Bloating and flatulence are the most common reasons that individuals make an appointment for naturopathic nutritional consultations at the Plymouth Naturopathic Clinic. Bloating and flatulence often occurs when a food does not break down completely in the stomach and small intestine. There are however many other reasons why you may get bloated and have flatulence. Reasons can include

  • Type of food and drink choice
  • Food and drink combinations
  • Lifestyle choices:
    • Stress levels
    • Anxiety
  • Poor eating and meal time habits
  • Food intolerances
  • Sensitivities and allergies
  • Certain food additives and preservatives
  • Determined health conditions such as:
    • Constipation,
    • Irritable bowel syndrome,
    • Coeliacs,
    • Crohns or colitis,
    • Post bowel surgery
  • Poor diversity or dysbiosis (imbalance) of the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria and yeasts in your intestine.
  • Certain common medications
  • Often an interrelated combination of a number of the above reasons.

Whatever the cause(s), gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, hydrogen and hydrogen sulphide are commonly produced. This production of gas can then cause bloating, tenderness and pain as it stretches the intestinal tubes. Although some relief is occasionally achieved with flatulence, this is obviously not socially desirable and is the cause of much anxiety both at home and in the work environment. Any gas not passed out of the gut directly via belching or as flatulence is absorbed by the blood stream increasing the burden on the other eliminatory organs.

Naturopathic treatment

Treatment of this uncomfortable, embarrassing and often stressful condition will always start with a detailed consultation determining the likely factors that are causing the symptoms.

Initially the treatment will be focused on reducing the acute symptoms. This will be followed by both nutritional and lifestyle guidance and intervention to help address the causes, and in doing so will improve the health of your digestive system. Treatment will conclude with knowledge of how to prevent this condition and provide the tools for sustainable wellness.

Encouragingly the symptoms of bloating and flatulence often respond quickly to treatment and the following of the advice given, allowing the individual to return to a life free of this stressful embarrassment, with more energy and confidence.

The treatment will address not only what you are eating but also, and very importantly, how you are eating. How you eat has a large influence on your bowel; its reaction to what you eat will relate to how you have eaten it.

Dietary and lifestyle guidelines that may assist in the management of flatulence include the following:

Implementation of an integrated Bowel and Liver Detoxification Program may assist in reestablishing healthy gut flora, correcting digestion, repairing the gut wall’s integrity and minimising permeability and improving liver detoxification.

A low reactive diet eliminates a variety of common reactive foods to determine if they are contributing to or causing gas.

An elimination/challenge trial may be helpful in uncovering sensitivities and the removal of known food allergens or food irritants is imperative.

Alongside the nutritional treatment there are many other lifestyle changes, both short and longer term, that can, if appropriate, be incorporated into your daily life to help improve the symptoms.