The place to find holistic information about your health

Let’s Talk About Bloating, Ladies!

Millions of people are bloated right now. Are you one of them? Maybe you have trouble zipping up your pants after a meal, or you’re so filled with hot air (literally) you’re afraid to go out in public for fear of letting out some gas. Ever notice looking like you have a food baby in the mirror after eating certain foods? You’re not the only one. Bloating (often accompanied by gas) comes in many forms, and happens for many reasons. A lot of it is digestive, but it’s not easy to change your eating habits in a world of conflicting food advice. But one thing’s for sure, bloating drags you down and makes you feel uncomfortable in your own skin.

Causes of Bloating

Your anatomy. According to Dr. Srivastava MD, an expert with the American Gastroenterological Association, bloating is one of the most common reasons women consult gastroenterologists. “It’s very close quarters,” she says. Women have multiple organs in the pelvic regions that men don’t, and colons about five centimeters longer than men’s, which, as a result, have less space, and must make more twists and turns to fit properly. This makes us more susceptible to constipation, which in turn can cause bloating! For those of you with PMS, you probably notice an increase in bloating along with other digestive issues around this time. Water retention and hormonal fluctuations are usually the culprit.

Gastrointestinal issues. Maybe it’s not surprising that women are also more likely to have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and bloating is one of the main symptoms. According to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, bloating is at play in anywhere from 23% to 96% of women with IBS, 50% with functional dyspepsia, and 56% with chronic constipation. Then there are also women who have nothing to write home about medically, but nonetheless suffer from chronic bloating. Do the symptoms in these conditions overlap? Yes. Does your diet cause them? Maybe. Does stress appear to trigger them? Why, yes, of course. Are any of these conditions fully understood? Not really, but what and when you eat play a major role.

Food stuff. It’s your diet. You may be ignoring signs you’re actually allergic or intolerant to certain foods because you don’t want to be a social pariah especially in NYC. Dairy and gluten are commonly to blame. So are soft drinks, gum, excess sugar, and processed foods in general. Here’s a list of some best and worse foods for bloating. But even when you’re only eating “the good stuff,” fruit, vegetables, etc., bloating can still rear its ugly head! Why? Some people can’t digest raw foods and do better with cooked warm vegetables.

Abdominal surgery. If you’ve had a C-section, hysterectomy, or appendectomy, chances are high that you have scar tissue on your colon, causing even more turns and kinks, leading to even more retention of stool and gas! Stuff the doctor probably never brought up.

What can you do?

  • Keep a food diary to track your eating, bloating and stressing patterns. You’d be surprised what insight can come from this simple exercise.
  • Regular exercise can do wonders to help with your digestive flow! The simple act of walking encourages movement of the bowels, gas relief, and constipation. Try these yoga poses for digestion.
  • Integrating probiotics, or probiotic foods into your diet can also make a positive difference.
  • Visit us at Urban Wellness Clinic! No matter what the real or perceived cause of your bloating, we’re experienced at getting to the source of your problem. We fully assess your symptoms and medical history and customize a holistic approach which works with you. In addition to our incredible Nutritional Therapist Dr. Kaitlyn Clarke, you also have an entire team of diverse healing practitioners at your service. Get started now and welcome the new and improved you—someone who functions optimally, efficiently, and happily.

Get in touch with us today at info@urbanwellnessclinic or 212-355-0445.

Best in health,

Dr Emily Kiberd