tips to support your body if you have SIBO. Let’s take a closer look…
Anyone with SIBO should avoid all fermented foods until they’ve had a chance to deal with the bacteria overgrowth. If you have SIBO it’s important you work on clearing the overgrowth of bacteria before adding extra bacteria in.
“If you have SIBO it’s important you work on clearing the overgrowth of bacteria before adding extra bacteria in.”
Drinking 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar or lemon in warm water before meals helps to stimulate stomach acid production. This supports your body to break down foods so you can absorb nutrients.
You can also supplement with a digestive enzyme support like BePure Gut Assist. BePure Gut Assist is an all in one, high strength upper digestive support. Formulated with powerful active digestive enzymes to reduce bloating and effectively break down all carbohydrate, fat and protein foods in your diet for optimal digestion and nutrient absorption.
The digestion process actually begins in the mouth, when we chew our food and mix it with saliva. The enzymes present in our saliva start the process of breaking down our food, in particular, carbohydrates. This also triggers the release of stomach acid in our stomach and bile in our small intestine, readying it to receive the food and break it down effectively.
As mentioned earlier, low zinc is often seen alongside SIBO. This is because zinc is required for the cells in our stomach to produce stomach acid. It’s a good idea to get your zinc levels checked and supplement with zinc if required. You can test your zinc levels with the BePure Zinc Taste Test.
Eat a nutrient-rich wholefoods diet that is right for you. Reduce the amount of processed sugar and refined grains. Processed foods tend to feed the wrong types of bacteria. Everyone’s body and microbiome are unique to them, meaning eating the right foods for you is essential to your overall health and vitality and in turn, not feeling bloated.
Our stomach acid production is reduced if our body perceives that we are stressed. Eating on the go sends a message of ‘stress’ to the body. If you are particularly stressed at meal times, you might even benefit from doing a couple of deep belly breaths before eating.
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