Bloating

Why Chronic Bloating Happens with Dr. Eric Rieger

Dr. Eric Rieger is an anesthetist and registered nurse. He is our guest this week where we talk about bloating, SIBO, IBS, gut bacteria, causes of chronic bloating, and polyphenols. Listen in to learn about Bridgit’s favorite bloating remedies!

Most Bloating Is Caused by This...

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What Causes A Bloated Stomach and How to Get Rid of It for Good

According to Dr. Eric Regier, about 96% of cases of a bloated stomach are due to SIBO.

SIBO is Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. There should be a very small amount of bacteria and the small intestine, and a large amount in the large intestine. Due to the reasons we’ll cover below, an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine can occur.

Symptoms of SIBO include: bloated stomach, gas, abdominal pain, constipation and/or diarrhea.

What Causes SIBO?

1) Dysfunction of Migrating Motor Complex

This is the function that sweeps the small bowel, and dysfunction is due to, usually, food poisoning, but can also be due to hypothyroidism, c difficile, Lyme bacteria, opioid use, antibiotic use, or giardia.

In cases of food poisoning, the toxins produced by the poisonous bacteria damage the nerves that facilitate the migrating motor complex. The body can then create an antibody against this toxin. But unfortunately, at the same time, it will produce an antibody against a protein that helps keep the tight junctions of the intestine tight. When this protein is attacked, you can end of with chronic leaky gut.

2) Anatomical Blockages

These are often due to surgical adhesions, endometrial adhesions, fistulas, or diverticula.

3) Low stomach acid levels

Acid kills bacteria. Unfortunately, stress, hypothyroidism and use of acid-blocking medications can all hinder this process.

4) Ileocecal Valve Malfunction

If this valve between the small and large intestine is absent or not working, bacteria from the large bowel can backflow into the small intestine. The valve can be irritated by ‘stimulating’ foods like coffee, tea, soda, spicy food, sugar, chocolate, processed foods and popcorn.

According to Dr. David Williams, Saccharomyces cerevisiae in the form of lactic acid yeast wafers can help for diarrhea symptoms related to SIBO.

According to Dr. Craig Maxwell, Magnesium Chelate and a good probiotic can help.

Also local massage for a few minutes on your right lower abdomen about 15 degrees and down from your hip bone can help.

SIBO Has a Cousin…

SIBO has a cousin called SIFO (I’m not making this stuff up!) which stand for Small Intestinal Fungal Overgrowth. SIFO is similar to SIBO except it’s defined by an overgrowth of fungus in the small intestine.

Some additional symptoms related to include: belching, nausea, confused thinking, headaches, fatigue and joint pain.

If your SIBO symptoms are not going away with treatment, SIFO could be the culprit, and an anti-fungal approach with a functional practitioner may be needed.

Diet for a bloated STomach

When you eat foods, the bacteria in your small intestine may be ‘fed’ as well, and the byproduct of their feasting can be gas.

The bacteria that has overgrown in your gut varies from person to person. Therefore the foods that irritate SIBO vary as well.

While you go through treatment, it’s important to find the foods that won’t aggravate your symptoms, and the amounts.For example, you may tolerate eating a few grapes, but not a whole bowl of grapes.

The diet I most recommend experimenting with is the low FODMAP diet. FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols.

That’s a mouthful! Basically FODMAPs are foods that contain indigestible starches, and the bacteria in your body will ‘ferment’ them to break them down. The byproduct of that fermentation is gas.

If you want to avoid the gas, you can avoid the high FODMAP foods that irritate your certain bacteria, and instead choose low FODMAP foods.

Two great resources I’ve found for FODMAP information are:

Monash University - The researchers at this Canadian university developed and trademarked The Low FODMAP diet.

Kate Scarlata - Kate is a registered dietitian nutritionist and author who has developed some handy checklists and useful guides for avoiding high FODMAP foods.

Protocols for SIBO Symptoms and Bloating Remedies

The treatment of a bloated stomach (SIBO) can be a slow and winding road due to the different causes of SIBO and the different bacteria that may be involved. But if you don’t want to live with the digestive symptoms you’re currently experiencing, it’s best to start somewhere!

