Bloating is one of the most common IBS symptoms reported with at least 66% of IBS sufferers experiencing it. You’re more likely to have it if you suffer with constipation-predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome and it’s more common in women with IBS than men with IBS.
You are bloated if your abdomen feels bigger or it feels like you have a lot of gas. It’s not the same as having an enlarged stomach as this is called abdominal distention.
Yesterday we talked about what could be causing it. Today we are talking about what you can do to reduce bloating.
If you are bloated and you’re constipated, sorting out the constipation can help relieve bloating. That’s because when you start to regularly move things through, you can provide an exit point for the gas. Check out my previous post Dietary Strategies for Constipation – you’ll love my recipe for Fig Syrup!
Here are 3 things that can help relieve the symptoms of constipation:
- increase your fluid intake (by fluid, I mean water, nothing sugary).
- get rid of the sugar, in all its forms
- move your body. Go for a brisk walk if, like me, you’re not keen on the whole running thing. Research shows that exercise can encourage peristalsis. Peristalsis is the rhythmic contraction and relaxation done by the muscles in your gut to move things along.
Add Aromatic Herbs to Your Diet
Aromatic herbs are the ones that smell amazing and are rich in volatile oils. Herbs such as cinnamon, oregano, thyme and rosemary are examples of aromatic herbs. Aromatic herbs are what herbalists call carminatives. It’s a lovely way of saying they help your body to disperse gas in a much more subtle way.
Add cinnamon to your Bircher Muesli in the morning
Reduce your intake of foods that encourage prolonged fermentation in your gut. The longer what you ate stays in your gut and ferments, the more gas gets produced. These foods are mainly your sugars and refined products – dairy, fructose, fructans, fiber, sorbitol.
Approach food elimination in a strategic way. Keep a food journal or diary and remove one item of food at a time. Keep it out of your diet for 3-weeks and then reintroduce it and notice how your body responds to it.
Probiotics but not Prebiotics
Invest in a good quality probiotic and take it for 30-days. Choose a probiotic that does not come packaged with a prebiotic.
What is the difference between probiotics and prebiotics?
Probiotics are microorganisms that support your gut flora, by introducing helpful bacteria. The most common probiotic strains found in supplements and food products such as yoghurt are, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium lactis, Bifidobacterium longum and Acidophilus spp.
Prebiotics are non-digestible food substances found in fibrous plant foods, such as bananas, onions and asparagus, and in cultured foods such as yoghurt, keffir and sauer kraut. Prebiotics are the equivalent of your probiotics’ food, so they are a good thing to package with your probiotic. Except when you have gas that is caused by an imbalanced gut flora. Because prebiotics act as a source of ‘fuel’ for probiotics, they’ll provide fuel for your unhelpful bacteria too, helping them to multiply. The more gas-producing bacteria in your gut, the more bloated you may feel. Examples of prebiotics to look for on the label include fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and inulin.
I read them all!
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