Beat The Bloat
Gas. If reading that word conjures sensations of uncomfortable fullness in your body where your clothes feel too tight and your stomach seems twice the size, then you’re not alone in having experienced digestive discomfort.
Intestinal gas is a normal by-product of the digestive process and we normally pass this gas without much effort. It usually comprises odourless gases such as carbon dioxide, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and occasionally methane. The mixture of gases we each produce is as unique as the microbial population that makes up our personal intestinal microflora, with different types of gut bacteria producing different gases. Less than 1% of intestinal gas is made up of sulphur-containing odour-producing molecules, most often hydrogen sulphide, but even concentrations as low as one-half part per billion can be detected by a human producing that characteristic nose wrinkling expression of distaste!
Gas is produced by either ingesting air with the food and fluids we consume, or as a ‘waste’ product by our intestinal microbes who are processing the food we eat, breaking down further those often difficult-to-digest food particles from complex carbohydrates (sugars, starches and fibrous cellulose – the tough outer walls of plants). Upper digestive gas is passed via the mouth as a burp (also known as belching), and lower digestive gas is passed as flatulence (also known as …!). Ordinarily, we produce about 500ml to 1.8L of gas daily, which we pass on average 12 to 20 times a day. Fortunately, most of this is passed at night when we sleep.
Typically, we might begin to notice a problem with gas towards the end of the day when the stomach looks and feels uncomfortably distended. Or it might be a feeling of passing gas noticeably more frequently – either as burps or wind. This increased distension of the digestive tract can lead to an increase in the normal contractions that propel food along its length and may lead to painful cramps.
To relieve the problem of excess gas there are a number of tips that can help:
- Reducing consumption of carbonated beverages
- Avoid drinking through straws
- Avoid chewing gum
- Slowing down when eating or drinking
- Try Phloe Zyme
To reduce bloating and the uncomfortable sensation of abdominal distension, the first place to start is with digestive enzymes. A lot of times bloating is due to partially digested food being worked on by gut bacteria. Supplementing with additional digestive enzymes can help support a more efficient break down of food and better absorption of nutrients. Try Phloe Zyme, it has all the benefits of regular Phloe, being natural and containing Zyactinase, a unique kiwifruit extract which has seven clinical trials to back it’s efficacy, and it also has added digestive enzymes to help the healthy break down of different food groups in the digestive system.
It might also be necessary to avoid those problem foods that trigger bloating. Common culprits include beans, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, dairy products containing lactose, onions, leeks and garlic, fruits, and starchy foods (wheat, other grains, potatoes, corn) etc. What may be a problem food for one may be fine for another!
The importance of hydration on bowel motility
It is common knowledge that water is essential for life, but it may not be the first thing you would associate with good functioning digestion and bowel movements. However, dehydration is often a reason for sluggish digestion and dry, hard, difficult to pass stools.