I hate feeling bloated. It's one of those sensations that just puts me in a bad mood, and I have a feeling I'm not alone in that. Bloating is a common symptom in the GI tract and is caused by one thing...
Gas. So let's put on our naturopathic brain and get to the root cause; what causes the gas?
Gas typically forms in the colon AKA the large intestine where lots of bacteria live. These bacteria ferment carbohydrates that aren't digested in the small intestine. This is normal gas! Some flatulence here are there is a mark of healthy colon. Indicators that this is unhealthy gas are if it has a foul odor or if there are more than 10-20 flatus per day.
What if there is excess gas or if it has an odor?
Excess gas is typically caused when there is too much bacteria and fermentation in small intestine. Some bacteria live here naturally, but most bacteria is suppose to live in the large intestine. When bacteria overgrows in the small intestine, this is called SIBO - small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. See my previous blog post for the signs and symptoms of SIBO.
SIBO produces 2 types of gas, hydrogen and methane. This gas tends to be odorous and excessive and causes that feeling of distension in the abdomen.
Similar to bacterial overgrowth is fungal overgrowth - SIFO - small intestinal fungal overgrowth. This is caused when there is too much yeast in the intestines, which can also cause bloating and excess gas. Some yeast is suppose to be in the intestines, but when there's too much, symptoms occur. When yeast is exposed to sugar, they eat it up and cause a fermentation reaction - the exact same mechanism to create alcohol.
How can you tell if there is overgrowth in the intestines? Breath testing and stool testing! The majority of my practice at QC Natural Health focuses on GI health and eliminating symptoms of distress. I specialize in interpreting breath tests and stool tests to get gut health back on track. If you have questions regarding testing or a previous diagnosis, please set up a free phone consultation with me through our online booking page. Be well!