Eric Bakker, naturopath from New Zealand. Author of Candida Crusher, and formulator of the CanXida range of products. Thanks for tuning in. Today, I’m going to talk about an article I read online, which I found quite interesting. It’s basically called “The 8 non-food reasons why you probably suffer from bloating.”
If you get bloating (and lots of patients I see get bloating all the time), and they immediately assume that it’s got to do with the food they’re eating or something they’re drinking, but they don’t think about these kind of reasons we’re going to talk about. These are non-food related reasons why you may well be bloating right now, going to your doctor and saying, “I feel pregnant! I’ve got a big gut! What’s wrong with me? I’ve got this awful churning pain here in my digestive system. The doctor may say, “You need an acid blocker. You’ve got a problem with your stomach. You just need a drug.” Well, maybe that doctor’s got one of these reasons too that we’re going to talk about.
Bloating is something that afflicts a lot of people. In fact, most people during their lifetime will suffer from bloating at some stage. It’s awful to be bloated. You could be sitting there with family or friends or you could be in a meeting, and you feel this awful sensation in your tummy… so yeah let’s get into it. Let’s look at some of these reasons.
The first one’s distractions. How many times have you seen somebody talking on their mobile phone while they’re eating food or drinking a coffee? How many times have you been in a restaurant where someone’s on a mobile phone and they’re eating food and they’re checking their twitter feed or their Instagram or they’re eating while on the computer. A key thing with a lot of people today is we want information and we want it fast. We want it right now.
Lots of people are involved with SM (social media). I’ve read on the internet recently that young people on average check their social media feeds up to 50 to 60 times per day. I can guarantee that some of those times will be around food.
Apparently, 25% of all meals consumed in America are when people are on Facebook. One in four meals are consumed when a person’s on Facebook. Can you imagine that? Imagine how much bloating that’s causing. Lots of bloated people out there.
Terrible. So how can you chew food and swallow it and digest it when you’re looking at how many times someone likes a comment about you or some crap like that.
When I grew up, there was no internet. There were no computers. We sat around the table having food. There were no distractions. We would talk about stuff to mum and dad or siblings, and meals would take time. Today, the average person doesn’t sit around a table anymore. And if they do, it’s around a desk as their table. They’ve got distractions. They’ve got buzzers and beepers and bells and noises going off around them all the time. All of these devices make noise. My parrots have become quite good at knowing all the Facebook notifications from my wife, so don’t get a parrot, because you’ll be running to your phone or your computer thinking you’ve got a message.
I just want to bring to your attention that distractions are a big part of bloating today. If you’re going to have food, I want you to have food over here and your computer over there and have them separated. Particularly breakfast, lunch and dinner. Try not to have meals around technology. It is not a good idea. You can’t chew food, and swallow it and digest it properly when your brain is engaged in something else. It’s called mindfulness: being mindful of the task at hand. That’s one, distractions, particularly technological distractions.
Number two is depression. Depression is a very big thing today. Many people suffer from depression. What I find quite amazing is in the last 5-10 years in particular, we’ve learned so much about the digestive system. We’re starting to see that many people with depression could have gut issues causing the depression, or the depression causing the gut issue. It’s a catch-22 really. We know also that beneficial bacteria play a very key role in the production and utilization of hormones like GABA and serotonin and other hormones. Many of these hormones are actually made in the gut. So having a very good gut can alleviate depression. In fact, some researchers are now using probiotics instead of anti-depressants and getting very favorable results with people. Moods can affect the gut which is non-food related. So think about that for a minute. That’s a quite interesting slant isn’t it?
The third point: dehydration. Lots of people today drink way too much coffee or tea. Remember, we’re talking about foods here. Coffee and tea are not really foods, so if you’re drinking way too much coffee or tea, you could be doing too many trips to the toilet and peeing all the time. Lots of urination can cause dehydration of the body, and we’ve seen that dehydration is actually a link with that and bloating. You can’t digest food properly if you’re not hydrated properly. Drinking more water, particularly away from food, is going to help you a lot and reduce your ability to be dehydrated and therefore reduce your gastric discomfort and stop bloating.
I wrote about this in my Candida Crusher book. Not that you guys would do this, but if you make cement, you’ve got to have cement powder, your builder’s mix, which is gravel, and then you’ve got to have your water and you’ve got to mix them all together into a nice smooth mix, and that’s cement. Well, to me, food and water go well together. Some people say you’ve got to have the food away from the water. Some people say you can drink with meals. I personally find that I can drink water perfectly well before, during and after meals. I digest food much better when I have water with it. To me, that’s like a mix. You’re mixing things properly. Just be mindful that caffeine can cause dehydration, and so can alcohol. So that’s number three, dehydration.
Number four: meal skipping. This is a problem with a lot of people today. About 30 percent of women don’t even have breakfast anymore. They skip breakfast because they’ve got to get the kids off to school or they’ve got to go to work and they’ve got kids. Skipping meals is a bad idea, because what will happen is you become ravenously hungry later on in the day, and then you’re going to stuff your mouth full of food. You’re going to have these candy bars, coffee, donuts, everything you can throw into your face because you’re hungry. That causes bloating. We’re not talking about the food. We’re talking about meal skipping. Skipping meals can be linked with bloating, because it means that you’re going to get inappropriate cravings for food. Make sure that you eat meals at regular times through the day. It’s going to keep you feeling better. Your blood sugar will be better balanced.
Number five: poor hormone control. Many women, and also men, suffer from the inability to manufacture proper hormone control. These could be stress hormones. These could be sex hormones. These could be neurotransmitter hormones. Hormones have a very big influence on gut motility and regulating the gut. Even hormones like estrogen play their role in the proper regulation of the gut. So if you take things like the birth control pill, for example. If you have xenoestrogens in your diet (these are chemicals which can mimic estrogen). These can really affect the gut. These can speed it up or slow it down. These can create cramping and bloating in the gut.
Poor hormone control. Menopause can sometimes be a key time. Pregnancy can sometimes be a key time when a person gets more bloated. Be sure to get estrogen and progesterone and also testosterone checked out. Urinary metabolite testing can be performed, or salivary testing, to determine whether you’re in the ballpark or way out of the ballpark. That’s poor hormone control.
Number six: medications. Many medications affect the gut. The worst medications I think for the gut are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). They wreck the gut. Absolute destroy gut function. Many medications are linked up with it, but also other kinds of pain pills. Paracetamol, gout medications, anti-depressant medications can affect the gut. There are a whole raft of drugs that can really affect how your digestion works. If you’ve got bad bloating and you’re taking medications, talk to your doctor about that or someone like me, and try and work out what the hell’s going on. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen over the years, once we’ve got those stupid drugs away or changed the type of drug they’re on, their bloating went away and their digestion improved.
Number seven: desk jobs. Some people spend way too much time on their desk. So when you’ve got that kind of a job, how the hell can you expect to have a good digestive system, if you’re sitting there all day? The body was designed to move around. That’s going to really increase your circulation and decrease your ability to have bloating, but also it’s going to be very effective and that it’s going to help you burn up a lot of stress hormones that will cause the gut to slow right down.
That leads us into point number eight: stress. Stress to me is the biggest reason why people get bloating. They get an increase production of cortisol. Like that notification you heard before, that’s a tiny mini stress. Cortisol is designed to move blood to the bigger muscles, but reduce the blood to the digestive system. It reduces the body’s ability to produce enzymes, and slows bowel function right down. Stress is the key denominator when it comes to a non-food cause of bloating.
I want you to take some of that information and think which of those eight categories you belong to. If you haven’t got my Candida report, please click on the link below. Thanks for tuning in.