In my opinion, you’ll get the best results when working with a functional medicine coach. A provider can run a SIBO breath test, a stool test, and any other tests that may be needed in your case. She can get specialty supplements that may be difficult to get otherwise. And lastly, dealing with a chronic condition that may be slow to respond is emotionally draining, and having a coach to talk to can keep you moving forward.

Let’s look at a few supplements that can help with a bloated stomach / SIBO:

Oregano Oil- Oregano oil is the potent essential oil of the oregano plant. It can help for both SIBO and SIFO. It is often combined with other antimicrobial and anti-fungals like thyme oil and grapefruit seed extract.

This is a ‘hot oil’ so you’ll need to dilute it in a carrier oil if used on your skin or take in a capsule internally. We carry a blend of thyme, oregano and other supportive essential oils in capsule form in GX Assist in our doTERRA shop.

Atrantil- Atrantil is a mix of whole peppermint and extracts from the Quebracho and Conker Tree.

Together, these ingredients help to:

  • Relax intestinal cramping

  • Soak up hydrogen gas

  • Stop production of methane bacteria

  • Disable / kill troublemaking archaebacteria.

You can purchase this product on our shop.

Ginger- If you’ve managed to rid yourself of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, you need to keep it clear now! Ginger can help stimulate the Migrating Motor Complex (MMC) we learned about earlier. I like this Chewable Ginger by Natural Factors. We also carry ginger oil (it’s so yummy) in our doTERRA shop.

Other substances that stimulate the MMC are: 5-HTP (OTC supplement) and LDN (low dose naltrexone- by prescription only).

Binders- While using good binders won’t cure your SIBO, it will sure help relieve it! Binders like activated charcoal and others (see my blogs on binders) can absorb the gas within its porous structure.

Probiotics- Not all bloating is due to SIBO. Bloating can also come from a sudden change in diet, like adding vegetables suddenly or eating beans for the first time in months. Since I now rarely eat gluten-free pasta and pizza, I find that I react strongly to it and become bloated.

I think the site PaleoLeap.com sums it up well, “Either you’re eating a type of fiber that you don’t have enough of the right gut flora to digest, or you’re eating a type that they like too well, so you get overgrowth problems. For example, this study found that flatulence was “associated with instability of the microbial ecosystem:” the gut flora of patients with bad gas actually responded differently to their food, potentially causing the problem.”

This is why adding a good probiotic is helpful. Some probiotics will actually feed the bacteria in the small intestine and cause bloating. But spore-based probiotics will not. The probiotic that is our hands down favorite is MegaSporeBiotic.

This is a recent testimonial from a new MegaSporeBiotic user who had bloating for 20 years:

“I've had IBS for over 20 years and NOTHING has helped until NOW.

RESULTS: BLOATING, gone! I no longer have explosive diarrhea in the morning but have normal, well-formed stools that sink in the toilet, 2 to 3 times per day!!! AMAZING PRODUCT!!!!”

Antibiotics and Prescription Antifungals- If you’re not having success after using herbal treatments, prescriptive options are available as well through your doctor.

Conclusion

Though there can be a little trial and error on the road to healing your gut, the results are well worth it! Running to the bathroom, being too bloated to exercise or even move...this is not what life is about!

My Favorite Bloating REmedies

Get a curated kit of highly effective bloating products that work synergistically for chronic bloating. Us the coupon code HEALTHYGUT15 for $15 off now.

These three products work synergistically to eliminate the source of over 90% of chronic bloating! Each kit comes with an easy-to-follow PDF guide and 30 day money back offer through our shop.

 

Do you have questions? Do you have tips for dealing with a bloated stomach or bloating remedies? Comment below!


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Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP, is trained in functional health coaching and has worked with thousands of women over her career since 2004. She is the founder of Women’s Wellness Collaborative llc and HormoneDetoxShop.com.

The Best Supplements for Leaky Gut

A growing body of scientific research indicates that the health of the gut is crucial for the maintenance of our overall well-being, regulating a diverse range of functions including digestion, immunity, and hormonal balance. Learn how to better support your digestive system!

