Does your belly extend (like you’re 6 months pregnant) after eating? Do you burp or pass gas excessively? These symptoms are not only uncomfortable, but often embarrassing when others are around. Read on to learn more about potential culprits that cause these embarrassing (and possibly debilitating) symptoms.
- Could it be SIBO? Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is a condition where certain bacteria that normally grow in other parts of the gut start growing in the small intestine. SIBO typically causes excessive gas, burping, bloating, cramps, pain and diarrhea (or diarrhea alternating with constipation). Foods containing fermentable fibre, starch, lactose and fructose can make these symptoms worse, as do gluten, grains, starches like potatoes, legumes and pulses, fruits and some vegetables. Experts say that up to 80% of IBS sufferers may actually be suffering from SIBO. Click here to learn more about SIBO. Dr. Yik at IMI clinic offers SIBO testing.
2. Indigestion and Constipation. When your digestive system does not break down foods properly, undigested foods such as gluten, carbohydrates, and sugars ferment in the intestine and can cause a build-up of gas in the colon known as flatulence. If you are constipated, stool builds up and causes a feeling of fullness or bloating in your abdomen.
3. You may have heard of the term FODMAP from friends. FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols, which are basically short-chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed by the small intestine. These carbohydrates often cause digestive ailments such as bloating, gas, stomach pain, diarrhea and constipation in people who are sensitive to them. A low FODMAP diet is often a part of treatment protocols to help those who experience these symptoms, but because a low FODMAP diet can be very restrictive, it is best to consult a licensed naturopathic doctor or nutritionist for guidance.
4. Do you have food intolerances? If you notice bloating, abdominal pain or gassiness after eating certain foods, you may be intolerant to certain foods. Click here to read more.
5. After drinking cow’s milk or eating milk products, do you experience gas, abdominal cramps or diarrhea? If so, you may have lactose intolerance, a condition in which you cannot digest foods with lactose in them. This condition is due to a deficiency of an enzyme called lactase. In this case, it is best to avoid lactose and choose lactose-free products instead. Alternatively, to help break down lactose, you can take lactase pills (such as Lactaid) whenever you drink cow’s milk or eat milk products.
If you need help sorting out your digestive ailments, find a practitioner who will look at the whole picture and not one who only treats the symptoms. Dr. Yik uses a wide range of functional medicine testing to investigate the root causes of your digestive issues. She uses science-based natural medicines, nutraceuticals, medicinal herbs, etc. to help bring your digestion and gut health back on track.