bloating after food

Bloating After Food – 3 Overlooked Causes

Bloating after food is often put down to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which is sometimes a lazy diagnosis. It can be so bad at times you could suddenly look like you’re about to have a baby!

In this blog I’m going to look at three common but overlooked/ignored reasons for bloating after food.

Bloating After Food Due To Intolerances

Bloating after food can be triggered by eating something you’re intolerant to. Common culprits are gluten and dairy.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. People with Coeliac disease are completely allergic and get ill if they eat it. Many other people are not allergic but intolerant. The symptoms aren’t as severe, but they can still make you feel rotten – it’s not always just bloating. It can also completely wipe your energy out too, even the day after.

When it comes to dairy people can be intolerant of the sugar lactose, the proteins, or both. Lactose intolerance often makes you loose too.

Often people with a gluten intolerance can have an intolerance to dairy as well, because the proteins in each have a similar molecular structure.

Gluten and dairy are the common ones, but people can be intolerant to anything they’re ingesting. It can take some detective work to find out what it is for you. A good place to start is keeping a food and symptom diary.

If you suspect you have a problem with gluten or dairy cut them out for a couple of weeks and see what happens.

Not Enough Stomach Acid

If you don’t have enough stomach acid you can’t digest your food properly, and one symptom of this is bloating after food. Reasons for reduced stomach acid include:

  • Increasing age – stomach acid reduces as we get older
  • Eating too often – stomach acid needs time to build up between meals
  • Taking acid suppressing medication

Don’t stop taking any prescribed medication without speaking with your doctor.

Another common symptom of reduced stomach acid is heartburn – learn more here.

You can do DIY test at home to check your stomach acid, it’s really easy to do.

Bacteria In The Upper Gut

The stomach should be very acidic, and one role of acid is to kill off bugs. Low stomach acid makes the upper gut more welcoming to bacteria, and the can end up taking residence in the upper gut. This is known small bowel bacterial overgrowth.

Another reason bacteria can get a foot hold in the upper gut is by providing them with the type of food they thrive on – sugar and refined carbs. As they feast on this sugar gas is produced leading to bloating after food.

Restoring stomach acid and cutting back on sugar and carbs is going to help.

Symptoms Are There For A Reason!

Bloating after food is annoying, but your body is trying to tell you something. These days it’s all too easy to take medications to suppress symptoms, allowing the cause of those symptoms to continue.

It really it worth doing a bit of your own detective work, and find out what’s causing this problem. Once you do you can get rid of it, and not have to loosen your belt half way through dinner.

Have a great week!

Dr Julie

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