Case Study: A Functional Approach to Hormones and Gut

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How Functional Health Coaching Treats Mood, Gut and Hormones in an Integrated Way

The Symptoms

When Emily joined our coaching program, she was struggling with depression, anxiety, fatigue, and brain fog. She said that she did not have the energy to improve her diet or exercise regimen to support her health. She feared that trying to make major changes could have the potential to elicit panic attacks that would prevent her from moving forward.

Photo by Jason Briscoe

Photo by Jason Briscoe

Emily felt “tired almost all of the time.” Up until a few years before joining our functional coaching program, she had lived an active life. She had spent years gaining her education and working as a public health professional. And, at 38-years-old, she found herself barely making it through the day.

Emily had resorted to some of the most common coping mechanisms available: coffee in the morning to give her enough energy to get going, and alcohol at night to help her sleep.

Emily had resorted to some of the most common coping mechanisms available: coffee in the morning to give her enough energy to get going, and alcohol at night to help her sleep.

She suffered from symptoms of gas, bloating and indigestion. Her symptoms eased when she was strict about her diet but returned whenever she wavered slightly. 

The First Steps

The first thing we advised Emily to do was to take the huge step of removing coffee and alcohol from her diet. Within a matter of a couple of weeks, she was amazed at how much better she felt, just from those small changes. While this is not always as impactful for everybody as it was for Emily, it does show that sometimes a couple of small tweaks can have big effects.

The Labs

As Emily made those early changes to diet, we ran a handful of functional labs, including:

  • DUTCH Complete hormone panel

  • Comprehensive thyroid panel

  • GI-Map stool pathogen test

  • Micronutrient (vitamin and mineral) test.

The Test Results

The test results showed that Emily was quite deficient in the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is the primary stress hormone but it is also responsible for providing a sense of energy and plays an important role in regulating the circadian rhythms controlling sleep/wake cycles.

Emily was also very low in all of her female sex hormones (the estrogens and progesterone) and she was also very low in melatonin, a hormone that helps promote restful sleep.

Emily's thyroid appeared to be slightly sluggish and she was deficient in seven different important micronutrients.

Her stool test detected two different parasites, an overgrowth of two different opportunistic yeast species, suppressed immune response in the small intestines, and a very strong sensitivity to gluten-containing foods.

Part of the Hormone Report

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Stool Test Results

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The Protocol

Emily remained free from coffee and alcohol and began to adopt a gluten-free diet.

She started doing moderate exercise, managing her stress levels, eradicating gut pathogens through an herbal protocol, and supporting her healthy hormone balance through diet, herbs, and lifestyle changes.

She introduced some herbal tinctures such as black cohosh, red clover, vitex, and motherwort to support her female hormone levels. She used a product called Adrenotone from Designs for Health to support the adrenal glands and the balance of stress hormone production through the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.

Emily supported her micronutrient balance through the introduction of a complete mineral support formula and used the Designs for Health GI Microb-X product as one of the antimicrobial blends for eradicating infectious microorganisms. She also introduced Megaspore probiotic to rebuild beneficial gut flora and to support the immune system. 

For dietary support, Emily began seed cycling and introduced more healthy fats into her diet. She also incorporated detoxification strategies such as dry brushing and rebounding into her daily routine to help her move toxins out of the body in a natural way.

The Transformation

Photo by Patrick Hendry

Photo by Patrick Hendry

As Emily gained energy, she was able to reintegrate exercise into her life and she enjoys mountain biking and outdoor sports of many kinds.

After six months on the coaching program, Emily reported feeling better than she had in years despite experiencing some extreme stress, including the sudden death of her partner’s mother.

Over the course of her six months on the program, Emily gained enough energy and mental clarity to make big decisions about her life, including the purchase of a new home and a desire to have a baby.

Emily is now thriving, pregnant, happy in her life, and excited about her future.

 

 

Are You Ready for Your Transformation?

Work With Us!

We would be honored to work with you as a private client. We provide testing and coaching options to women in most every state and country. Come check out our coaching options to see if it’s a fit.


Bridgit.jpg

Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP, is trained in functional health coaching and has worked with thousands of women over her career since 2004. She is the founder of Women’s Wellness Collaborative llc and HormoneDetoxShop.com.