Gut and Skin Health Expert Blog | The Y Collection

Is Poor Gut Health Causing Bloating and What can you do About it?

by Jelena Vulevic on May 17, 2023

Do you ever feel like your stomach is distended or heavy? Have you ever wondered "why am I so bloated I look pregnant," or "why does my stomach feel so heavy and bloated?" Do you experience bloating after eating anything or even very little? If you can relate to any of these questions, know that you're not alone. Bloating is a common issue that affects people of all ages, and it can be uncomfortable, frustrating, and even embarrassing. 

In this article, we'll explore the science behind bloating, the common causes, and what you can do to improve your gut health and alleviate bloating. So, whether you're dealing with occasional bloating or it's a persistent issue, keep reading to find out what helps with bloating.

You don’t have to live with that uncomfortable bloated feeling. Find out if Y GUT sensitive is right for you.

What exactly is bloating and why does it happen?

Bloating is a feeling of fullness or tightness in the abdomen, often accompanied by gas and discomfort. It can make your stomach look larger than usual, cause pain, cramping, belching, constipation, or diarrhoea. Several factors can cause bloating, including overeating, eating too quickly, food allergies, and chronic conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Bloating occurs when food is not properly broken down and becomes available to gut microbes that produce gas. The gas is usually expelled through burping or flatulence, but if it is excessive or retained, it can lead to bloating.

Some of the most common causes of bloating 

Several factors contribute to bloating, including eating too quickly, food allergies, excessive sugar intake and chronic conditions. Identifying these common causes can help you understand and address the root of your bloating issues. 

  • Eating too quickly or overeating 

Eating too quickly means undigested food is available to gut microbiota that produce gas causing bloating. Swallowing air also contributes to bloating.

Overeating slows down digestion and stresses the digestive system by releasing hormones. It stretches the stomach, causing discomfort, pressure, acid reflux and heartburn. The excess food takes longer to digest, leading to a gas buildup in the intestines, further causing bloating and discomfort. 

  • Food allergies 

Eating allergenic foods can trigger an immune response leading to inflammation and excess gas production in the digestive tract. Common allergenic foods include gluten, dairy, and nuts.

  • Sugar overload 

Sugar quickly raises blood sugar levels, triggering the release of insulin that can lead to inflammation and excess gas in the digestive tract.

  • Chronic conditions 

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), IBS and other similar conditions can cause inflammation in the digestive tract, leading to excess gas production and retention.

How gut health impacts bloating 

Bloating and gut health are closely linked and if you are wondering how to improve bloating, start with prioritising your gut health and addressing any signs of an unhealthy gut. The gut microbiota, consisting of trillions of microbes, plays a crucial role in breaking down food, absorbing nutrients, and regulating the immune system. When the gut microbiota is imbalanced, gas production and removal are affected, leading to bloating and other digestive symptoms.

Research has also shown that the impact of stress on the gut is significant, increasing inflammation and reducing the diversity of gut bacteria. This can lead to bloating, as well as other digestive issues like diarrhoea and constipation.

How to find out what is causing your bloating 

If you are experiencing bloating, it can be helpful to determine what is causing it. Here are some ways to find out what might be the reason for your bloating:

  1. Keep a food diary: Track what you eat, when you eat it, and any symptoms you experience afterwards. This can help you identify specific foods or beverages that trigger your bloating.
  2. Try an elimination diet: Eliminate common trigger foods, such as dairy, gluten, and soy, one at a time for at least two weeks, to see if your symptoms improve. Reintroduce each food back into your diet slowly and one at a time, to see if your symptoms return. Avoid excessive elimination diets without professional guidance as they can be risky in the long run.
  3. Get tested for food allergies or intolerances: See a healthcare professional for testing and consider an elimination diet to determine if a specific food is causing bloating. 
  4. Check your medication: Certain medications can cause bloating, so check with your healthcare professional.
  5. Screen for medical conditions: If bloating is persistent or severe, see a healthcare professional to screen for underlying medical conditions, such as IBS, IBD or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). 

