You know that feeling – where you woke up just fine but by the end of the day you're ready to burst out of your jeans?
Perhaps you feel like you could literally clear out a room with the amount of smelly, gassy air you're expelling?
Bloating and gas can cause embarrassment and does nothing for one's self-esteem. I can help you!
Read on if you want to know the reasons why you could be so bloated and gassy.
1. You're constipated
The longer your stool stays in your colon the more the bacteria there will ferment it. This will produce more gas and cause more bloating. Bloating from constipation can even cause back pain.
Your pipes should move at least once daily and with ease. Ideally you're having two to three bowel movements daily. If things aren't so regular, you may want to check that you're drinking enough water, moving your body throughout the day and eating the right types of fibre.
If you feel you're already doing all the right things and you still feel constipated and bloated get in touch with me.
2. You have a food intolerance
You feel you're reacting to everything! You feel bloated, gassy, a bit rubbish – and it’s often mistaken for a food intolerance. And that assumption means that we tend to cut out certain foods from our diet altogether.
What's really happening is your body is struggling to break down particular food particles due to an enzyme or stomach acid deficiency. I explain more about food intolerance in this blog post.
Putting in nutritional and short-term supplement support for digestive enzyme production, bile and/or stomach acid can help. Taking steps to strengthen the gut barrier can also be really beneficial if you suspect food intolerance.
Cutting out foods and avoiding more and more food groups does not solve food intolerance in the long term because you are not addressing the underlying issue – the enzyme and acid deficiency and/or your leaky gut. I can help you!
3. Bacterial infection in your gut
You may have gut dysbiosis, an unhealthy balance of bacteria in your gut. For instance, if you have high levels of methane producing bacteria in your large intestine you probably produce foul smelling farts more frequently and experience constipation.
The types and abundance of bacteria which you harbour in your gut can be identified through comprehensive stool testing and the balance of bacteria can be addressed with tailored diet and supplement plan, created by your nutritionist.
If you experience bloating, excessive burping and constipation you may have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, also known as SIBO. A simple breath test or comprehensive stool test can be helpful to identify what's really going on.
4. You've had your gallbladder removed
Your gallbladder stores bile, a substance that helps you digest dietary fats and absorb fat soluble vitamins (like vitamins A, D, E and K).
When you have a healthy gallbladder, bile is released as needed at mealtimes to help you digest your meal.
Once your gallbladder is removed you can no longer store bile. Instead bile is continuously dripping straight into your intestine (even when there is no food to digest). This creates a laxative effect and increases your risk of diarrhoea and bloating.
Having your gallbladder removed also reduces your ability to digest and absorb fat and fat-soluble vitamins. With the right diet and tailored supplement support, it is possible to help your body digest fat more easily again and feel more comfortable. Get in touch with me to find out more.
5. Your portion sizes are too big
When you consume large amounts of food, your body needs to work harder to break down and digest everything.
Digestion is a lengthy process. Your stomach has to produce a greater amount of enzymes and stomach acid in order to sufficiently break down the large portion of food you have consumed. Insufficient stomach acid and digestive enzymes can lead to bloating after a large meal.
If you find your portion sizes are too big, try eating off a smaller plate
6. You're eating too fast
It takes your brain 20 minutes to register fullness. So next time you go to eat, slow down and give your body a chance to catch up with your eating.
Eating more slowly will also reduce the risk of overeating which contributes to bloating.
7. You're skipping meals
Skipping meals is going to increase your hunger later on in the day. This can lead you to eat too much, too quickly at your next meal, and may lead to bloating.
8. You're consuming fizzy drinks
The carbonation in fizzy drinks can cause gas to become trapped in your stomach leading to bloating and belching in attempts to remove the gas. Drink fizzy drinks slowly to minimise the amount of air entering your stomach.
🚩 Bloating red flags 🚩
If you experience unexplained or excessive bloating speak to your GP as it could be a sign of cancer or other serious disease.
What to do next...
It’s time to break free from never-ending tummy troubles for good with my 90 Days to Better Gut Health 1:1 Plan! If you're ready to get to the bottom of your gut health issues and FINALLY feel like yourself again book a call now.
Tired of misdiagnosed or dismissed tummy troubles?
