Bloating is one of the most common digestive symptoms you can experience. In addition to bloating, two-thirds of Americans also experience heartburn, diarrhea, or constipation. Some people experience more than one symptom that may range from mildly uncomfortable to painful.
Depending on the food you’re consuming, it’s normal to have symptoms of indigestion from time to time. But if indigestion becomes too frequent or too painful, it should be addressed.
What Causes Bloating?
Bloating is when your gastrointestinal (GI) tract is filled with gas or air. This bloats out your abdomen, causing pain and discomfort as if you have eaten too much food. Your GI tract reaches from your mouth right down to the anus and includes all of your digestive system.
Here are a few reasons for bloating:
Diet and Food Allergies
Your diet is one of the most significant factors in your gut’s health. Eating foods high in refined sugars and low in fiber, as well as fermentable fiber, will cause bloating and gas. For instance, dairy products and sauerkraut contain fermentable carbohydrates that feed bacteria. These foods are categorized as high FODMAP (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols) foods, which can worsen your dietary issue.
However, research supports a diet of high-fiber vegetables, fruits, and whole grains can reverse some of your issues by increasing your levels of butyrate. This is a short-chain fatty acid that has protective functions in your body. Low FODMAP foods like cucumbers, carrots, strawberries, oranges, and eggs can minimize bloating and other digestive symptoms.
Food allergies and food sensitivities can also cause bloating. For instance, if you’re lactose intolerant, consuming foods that contain it can cause unpleasant bloating and indigestion. Other possible culprits are wheat, gluten, or sugar.
Another common reason for bloating is the overgrowth of microbiota. Your gut holds trillions of microbiota which includes yeasts, bacteria, and protozoa. Sufferers of IBS experience bloat because of good and bad bacteria imbalances in their gut or bacterial infections. These can cause inflammation of your gut lining and increase gas production.
Stress and your gut health are closely linked. Research tells us there is a connection between your brain and your gut, called the gut-brain axis. When you face stress, your brain communicates with your nervous system and effectively shuts down your digestive functions. The food you have eaten can’t be digested properly, leading to bloating, tummy pain, gas, and constipation.
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What is Microbiome
Microbiomes are live organisms that live in your body, with the most significant number existing in your large and small intestines. They consist of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites. These microorganisms are divided into two groups - one group that is helpful and those that are harmful to your health.
When your health is optimal, these microbiome coexist in a happy balance. But if your diet, illness, or prolonged use of antibiotics causes an imbalance, dysbiosis happens. This disrupts the smooth operation of some of your body functions and can make you susceptible to sickness. This is how important the balance of microbiome is to your overall health and wellbeing.
We all have our own unique microbiome that is a combination of our diets, activity levels, and stress.
Microbiome support your immune system, break down toxins, and synthesize some vitamins and amino acids. In your gut, they work with digestive enzymes to break down the nutrients and indigestible fiber in the food you eat. As you can see, their role is essential to your good health. When the balance is disturbed and the harmful bacteria overpopulate your digestive tract, there isn’t enough good microbiome to efficiently carry out their functions.
Once an imbalance is discovered, you may wonder if there is any remedy. There is. Probiotics can restore a healthy balance in your body.
What Are Probiotics?
No doubt, you’ve heard of probiotics. They are live microorganisms that are especially helpful in gaining and retaining gut health. They do this by restoring the balance of the microbiome. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that we can obtain from the foods we eat or in supplements. You can take probiotic supplements if during an illness you’ve been prescribed antibiotics. The supplements can increase the levels of microbiome that have been depleted.
Types of Probiotics
Most probiotics come from two groups - Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus.
- Bifidobacterium. This type of probiotic is found in some dairy products and may be especially helpful in combating the symptoms of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and other similar conditions.
- Lactobacillus. This is the most common type of probiotic. It’s in yogurts and other fermented foods, and different strains of this type are effective against diarrhea and aiding with lactose intolerance.
- Saccharomyces boulardii isn’t a type of probiotic, but it is a yeast found in probiotics. It also helps to fix diarrhea and other digestive issues.
Probiotics: How They Work
You have nerves that help move food through your gut, and probiotics aid this process by affecting those nerves. Although some of the ways that probiotics work are still unknown, a few of the digestive conditions they treat are:
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Diarrhea (due to antibiotics)
- Infectious diarrhea (due to bacteria, viruses, or parasites)
Probiotics can also help with other non-digestive conditions.
Related: What Are Probiotic Drinks?
The Last Word on Probiotics for Bloating
Bloating is a gaseous build-up in your digestive tract, causing you pain and discomfort. It may be caused by the foods you’re eating, stress, dysbiosis, or food intolerances. Taking probiotics can help you keep the microbiome of your gut in balance, allowing your digestion and other body functions to work efficiently - ridding you of bloat fast.Are you ready to try one of our delicious probiotic shots? View our products at Sunny Culture today.