Are you are one of the millions of people who can fit into their jeans one day and the next day you can’t get them zipped or buttoned? You feel like maybe an alien crawled inside you over night. A fat alien. But even more than the creepy feeling of suddenly feeling fat, you feel “bad.” What’s going on? Bloating.
Ten years ago there was barely any research into bloating at all. Most doctors still don’t take it very seriously, and some even think it’s the same thing as gas. It’s not. Gas is…gas. You have to expel it. Bloating is…bloating. It just sits there making you feel fat and awful.
With bloating your abdomen really does expand (well, duh, you can’t button your jeans). In fact, your belly may swell as much as 12 centimeters without any gas.
Bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, and heartburn are all called “functional gastrointestinal disorders” or FGID. Another name. Names don’t help you feel better. Honest doctors admit they have very few solutions to FGIDs (I pronounce it fidgids). These are gastro issues with no known physical cause. Let me make this perfectly clear—just because doctors don’t know the cause, doesn’t mean there isn’t one. Your pain is real. Your bloating is real.
What the docs have to say
A Harvard Medical School report on sensitive digestion even agrees with me. They say that doctors often tell people who suffer from bloating that there’s nothing really wrong with them and it’s not true!
“The pain is real,” says Dr. Brenda Tone, a gut-brain researcher at the University of Toronto.
In fact, one digestive journal article said of all the FGIDS, people feel the worst with bloating.
There’s a reason for that. Your digestive tract is one of the most sensitive areas of your body. It is loaded—I mean loaded—with trillions of sensitive nerves. When your abdomen expands it presses against these trillions of sensitive nerves and that feels awful. Really awful.
Your second brain
But there’s even more than that. Your gut is actually a second brain. That’s why you “follow your gut” and rely on your “gut instincts.” Your gut has all the same chemicals as your brain—especially serotonin, one of the “feel good” chemicals. In fact, 70% of your serotonin is in your gut, not your brain.
When something goes wrong in your gut like bloating, it disrupts your “feel good” chemicals. That’s why bloating can make you feel depressed, anxious, irritable and even put you a kind of panic.
Your gut and your car
Here’s my opinion: the reason doctors don’t get it right about FGIDs is that they are ignoring what you need for your intestinal tract to work right. It’s like a car engine. If you don’t have oil in the car, the engine is going to blow up. The doctor checks the engine. Engine is fine. You buy a new engine. The doctor checks it. Engine is fine. Nothing physically wrong with the engine. Guess what’s going to happen if you don’t put oil in it? It’s going to blow up again.
That’s the way I see your digestive tract. There are some things that it must have to function normally. If you don’t have them, it blows up.
Top of my list is digestive enzymes and probiotics. Your gut was designed to work with a healthy load of digestive enzymes and trillions of natural microflora. That keeps you healthy—just like keeping oil in your engine. It’s not an engine problem—it’s an oil problem.
Try taking a good probiotic and digestive enzyme combination and see if that helps your bloating. Many people report that it helps their gut work normally.