Frustrated with endless nights searching the web for answers?
Sick of your digestive system dictating (and often ruining) your day?
Fed-up playing a guessing game with your gut health?
There’s no denying that gut health issues can be debilitating and frustrating.
Especially when your GP gives you the “all clear” or your test results come back “normal” despite ongoing symptoms.
Chances are, if you are reading this article, you can resonate with some or all the above. And, you are not alone. In fact, as a registered nutritional therapist, I work with individuals like you every day. Individuals who are seeking answers, who feel they have tried everything and are eager to regain control of their gut health once and for all!
In most cases, comprehensive stool testing is the next step.
What is stool testing?
When it comes to gut health, I’m a big advocate for testing and not guessing.
Why? Because blindly making changes to your nutrition or lifestyle could lead you in the wrong direction and sometimes do more harm than good.
Functional Stool testing is one of the best and most comprehensive gut health tests available and can give a snapshot of what’s going on inside your gut. By assessing key digestive markers, this test can provide an overview of all aspects of digestive function. It can offer much-needed clarity, demystify symptoms and help bring peace of mind.
A comprehensive stool test acts as an important tool, measuring (good and bad) bacteria levels, detecting markers for inflammation, immune or digestive issues, and gives a general overview of an individual’s gastrointestinal health.
Contrary to what you might think, taking a stool test is quick, mess-free and easy to do from the comfort of your home. Each test requires just three swabs from one sample, which is then posted back to the lab for analysis.
What can comprehensive stool testing show?
There are two main types of stool tests used in the UK: the kind doctors use to screen for certain diseases or conditions and the type registered nutritional therapists use to inform nutritional therapy recommendations.
If you head to your doctor with symptoms like diarrhoea, constipation or bloating, or if you’ve been passing mucus or blood in your bowel movements, they may ask you to do a stool sample. This test may rule out serious diseases like cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, or H. Pylori but often these tests fail to identify the root cause of what is causing your symptoms.
Instead of digging deeper, individuals get labelled with a diagnosis of "IBS" (irritable bowel syndrome) - a BS "umbrella term" which is not a real diagnosis. More on that here.
Private gut health tests via nutritionists - like Stellar Health, provide a more comprehensive overview of the gut’s health. A comprehensive stool analysis test looks at the microbiology in your gut, and indicates where there are imbalances or even absences of particular bacteria.
It can also provide information on:
✔️ gases produced by bacteria (e.g. methane or sufidogenic) which may be contributing to SIBO, bloating, and/or constipation
✔️ inflammation, e.g. calprotectin
✔️ immune, e.g. secretory IgA
✔️ digestion, e.g. enzymes and bile acids
✔️ mucin degradation, e.g. leaky gut
✔️ yeasts including candida
Armed with this invaluable information, we can begin to paint a picture of what’s contributing to your symptoms and determine what dietary, lifestyle and supplemental interventions might be most effective.
While stool tests can be an important tool in assessing potential digestive imbalances, it’s important to remember that they are not a magic bullet. However, when used alongside a client’s case history, it can be a really helpful guide to inform next steps and a more targeted and personalised nutrition plan.
Why should I consider a comprehensive stool test?
The health of our gut is closely linked to the health of just about every organ in our body, including the brain, bladder, heart, skin, and even vaginas! With this in mind, I believe that anyone can benefit from comprehensive stool testing and that gut health testing should be a standard part of preventive care.
As already discussed, stool testing can vary depending on whether it is carried out by a doctor or a nutritionist. While both tests have a place in your journey to better gut health, it’s important to understand the difference between the two.
Doctors should be your first point of contact should you start to experience issues with your gut. When a doctor is examining your stool sample, they are looking to rule out specific diseases. However, frustratingly these tests do not uncover the root of the problem and can often come back “normal”, leaving the patient confused and without answers.
A typical result from a basic lab stool culture (from your doctor) might look something like this:
Not only does this result provide little information, but it can also lead you to believe your gut is healthy or balanced, even though your symptoms are telling you it isn’t.
I’ve had so many clients that have received “normal” basic stool culture results, only to do comprehensive stool testing and find that they have severe fungal or microbial imbalances.
