Why Am I Bloated?

Jun 4, 2020

Dr. Jeremy Hayman, ND

Dr. Jeremy Hayman, ND


A digestive system that is not functioning the way it should is the underlying cause of why you are bloated all the time. From the top of the digestive system downward, the main causes of bloating include not having enough stomach acid, improper movement of food in the digestive tract, imbalanced gut bacteria, fermentation of food in the gut, slow moving bowels, gut inflammation, food sensitivities and dehydration.

The digestive system is considered the second brain of the body. When it functions well, so to can your health. Bloating however, can be a key indicator that something in the gut just isn’t working right. If you’re someone who seems to have constant issues with gas and bloating, rest assured that we have the answer.

From a very basic perspective, if food isn’t broken down or doesn’t move properly through the digestive tract, problems are going to arise. From the moment you begin to chew your food, your digestive system begins to release enzymes, saliva and acid intended to break down food into a much more digestible state. If your body is short on digestive enzyme production, or just doesn’t have enough acid to use, the food that enters the body isn’t going to get thoroughly broken down. The enzymes and acid necessary to begin the digestive process are often limited by stress, inflammation and poor food choices.

When undigested food is the case, the movement of it slows into the small intestines. Because food is supposed to be digested by this point, the middle digestive tract (small intestine) isn’t designed to handle this food well. Think of it like an efficient moving highway, when moving well, functionality is at its best. When traffic is backed up, movement slows down and commuters become unhappy. When undigested food sits in the digestive tract, it sits longer than it should. Eventually as it inefficiently moves through the system, it quickly begins to ferment. Fermentation of food is one of the primary byproducts and causes of chronic bloating.

In the gut, its the good bacteria’s job to finish breaking down the food travelling along the digestive highway. If not properly digested by the point it reaches bacteria, it makes it that much more difficult for the billions of bacteria to do its job. This not only frustrates the bacteria, it causes steady inflammation in the area and creates toxic buildup as well; only adding to the current bloated state. In most instances, good bacteria isn’t the only type of bacteria present. Inhospitable bacteria (“bad bacteria”) tend to build up and add to the increased gas and bloating as well.

If food does manage to make it’s way into the bowels, fermentation continues there as well. To add insult to injury, the bowels become more backed up and thus add to the already uncomfortable situation. For the average person who doesn’t drink enough water, dehydration not only slows the ability of food to move, it makes waste more dry and firmer, making it harder to excrete on the bottom end. Add the many undiagnosed food sensitivities to the mix, and those who are currently suffering have the perfect mix to create a lifetime of bloating. Thankfully there are easy answers. Take a few simple steps to address these concerns, and bloating will be a thing of the past forever.


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