Bloating is definitely one of the most unpleasant digestive problems you might experience. It can make your stomach look the size of a basketball, and is usually accompanied by an unpleasant feeling in the stomach. It is most often a harmless problem (such as a side-effect of a heavy meal), but it may indicate ovarian or colon cancer in some cases.
Here are the most common causes of bloating:
- Irregular meals
- Insulin resistance
- Lack of digestive enzymes
- Gluten sensitivity
- Food intolerance
- Intestinal parasites
- Poor food combinations
- Intestinal yeast overgrowth
Patients are usually tested for food intolerance and celiac disease as well as gluten sensitivity or insulin resistance. However, it’s also important to pay more attention to the early signs of bloating in order to detect the real problem and treat it appropriately.
Here are the main causes of bloating and how to fix the problem:
1. Insulin resistance
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas which has the role of neutralizing the excess glucose in our blood. When we eat, the insulin levels are higher in order to prevent glucose spikes. However, if the cells don’t respond to it, it can lead to insulin resistance and raise the risk of diabetes. Carb and sugar cravings as well as weight gain and bloating are the most common symptoms of insulin resistance. Luckily, the problem can be fixed before diabetes develops – all you need to do is eat a healthy diet and start exercising regularly.
2. Intestinal yeast overgrowth
Long-term antibiotics use is the main cause of intestinal yeast overgrowth. Antibiotics may help you against some kind of infection, but they can also destroy your intestinal microflora, which allows yeast to wreak havoc in your system. An overgrowth of yeast in the digestive system may cause bloating, sugar and carb cravings as well as increased appetite, vaginal yeast infections and brain fog as well. Cleaning your digestive system and consuming probiotics more often are the two simplest ways to restore your intestinal microflora.
3. Irregular meals
Eating irregular meals will definitely cause bloating and other symptoms such as excess gasses as well. Eating a heavy meal before going to bed will do the same, as can skipping breakfast. Irregular meals will definitely harm your digestion and cause your glucose levels to run high. This will cause bloating and other digestive problem, and lower your energy levels as well. In this case, most people drink coffee to get their energy levels back up, which is even worse. To regulate your digestive system, you should drink coffee an hour after getting up, have a lunch at mid-day and never eat dinner after 7 PM. You can have snacks between the meals, but make sure to keep them light.
4. Food intolerance
Food intolerance and food allergies are different. The symptoms of food intolerance are mild at the beginning – you can experience swelling, itching or anaphylaxis later than allergies. The main cause of food intolerance is inflammation in the body and too much stress which can irritate the digestive tract. The most common foods that can cause intolerance are eggs, corn, gluten, fruit and nuts.
Food intolerance can be confirmed via blood tests. These tests should be regularly taken if you’re a diabetic, or you have a family history of asthma, allergies or eczema. The intolerance can also lower your energy levels and cause skin and digestive problems such as bloating.
5. Lack of digestive enzymes
The pancreas produces digestive enzymes that help the digestive system breakdown food into essential nutrients such as lactose, fats and protein. However, bacterial overgrowth, bacteria, parasites, some foods, yeast and chronic stress can affect the production of these hormones negatively, resulting in problems such as indigestion and bloating.
Lactose intolerance is one of the most common for of enzyme deficiency, and is known to be harmful. If you think you’re suffering from this problem, we suggest visiting a doctor in order to resolve it on time.
6. Gluten sensitivity\Celiac disease
Gluten sensitivity is a serious problem nowadays, and one of the main causes of inflammation in the digestive tract and symptoms such as bloating. Celiac disease is even worse, and they are both connected to gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and other grains which can wreak havoc in your digestive system. If you think you’re gluten intolerant, make sure to visit your doctor who can diagnose the problem and put you on an appropriate therapy.
7. Poor food combinations
Some food combination can cause more than bloating – for example, you should never mix fruits and vegetables. You should also never eat a watermelon after having fish for dinner, as well as protein and carbs in one meal. Separating the proteins and carbs will keep your digestive system in balance and prevent bloating and other symptoms as well.
8. Parasite or bacterial intestinal overgrowth
Excess bacteria or parasites in the intestines can result in an overgrowth and infections which can lead to bloating and more serious digestive problems including diarrhea, constipation or weight loss. This can be detected with a stool sample and treated appropriately.