There are many different causes of bloating, and most of us think the foods we eat are causing it. While there are certainly foods that can cause bloating, most of the time, digestive issues are incredibly complex and eliminating certain foods doesn’t always fix the problem. I’ve suffered from digestive health issues, and unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to gut health. However, there are some things that have helped me with my digestive issues, so here are some practical steps you can take to figure out the cause of your symptoms.
Think about when your bloating began
Often times if you’re bloating regardless of what you’re eating, it’s not necessarily a food issue but a processing issue. One thing Dr. Heather Finley suggests is thinking about when your digestive issues began. Did it start as a result of a stressful incident or after taking a certain medication? Think about certain patterns and triggers in your life beyond what you ate. Did you sleep well, did you spend time outdoors in the sun, etc. If you’re able trace it back to the last time you felt good and what some of the patterns were, you have a lot more information in determining what the root cause of your issues are.
Evaluate the diversity of your diet
There are millions of different strains of bacteria in your gut microbiome and each of those strains prefer certain foods. That’s why it’s not a good long-term solution to restrict your diet by only eating the same foods everyday. I know that when I was having gut issues, I had eliminated so many different foods from my diet to try to get to the bottom of it that there weren’t many foods left. So, one way to reset your gut microbiome is by slowly introducing a broad spectrum probiotic and prebiotic into your diet.
Be mindful of the relationship you have with food
Sometimes the fear of the food itself causes more digestive problems than the actual food. If you eat something thinking it’s going to cause bloating, your nervous system responds accordingly. That’s why your mindset and relationship with food is so important. Instead of having negative thoughts about your food, shift the way you think about it by telling yourself the food you’re eating will nourish your body and give you energy.
Ultimately, be patient with yourself and know that overcoming gut issues is a journey. It took me years to overcome mine, and it’s still something I struggle with occasionally. Take it one step at a time and don’t let the fear of food get in your way.