Episode 141: Bloated and Uncomfortable? How to Avoid Having to Undo Your Top Button By the End of the Day

In this episode, Dr. Lisa and Dr. Toni discuss the different reasons why you could be experiencing bloating and what you can do about it. If you look and feel pregnant at the end of the day (and definitely aren’t!), it could be due to a number of different hormonal, digestive and structural issues that can happen in perimenopause. 

See previous episodes:

Factors that can cause bloating:

  • Eating large meals or eating late at night
    • No time to digest
    • Physiological bloating
  • Pressure in your stomach from weight gain or pregnancy
  • Diastasis recti or abdominal wall laxity
    • “mummy tummy”
  • Food intolerances or sensitivities
    • Visceral hypersensitivity can be stimulated by inflammation of the gut lining by foods, especially gluten, corn, dairy
  • Sugar alcohols especially sorbitol, less with erythritol, xylitol
  • Sugars like lactose or fructose
  • FODMAP foods
    • short chain carbohydrates found in many fruit, veg, legumes
  • Gut dysbiosis and microbiome imbalance like H. pylori and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
    • Especially after antibiotic and antacid medication use
  • Low stomach acid due to eating while in stress mode or sympathetic nervous system 
  • Low pancreatic enzymes or pancreatic issues
  • Gallbladder removal or issues
  • Slow gut motility and constipation
  • Hormone changes in perimenopause and premenstrually
    • Progesterone is a mild diuretic, so low progesterone in perimenopause can lead to more water retention
  • Cortisol imbalances and stress
    • High cortisol can lead to more water retention
    • Women who have experienced trauma are 50% more likely to experience IBS
  • Uterine Fibroids, hernias, scar tissue
  • Endometriosis
    • over 80% of women with endo experience bloating

Testing to consider:

  • Elimination challenge or low FODMAP diet trial
  • HCl challenge to test for hypochlorhydria
  • Food sensitivity blood test
  • Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis
  • SIBO breath test
  • H. pylori breath, blood or stool test 
  • Liver and digestive panel blood test
  • Electrolyte blood test
  • Thyroid panel to check for potential cause of constipation
  • Female hormone panel with cortisol testing in saliva or urine
  • Endoscope with biopsy, colonscopy, laparoscopic assessment
  • Abdominal ultrasound

Natural approaches to address bloating include:

  • Start by tracking symptoms
  • Avoid food triggers
  • Fermented foods – sauerkraut, kim chi, yogurt with active bacteria
  • Enteric coated peppermint oil capsules or peppermint tea
  • Bitter vegetables and foods: artichoke, arugula, radicchio, dandelion greens
  • Herbs: ginger, chamomile, fennel, anise, dandelion tea (root and leaf)
  • Apple cider vinegar or lemon in water
  • Chew your food well and eat while sitting down, calm and relaxed
  • Avoid drinking too much water while eating
  • Probiotic supplementation
  • Antimicrobial herbs like oregano, garlic, thyme, goldenseal or prescription rifaximin if needed for SIBO or dysbiosis
  • Digestive and motility support like D-limonene, DGL, slippery elm, marshmallow root, melatonin
  • Manual visceral therapy by trained osteopath, physiotherapist, naturopathic doctor
  • Castor oil packs

Today’s Mama Must Have:

Dr. Toni is a big fan of having a spray bottle with water and peppermint oil on bedside table to use when hot at night

Dr. Lisa loves having her 2 minute daily cold showers and doing breath of fire and/or the Wim Hoff breathing exercise to energize her when feeling tired

What’s Else is Happening?

Dr. Toni’s next HypnoBirthing session for expecting parents looking to decrease fear and anxiety to support their natural instincts around labour and birth is happening this fall. Join her at https://www.hypnobirthingcalgary.com/register

Join Dr. Lisa’s new Meetup group Wild Woman Adventures Toronto if you want to get out in nature, connect with other women and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Activities include: sunrise/sunset SUP, tree-top trekking, a new moon workshop and more!

Dr. Lisa’s Wild Collective in Fall 2022: get on the waitlist: wildcollectivetoronto.com

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Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Disclaimer: The information provided is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.