ADVERTISING: Advertorial — HOLLY CARLING: Gas and bloating: An uncomfortable condition

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There are many reasons why you could have excess gas. This can be experienced as bloating, expelling it rectally (flatulence) or burping. Either way, it is either uncomfortable or embarrassing. While it is rarely serious, it is a red flag that something is amiss in your body. There can be many things that contribute to this uncomfortable situation.

First, we look at diet. As with any health condition, diet is always the first place to look. Some good foods can contribute. Eating fiber is very important, but even too much of a good thing could cause issues, and this is one example. It is especially important to moderate fiber when first trying to eat healthier. It can be increased as the body adapts.

Any food that there is a sensitivity to can cause gas and bloating. The most common culprits are dairy, gluten and fats. If you are not digesting fats properly or have intolerances to dairy or gluten, sometimes the first (and sometimes the only) symptom is gas and bloating. Start with one food group such as dairy. Omit it from the diet completely for two weeks. Is your bloating gone? Then, bring it back in for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a couple of days and see if your bloating comes back. If nothing changes, go to the next category, such as gluten, and repeat. If you are not digesting fats or proteins, there is much we can do to improve that.

An excess consumption of carbohydrates (rice, potatoes, pasta, cereal, bread, muffins, bagels, etc.) can contribute to gas and bloating. Your meal should not exceed 20-25 percent carbohydrates at any time. Other carbs such as nuts, beans and legumes are known gas-producers. When eating those, either soak them first or add enzymes to your diet when you eat them. For that matter, overeating anything can cause gas as it creates an excess burden to your digestive system and available enzymes.

Other consumables to avoid include artificial sweeteners, fructose and soda pop. Each of these have been named as causative factors.

Second — health issues. Foremost in health issues is digestive problems. Acid reflux, heartburn, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, celiac or Crohn’s disease all can contribute. The remedy? Get help to get your digestive system working, and don’t just take a medication to make it feel better.

Many times people have gained weight around their middle without realizing it was weight gain, and they call it bloating. They are quite upset to find out it really wasn’t bloating. Other times it is a hormonal imbalance during a woman’s monthly cycle.

A healthy balance in bacterial flora is a must. This may necessitate the consumption of pre- and probiotics.

Lastly, outside influences such as medications and even some nutritional supplements can contribute to gas. Check the side effects on all medications.

While there are many causes for gas and bloating, there are many remedies as well. You don’t have to live with this uncomfortable situation!

• • •

Holly Carling is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbologist with nearly four decades of experience. Carling is a “Health Detective.” She looks beyond your symptom picture and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place. Carling is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements in her Coeur d’Alene clinic. Visit Carling’s website at www.vitalhealthcda.com to learn more about Carling, view a list of upcoming health classes and read other informative articles. Carling can be reached at 208-765-1994 and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.

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