Why am I constantly Bloated and Gassy? 🥴

Trust me, I know it’s not the most comfortable thing you want people to know and when you have an “episode” you do not want to be around anyone! BUT for someone like me who has battled Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS-C) for over 20 years, nothing is too uncomfortable to discuss, and I love answering this question and giving clients the answers they need. Thanks @thehealthsciences academy, this education has not only helped me but allows me to pass on this knowledge to help my clients with their specific gut needs…which is so common these days.

While many people who work in nutrition want to run away from this question, I LOVE answering this question head on. And for good reasons… There are so many things which could make a client bloated and gassy.

Sometimes it is not just one thing for each person, but rather a combination of things, making it even harder to diagnose. Essentially the mechanisms which make someone bloated and gassy are very similar. But the reasons this can happen are diverse.

When it comes down to it, gas and bloating are typically caused by either an excess in production of a particular type of gas, often due to bacteria in our gut, and/or a hypersensitivity to gas production. This means that either someone’s gut has too much hydrogen gas (as an example), or they are very sensitive to the gas they do produce.

What might make someone over-produce gas? 🥴
⭕ Well, bacteria is one answer we’ve already mentioned. Helpful and harmful bacteria live in our gut. What we eat can either promote the production of helpful or harmful bacteria. However, both these types of bacteria produce gas as a by-product of them feeding off the food we eat. So even an abundance of helpful healthy bacteria can be… well… unhelpful for some people.

Gut bacteria can also impact how our immune system functions. An abundance of harmful bacteria can trigger immune responses which may increase bloating in some people.

⭕ Hormones may also play a role in bloating.
This is evidenced by the fact that more women report bloating, and that this can be matched to their menstrual cycle.

⭕ Bloating may also be down to gut motility – that is, the speed at which your intestines move food through your system. A slower system equals more bloating. 🤢

⭕ Another cause may be to do with the way your abdominal muscles handle gas load. A normal response with increased gas is to relax your diaphragm and increase interior abdominal wall tone. In those with bloating the opposite happens. The real trick is figuring out which of these mechanisms are at play for and what is triggering them.