It’s that time of year again. The sun is shining brighter than ever and we are stepping into bikini season. However, this time, post world pandemic and quarantine!
As if the desire to look and feel our best wasn’t a big deal before, for many of us women, it is even more of a concern since our eating and exercise routines have looked a little different over the past few months.
“I need bloating relief... NOW!”
“There has to be an ultimate cure for bloating, right?!”
“How about a little all natural bloating relief?!”
Bloating relief is the goal for many of us this summer, and that’s great! BUT, first we must understand the why behind bloating in order to eradicate this annoying symptom for good.
Let’s be honest, it's a little easier to feel a strong sense of self love when our body runs optimally. Prioritizing gut health is one of the very best ways to get the body humming, so that is what we will be focusing on today.
Bloating relief, here we come!
The human immune system is incredibly complex and unique. I like to compare it to a finger print. Mine will look quite different from yours. And, the reason your best friend experiences bloating and stomach issues might be a little different than why you have similar symptoms, but the root of it all is actually quite similar.
Let’s walk through the Cliffs Notes version of gut health…
When we are born, (assuming all goes well) our gut and gastrointestinal lining is strong and intact. As crazy as it sounds, the colonization of the bacteria in our gut actually starts in utero and much of mom’s bacteria gets passed on to us. Taking it one step further, a vaginal birth (more good bacteria) vs. C-Section birth (less good bacteria) also plays a big role in that colonization. Breastfeeding can also be very powerful when it comes to building the gut microbiome from the start.
Fast forward and life takes a toll.
Many of us begin to rely on processed food for convenience, we may experience childhood illnesses or even chronic acne where high dose antibiotics are used. We may experience stress or take other medications that alter the trillions of bacteria in our gut.
Now suddenly, a once “happy home” consisting of trillions of bacteria that cohabitat peacefully in the gut has been significantly altered. When our gut bacteria works together, food is digested properly, vitamins are made and absorbed, our immune system is strong and inflammation is kept at bay. When our gut bacteria is out of whack, the ecosystem is no longer happy and now we begin to experience pain, bloating, fatigue, food sensitivities, diarrhea, constipation and the list goes on…
I love studying patterns in my female clients. Women coming to me aged 18-25 tend to experience more low grade bloat, food sensitivities and anxiety. My clients 25-40 are a little more focused on weight management, fatigue, a noticeable shift in mood, more extreme gut issues such as chronic pain, constipation or diarrhea. Women 40+ and beyond are often at the stage of chronic inflammation. They are noticing more food intolerance than ever before, they might even have a diagnosis of an autoimmune issue or two or at the very least, their chronic gut issues have now manifested into more aggravating symptoms such as joint pain or memory loss.
I bet you can guess what’s coming next. Working to rebalance our beautiful ecosystem of gut bacteria is the best way to experience bloating relief, in addition to relief from every other symptom or condition mentioned.
The bottom line: If we do not properly address gut health in our youth, our overall health will gradually decline as we age. There is no way around it.
Registered dietitian specializing in functional nutrition
For more articles like this from Wellness Expert Kylene Bogden, please visit fwdfuel.com.