What You Need to Know About Bloating

How listening to your body can help you achieve the healthy lifestyle you seek and avoid the bloating and discomfort you hate.

We’ve all felt it: that unusual feeling that your stomach has stretched to the limit. It is uncomfortable and makes zipping up your favourite pair of skinny jeans a workout.

What caused the puffiness? Maybe it’s the large dinner you just had, but perhaps you just had a smoothie? There are numerous reasons why you might be experiencing such discomfort in your belly, and we can help you understand them.

Abdominal bloating usually occurs due to the buildup of gas in the abdomen. Fluid retention is another possible culprit. Bloating feels different to everyone, but it’s generally a sensation of tightness in your midsection. More often than not, bloating can be severe and may require immediate attention.

First, let’s look at some of the major causes.

Excessive Eating

Remember Thanksgiving dinner and Barb’s potluck? Managing portion sizes can be so difficult when the food is so good. Your stomach is only about the size of your fist and can only stretch so much. What’s even worse, you may have some gastrointestinal tract sensitivities. Picking the wrong types of food from the buffet is potentially the most common cause of bloating.

Carbohydrates

Starchy foods give your body the energy it needs, but too many carbs at once can cause water retention in your body. Starches are absorbed in your bloodstream almost instantly. Therefore, excessive portions will often lead to bloating.

Eating too fast

The quicker you eat, the more you are likely to swallow air pockets and increase the likelihood of experiencing a swollen belly full of air. Also when you eat fast, you rob your body the chance to keep track of what you are consuming thus sending the wrong signals to your brain, and you might end up feeling overly full with a distended stomach.

Too many fizzy drinks

Carbonated beverages such as sparkling wine, water and soda can cause bloating. The fizz can cause gas to get trapped in your stomach.   

Medication

Some drugs usually have side effects that include bloating. These may include, but are not limited to, birth control pills, steroids, codeine and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. On the other hand, codeine may slow down digestive activity in the GI tract and may cause bloat problems.

Solution: How to Prevent Bloating

  • Portion Control. Eat just enough for your stomach and only when you’re hungry.
  • Chew Thoroughly. Take your time to chew food properly before swallowing. Enzymes in saliva will help start the digestive process and this time will send signals to the but and brain about what’s coming down the line.
  • Fizz Control. Limit the number of carbonated drinks you consume and switch to healthier alternatives.
  • Food Sensitivities. Avoid consuming your trigger foods.
  • Carb Control. Avoid eating too many simple carbohydrates. Two bread rolls are too much.
  • Medication Alert. Don’t stop taking medications, but if they are part of this picture, speak to your doctor about potential alternatives.

No one likes to feel bloated, but it happens.  Frequent occurrences can indicate digestive health concerns. Make sure your food and lifestyle choices support your unique system.

If you suffer from bloating and are interested in discovering the right food choices to support your healthy lifestyle, our friendly Slimwell staff can help guide you in the right direction. Call us today for a no-obligation chat about your needs.

DIARRHEA: What it Means and How to Stop It

GutChek for Food Sensitivities and Diarrhea  

Digestive health is essential for optimal vitality. If you experience loose stools or chronic diarrhea, this may indicate that you have food sensitivities. Symptoms of pain, cramping and GI discomfort may be prevalent with diarrhea. Three or more loose stools per day are considered to be diarrhea and may warrant a visit to the doctor. Most people have had severe diarrhea sometime in their life. Many people experience loose stools frequently. It happens when you pass excessive liquid stool during bowel movements and is usually a symptom of other health concerns.

Food sensitivities are a common cause of chronic loose stools. Bloating and gas are additional symptoms that may be present because the digestive system is reacting to various foods. Food sensitivities are different from food allergies. Think of them as a warning sign vs a full-blown reaction. The immune system is responding to certain foods, but there is not an anaphylactic response. Food sensitivities left unattended can lead to increased inflammation and more significant issues, which is why they are important to isolate and address.

If you experience intermittent loose stools, monitor your diet for these common food-related causes:

Lactose intolerance:

The body’s inability to digest sugars contained in dairy products can cause loose stools, gas and bloating. If you have low levels of lactase, the enzyme that catalyzes digestion of milk, consuming foods rich in milk components may cause loose stools.

Fructose intolerance:

Honey and natural fruits contain a type of sugar known as fructose. When people with fructose intolerance consume products with this kind of sugar, regardless of the fact it’s natural, this can lead to bowel irritation, and consequently diarrhea.

Gluten intolerance:

Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other grains. Sensitivities or intolerance of this protein is common. Some people are sensitive to grains because the high fibre content irritates the bowls.

Reaction to artificial sweeteners:

Artificial sweeteners, such as sorbitol, and aspartame can also be problematic and lead to digestive disturbances. These sweeteners are prevalent in processed diet foods.