The role of probiotics and gut health supplements 

The best gut health supplements are functional foods that belong to a group called bioticsThey include probiotics (live microbes), prebiotics (food for probiotics) and postbiotics (metabolites of probiotics). Some can be used as supplements for bloating but finding the right one for you might need a lot of trial and error because we are all unique and this greatly influences the effect of biotics on our

Generally, best probiotic for bloating is one that contains strains of bacteria that have been shown to be effective in clinical trials, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis. However, the exact effects and dosages of these and other different strains of probiotics are still being studied. A recent review of over 100 clinical studies has shown that your age, sex and the reason for bloating is important. For example, a combination of those three strains works best in males who suffer from bloating and diarrhoea whereas in females, lactobacilli strains alone perform better. At the same time, if bloating is associated with constipation, then exclusion of Lactobacillus acidophilus is preferred. 

Prebiotics can help regulate bowel movements which can reduce bloating in some individuals but in others they can make things worse because most prebiotics increase the production of gas in the intestine. For example, inulin (naturally found in artichokes, garlic, onion, etc) can be beneficial as a supplement but if the dose is too high it will have a negative effect on bloating. In this case too, the choice, and more importantly, the dose is very important. The mix of science backed, and well researched biotics is sometimes the best option. For example, our own Y GUT sensitive  is one example of such a product that can be a beneficial supplement for bloating.

In addition to biotics, other ingredients that make gut supplement claims (although without much clinical evidence to back them up)and may help to combat bloating include:

  • Digestive enzymes that can help break down food more efficiently,
  • Peppermint oil that helps reduce bloating in some cases, though it can also cause heartburn and other digestive symptoms, 
  • Ginger and chamomile tea have some anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe the digestive tract and reduce bloating,
  • Fennel seeds have been used for centuries as a digestive aid and can be chewed or brewed as a tea to alleviate bloating.,
  • Some of the best vitamins for bloating that can help immune function and reduce inflammation include vitamin D, and B vitamins.

When choosing the best supplement for bloating, it’s important to look for those that are specifically designed for gut health and contain high-quality and science-backed ingredients. It's also important to approach any supplement or intervention with caution, particularly if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking any medications. It's also worth noting that lifestyle changes, such as dietary modifications and stress reduction techniques, can also help with bloating. 

What can actually help with bloating?

Bloating can be a challenging issue to deal with, but there are ways to alleviate symptoms and promote gut health. Below are some tips and actionable advice to help you feel better:

Eat gut-friendly foods 

Promote gut health with gut health foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein sources, and fermented foods. These foods contain biotics that help promote a healthy gut environment and improve digestion. Avoid processed and high-fat foods that can cause bloating.

Reduce sugar intake 

Reducing sugar intake can improve bloating and gut health. Avoid sugary foods and drinks like snacks, desserts, fizzy drinks and juice. Choose low-sugar alternatives like fresh fruit, unsweetened yoghurt, and water.

Eat regular meals and reduce snacking 

Regular eating and reduced snacking can improve bloating and gut health. Frequent eating overloads your digestive system and leads to bloating. Instead, stick to three meals per day and avoid snacking.

Take the right gut health supplements 

As discussed earlier, biotics and other supplements can help alleviate bloating. It's important to choose supplements that contain high-quality ingredients that target gut health and consult with a healthcare professional if you are not sure. It's also important to accept that some trial and error will be required until you find the best supplement for you.

Exercises and stretching 

Physical activity helps to stimulate the digestive system and can promote healthy bowel movements. Yoga, walking or other forms of stretching can also help to relieve tension in the abdominal area and improve digestion.

Drink enough fluids 

Staying hydrated by drinking enough fluids, especially water, can reduce bloating by promoting healthy digestion and reducing constipation.

Key takeaways 

Bloating is a common problem that can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor gut health. By understanding the connection between gut health and bloating, and taking steps to improve gut health, such as consuming gut-friendly foods, reducing sugar intake, and taking the right gut health supplements, you can reduce bloating and promote better digestive health.

It's important to listen to your body and make changes that work for you. It's crucial to consult a healthcare professional for chronic bloating or other digestive issues. Remember, taking care of gut health is an ongoing process. By making small, sustainable changes to your diet and lifestyle, you can promote better gut health and alleviate bloating for the long-term.

You don’t have to live with that uncomfortable bloated feeling. Find out if Y GUT sensitive is right for you.