Bloating Got you Feeling Like a Puffer Fish?
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on January 5, 2011 by Paulina Nelega, RH
We had a great question from one of our Fans about bloating… the day will usually start out fine, but by the evening, she can look 9 months pregnant! (and feeling like a puffer fish)
Bloating happens when there’s too much fluid and/or gas accumulation in the abdomen (it can also be due to obstruction from a growth or tumour, so it’s always a good idea to get it checked out).
Often, there can be an underlying food intolerance causing inflammation of the lining of the intestinal tract. When that happens, fluid accumulates in the inflamed tissues, leading to swelling. Some of the most common dietary triggers are lactose, eggs, wheat, corn, soy, citrus, peanuts, and shellfish. Try eliminating these from your diet, one at a time, and see if there’s any improvement. You can also get a comprehensive food sensitivity test done through your doctor or naturopath.
Another reason for bloating is that your digestive juices may not be strong enough. This can happen as a result of diet, lifestyle, stress, and even certain medications. When food isn’t digested properly, it can end up sitting too long in the intestinal tract and fermenting. And a major byproduct of that fermentation is – gas!
Alongside eating a healthy diet and maintaining a balanced lifestyle, try supplementing with digestive enzymes and probiotics (“healthy bacteria”).
Constipation can also make us bloated. Try increasing your fiber intake, mostly from fresh fruits and vegetables. Many of us are also chronically dehydrated, so ensure that you’re drinking enough water, too.
Drinking 1-2 cups a day of a digestive tea blend including meadowsweet, chamomile, fennel and ginger, will support hydrochloric acid production and other digestive secretions, and help keep you hydrated!
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan