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Are Gut Symptoms Ruining Your Social Life?

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It’s a lovely spring evening, and you have plans for a girl’s night at your favorite winery. But your stomach has been testy—you aren’t sure how it will handle your favorite red and charcuterie plate. Lately, it seems like everything you eat or drink inflates your stomach to the size of a party balloon. Then suddenly, your jeans are uncomfortably tight, and your stomach is gurgling.

Let’s be honest: it’s hard to have a thriving and fun social life when your gut seems to have a mind of its own. But know that you are not alone! Gut symptoms affect over 40% of people, and they are more prevalent in women than men (1). Don’t let gut symptoms ruin your social life! Let’s look at some common causes of chronic gut symptoms and what to do about them.

Stress is Ruining Your Digestion 

Do you eat on the go? Do you focus more on feeding your family than yourself? Do you eat quickly? If these sound familiar, stress may be causing your gut symptoms. When we are stressed and distracted, our digestive system struggles to produce the enzymes and hormones it needs to help us digest our food. Here are a few tricks for better digestion and fewer gut symptoms:

  • Take four deep, relaxing breaths before eating. Or bookmark this lovely breath webpage for some assistance. 
  • Slow down when eating and chew thoroughly. Savor each bite!
  • Carve out “you” time each week. Whether it’s a spa day or a relaxing yoga session, do something that brings you joy. 

Gut Dysbiosis Leads to Gut Symptoms 

Did you know that your gut is home to trillions of microbes? Don’t worry; they belong there! They help us break down our food, make essential vitamins, and bolster our immune defenses. Usually, our gut flora works in harmony with us. However, sometimes they become imbalanced, and this is called gut dysbiosis. A particular type of gut dysbiosis is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, or SIBO. This overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine can lead to gut symptoms and even vitamin and mineral deficiencies (2). The good news is that you can restore balance to your gut flora and get your life back. Learn more about that here

gut symptoms

Your Meal Timing is Off 

Do you ever skip breakfast or lunch? Or maybe you tend to snack and graze all day long? Meal timing plays a vital role in gut symptoms. When we skip meals and deprive our bodies of nourishment, our stress hormones increase. An increase in stress hormones can lead to gut symptoms that may cause discomfort or urgency.

 On the other hand, eating every one to two hours, as recommended by some nutritionists, can actually interfere with your migrating motor complex (MMC). The MMC is your gut’s housekeeping system, freshening up your intestines by sweeping out debris. A healthy MMC is critical for preventing SIBO, mentioned above, and other bothersome gut symptoms. 

How do you find the right meal timing for you? Well, everyone is unique, but in general, avoiding skipped meals, eating a balanced plate every three to four hours, and avoiding late-night snacks may benefit your gut health. If you need a plan tailored to your specific needs, let’s chat. 

Food intolerances are Causing Gut Symptoms 

Gluten and dairy-free diets are certainly trendy, but there is a reason why these have become popular. Many people are sensitive to compounds in glutinous and dairy foods, and gut symptoms are one way the body communicates that food intolerance is present. 

However, many other foods can lead to gut symptoms as well. Fruits, nuts & seeds, legumes, eggs, and even additives like emulsifiers and artificial sweeteners can trigger gut symptoms (3). If you suspect you have a food intolerance or sensitivity, keeping a log of your daily food can help identify the culprit. Doing an elimination diet or food sensitivity testing can also provide invaluable insight. An elimination diet can seem overwhelming, but I regularly guide my clients through these surprisingly practical protocols. Feel free to schedule a complimentary 20-minute consultation to learn more. 

 

  1. https://www.gastrojournal.org/article/S0016-5085(20)30487-X/fulltext
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7279035/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7730902/

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