Let me be the one to burst your bubble..
As a naturopathic doctor who specializes in digestive disorders, you can imagine, bloat is something I deal with quite often. Bloating comes in all shapes and sized and the symptom can range from a simple annoyance to excruciating sharp pain. People commonly explain the feeling as a fullness in the abdomen. Sometimes it even sticks out, making them “look 3 months pregnant!”. It can be accompanied by stinky often inconvenient gas or belching. Bloat is commonly a unpleasant side effect of over eating or eating foods that don't agree with you.. like cheese. You may love cheese but lets be honest, cheese doesn't love you! My point here is that diet is extremely important but we can't be perfect all the time, I get it.
The recommendations I will make below are for symptom relief only and are not meant to act in place of medical treatment or a healthy diet.
Here are 3 of my most effective tools for dealing with the discomfort of bloat:
1. Activated charcoal. This is a supplement most of us have herd of, but few know how to use. Activated charcoal is amazing for people who have bloating that is accompanies by gas after meals. The charcoal actually binds to the gas to get it out of the intestine!! This is something safe and effective that can be given to children and adults. It is great to keep around the home for tummy aches and bloating of all kinds and can also be used for cases of food poisoning or when you overdue it on the booze.
Causation should be taken when using this supplement if you are taking any prescription medication. Because it is a binder you need to take it at least an hour away form any medication or supplements.
2. Lycapodium 30c. This is a homeopathic remedy, meaning it works on your body energetically. Don’t think to hard about what that means just know that it works! This is by far the best remedy to find relief from sharp gas pains and bloating. It is best for those who feel their bloating and discomfort would be better if they could just fart. (note: If you feel like belching would make the bloat better than your remedy may be Carbo Veg 30c.) In my practice I see great results using this remedy when people have pain after eating gluten or dairy.
Dosing for homeopathic remedies is 4-5pellets under the tongue as needed for bloat. Try to take 20 min away from food and drink. (for kiddos use 3 pellets)
3. Digestive enzymes – Different digestive enzymes work in different areas of the GI tract but they all help to increase increase digestive FIRE! AKA break down and absorption of nutrients. Many patients with bloat from overeating will benefit from a digestive enzyme that includes Betaine HCL or hydrochloric acid as it will increase the digestive power in the stomach. Another added benefit from Betaine HCL is relief from periodic acid reflux due to low acid production. A condition that is much more prevalent then too much acid and is usually the cause of heart burn.
People who have a hard time digesting fat, aka fatty meals make you nauseous or you have no gall bladder, will benefit from using bile salts during or after meals. Look for a supplement with ox-bile and pancreatic enzymes to help break down fats, peptides, and carbohydrates in the small intestine. Supporting healthy bile benefits so many areas of the body but in my practice, I use Ox Bile as part of a healthy weight loss regiment as it emulsifies fat!
If you are someone who experiences uncomfortable bloat daily, please see your naturopathic doctor to find the root cause of your digestive troubles. DO NOT just live with these uncomfortable symptoms because they are likely a sign of underlying issues. These could include things like candida overgrowth, food intolerance or leaky gut, and impaired digestion. Your naturopathic doctor will be able help properly diagnose and treat you with a personalize nutrition and supplementation plan.
I hope that with the Holidays just a hop skip and a jump away these Naturopathic tips help keep you happy and healthy!