Fatty and fried foods:

Fatty and deep-fried foods can be difficult to digest for even the healthiest people. Bloating and diarrhea could follow as a result.

What you can do to help loose bowels and diarrhea:

Proper Hydration:

Since you pass excessive liquid in your stools, drinking extra fluids is essential. Water, soups and juices are beneficial to easing symptoms.

Dietary Changes:

When recovering from diarrhea and related symptoms like bloating, gradually introduce low fibre foods into your diet after taking liquids. If it’s genuinely diarrhea, the recommended standard is the BRAT diet.  Bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. These foods are less likely to cause bowel discomfort. If loose stools and suspected food sensitivities are the culprits, removing these triggers from your diet is crucial.

Dietary Observation:

Keep a food journal and track everything you eat and drink. Sensitivities may present themselves up to 72 hours after consumption, so note the time of each meal too. After a week or two, look at the big picture and observe any trends.

GutChek: A Food Sensitivity Test:

The Slimwell Program integrates a food sensitivity test for every client. We send a hair sample to the lab and three weeks later, a comprehensive list of food and environmental sensitivities are determined. The results even reveal metal toxicities. A science-based approach to preparing for the next step.

Follow an Elimination Diet:

Abstain from all potential food sensitivities for 6-8 weeks. The body will have time to rest from exposure and likely begin repairing itself. After 6-8 weeks, you introduce eliminated food one-by-one to find which ones the body is reacting to. Your body will naturally tell you which foods you need to drop entirely.

Many people struggle with this because eating is habitual. A certified holistic nutrition consultant can be the most helpful tool here. They can view dietary habits objectively and can help devise suitable replacements; an elimination diet does not mean you should feel deprived when your favourite ‘go-to’ food is on the chopping block.

Experiencing loose stools, diarrhea, or any other related symptoms such as bloating is no reason to panic. In most cases, these issues can be managed. More often than not, it is just our body’s way of trying to communicate; we just need a dietary and lifestyle change.

If you suffer from loose stool and are interested in discovering the right food choices to support your healthy lifestyle, our friendly Slimwell staff can help guide you in the right direction. Call us today for a no-obligation chat about your needs.

Why Diabetics Need A Healthy Weight Loss Program

What you need to know about the risks associated with being overweight with diabetes.

There are two main types of diabetes. Type 1 occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to break down glucose into energy. Type 2 diabetes involves high blood sugar, insulin resistance or a relative lack of insulin. Essentially, the body’s ability to convert glucose into the energy becomes inefficient.

Although some people are more genetically at risk in developing type 2 diabetes, more often than not, obesity and lack of exercise will lead to its onset. Preventative measures include eating right, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This article elaborates on how the need for sustainable weight loss and diabetes are indisputable.

Fat Cells Inhibit Insulin Function

Type 2 diabetes mainly occurs when chemical released by fat cells around the abdomen prevents insulin from converting glucose into energy. This accumulation leads to dangerous levels in your body. Treatment of type 2 diabetes generally involves weight management and will often reverse the effects of type 2 diabetes because weight loss helps reduce excess fats that may inhibit the proper functioning of insulin.

Obesity Causes Resistance on Various Cells

When the endoplasmic reticulum cells are overburdened by too many nutrients to process, it sends a signal to the pancreas to reduce insulin production. If insulin is insufficient in the body, there will be too much sugar that is not broken down leading to diabetes. When people with diabetes reduce their weight gradually, and in a healthy way, cells begin to normalize. The pancreas will generally start producing enough insulin to convert sugar effectively.

Obesity Causes Inflammation of Cells

The Body Mass Index (BMI) calculates a person’s height and weight to help determine if they are in a healthy weight zone. If your BMI is greater than 30, you are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. High BMI causes cells to swell thus inhibiting the proper functioning of insulin. Healthy weight loss will help bring the BMI down and reverse a diabetic condition.

Weight Loss and Type 1 Diabetes

Although weight loss is helpful for patients with type 2 diabetes, unexpected weight loss can be an indicator of type 1 diabetes. If your lifestyle has not changed, you’re not exercising regularly and yet still losing weight, this can indicate a diabetic condition. When the body is unable to produce enough insulin to convert glucose into energy, it will opt for another solution and break down fat and muscle. If significant weight loss for no good reason is noted, discuss this with your doctor.

Final Verdict

Type 2 diabetes and the need for weight loss go hand in hand. Trim the fat with a sustainable weight loss program that involves dietary and lifestyle changes. Diabetic patients who make an effort to reduce weight have shown the ability to reverse diabetic conditions and improve overall well-being.

If you suffer from diabetes and are interested in discovering the right-fit diet and lifestyle program for your needs, our friendly Slimwell staff can help guide you in the right direction. Call us today for a no-obligation chat about your needs.