When I ask my Take Control members, which IBS symptom do you hate the most, it is always bloating. But, what causes IBS bloating? Is there 1 cause or several causes of IBS bloating?
In this article, I discuss the most common causes so that you can start to understand and then Take Control of your IBS.
Do you feel that your bloating improves when you open your bowels? You may even feel a lot lighter afterwards?!
This is no coincidence, when you open your bowels you also release a lot of built up gas.
And, if your bowels are not opening daily then you will like have a lot of built up gas, which is going to cause you to bloat.
Please do not get confused with the ‘rabbit dropping’ stools, this is also a sign of constipation.
Physical movement, also helps your bowel to move (and release some of that gas which is causing the bloating).
Now, you may even be a bit of a gym bunny and spend several hours a week exercising. This can leave you feeling frustrated as you clearly invest time, effort and money into your health. Yet you get symptoms anyway!
But – do you also spend 7-8 hours a day at a desk?
This is one of the things I find my Take Control members gets confused with when we discuss lifestyle factors which result in bloating.
3. Changes in Gut Bacteria
Have you ever tried a probiotic and found that it makes your symptoms worse?
Or perhaps you noticed that your IBS bloating was worse after antibiotics?
This is because your gut bacteria has changed from its norm.
I always advise my Take Control members to monitor their lifestyle and symptoms alongside each other, this way they can pin-point the bloating cause.
For example, starting a probiotic. This may take a little time for your gut to settle.
4. High FODMAP Diet
Do you get upset that despite eating a healthy diet, you still get uncomfortable and painful bloating? Well, it may be that your diet contains a lot of FODMAPs.
A diet high in FODMAPs will lead to IBS bloating. This is because FODMAPs are broken down by gut bacteria in a process known as fermentation. This results in a lot of gas build up = IBS bloating.
You can go through an IBS diet process to prevent this from happening. In this, you reduce FODMAPs for 4 weeks, before doing a structured reintroduction to pin-point the cause of your symptoms.
5. Food Intolerance
Did you know that food intolerances are linked to IBS? A food intolerance occurs when you are unable to digest a certain food and it then leads to a collection of symptoms, including bloating.
Have a food intolerance can be confusing and frustrating to figure out. Often, you may tolerate a small amount of the food but not much more. This makes it difficult to diagnose on your own.
The low FODMAP diet process does diagnose food intolerances and also finds out what your tolerance level is. This means that you are able still enjoy a ‘safe amount’ of the food without IBS bloating.
In my Take Control program, one of the recurrent feedback’s that I get from member is that they did not realise that they could eat so many foods without symptoms. Just as long as they worked within their own tolerance level.