Comprehensive stool testing differs because it allows us to cast a wider net, looking at chronic disease-related microbial (bacteria, fungal, parasites) markers and information regarding digestion efficiency. When you suffer from symptoms like bloating, foul wind or alternating bowel movements, the issue is functional and not visible to cameras, endoscopes or the naked eye.
Functional stool testing isn’t about “yes” or “no” results. It’s about looking at patterns in the entire gut ecosystem, your health history and current health and using this information to get to the bottom of the problem and inform personalised diet recommendations.
Ultimately, a comprehensive stool test can give you answers, clarity and the foundation for a gut health roadmap.
How much does stool testing cost?
Comprehensive stool tests are highly specialised and currently not offered through the NHS. At present, the only option is to pay for them privately.
There are many different stool tests on the market, and while cost can vary from test to test, there’s no denying that it can be an expensive procedure. However, when you suffer from persistent debilitating symptoms that affect your daily life, finding an answer can outweigh any cost and make it worth every penny.
Imagine; no longer stressing over food labels, worrying where the nearest loo is or choosing clothes based on what you want to wear, not how bloated you are.
Ready to reap the benefits of comprehensive stool testing? The good news is it is available as an add-on to my 90 Days to Better Gut Health plan.
90 days to a happier, healthier gut (yes, really!)
🎈 Bloating 🤢 acid reflux 😲 unpredictable bowel movements 🥴 indigestion
😞 constipation 💨 foul wind 🥱 fatigue 💩diarrhoea 😩 stomach cramps…
It’s time to break free from never-ending tummy troubles for good with my 90 Days to Better Gut Health 1:1 Programme!
For an investment of £897 or 3 monthly payments of £315, this 90-day programme provides a window into the goings-on of your gut and is the only way to get a full scope of clinical tests carried out through the trusted labs I use.
By joining my programme, you’ll receive:
This programme can fine-tune any imbalances, address symptoms and get you on the path to a happy, healthier gut 🙌
Ready to get to the bottom of your gut health issues and FINALLY feel like yourself again?
Did you know that hidden in the walls of our digestive system, we have a second brain called the gut-brain-axis and it is transforming our understanding of the links between good gut health and mood?
The gut-brain-axis (GBA) consists of a two-way communication between our brain and our enteric nervous system, (neurons in our gut that control the function of our gastrointestinal tract).
This system of nerves in our gastrointestinal system has over 100 million neurons!!! This system has so many nerves our gut has earned the nickname “the gut brain” or “the second brain”.
Stress, anxiety and depression can have a direct impact on our “gut brain” and how well our gut works, and vice versa.
Our “gut brain” is influenced by our sympathetic (“fight or flight”) and parasympathetic (“rest and digest”) modes and sends signals along the vagus nerve (an information highway) to our brain, relaying important messages about what’s going on.
This can influence how well our gut functions and helps explain why during times of worry, anxiety and stress (fight or flight) we may experience:
This two-way communication between our brain and our gut brain influences how we feel and think on a daily basis. A prime example of this in action is the feeling of butterflies in our stomach when we feel nervous or anxious before an important meeting or exam.
Probiotics and good gut bacteria support anxiety, mood and mental health
The balance of our gut bacteria matter when it comes to mental health. Recent advances in gut health research has highlighted the importance of certain gut bacteria in this bi-directional communication.
The health of our gut and the variety of our gut microbes influence how we think and how we feel.
Addressing leaky gut or any other gut imbalances is an essential step when it comes to supporting mental wellbeing, such as:
How does the gut brain and our actual brain communicate?
Our gut bacteria chat with our brain and vice versa and use different modes of communication, including:
The health of our gut has an effect on our brain and how we feel from day to day. Inflammation, a lack of microbial diversity and even specific species of gut bacteria have been linked with poor mental health including anxiety, low mood and depression. Research shows that altering bacteria in the gut through specific dietary changes may help to treat stress-related mood disorders and anxiety.
Contact me now to find out more about my 90-day personalised 1:1 support package to nail your nutrition and solve your anxiety and gut symptoms for good.
No one really knows for definite (yet) what causes small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Some theories include:
Could this be you? Find out more about what SIBO is and how to get tested for SIBO in the UK.
If you've tested positive for SIBO find out what to do about it here.
Further information on SIBO testing, including prices can be found here.
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