How To Keep After Holiday Bloat Down
Posted On Jan 08, 2021
Well, the holidays are over and you did all those fun things that you usually do on the holidays but you’re feeling bloated and sluggish. So, what do you do?
There are a bunch of different things that can make you feel bloated or distended. Constipation is one of the most common causes. So it is a good idea to make sure that your bowels are cooperating well so you can keep that bloat down. Some simple and natural things that you can try might include taking a magnesium supplement, trying some triphala (a gentle herbal bowel tonic), drinking plenty of water, and eating plenty of colorful vegetables and fruits. Staying active and exercising or going for a regular walk can also be helpful because movement of your body encourages movement in your bowels too!
Watching what you eat can also make a big impact on how you feel. I often suggest that those who have bloating try to avoid or reduce their dairy and gluten intake. Another group of foods that can be problematic are what we call FODMAPs. FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. This is a very technical way of saying that these are carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestines and can often be fermented in the gut and cause uncomfortable bloating and distention. There are some great online guides and apps to help you keep track of and avoid high FODMAP foods. Another trick I often use is digestive enzymes. Taking enzymes with meals can potentially help reduce some of the bloat associated with eating. After the holidays, we want to particularly focus on the type of FODMAP called a polyol. These are the sugar alcohols and they may have been mixed into some of the holiday treats you were enjoying.
While the holidays can be a fun and enjoyable time, they can also be a stressful time. This year in particular, the stress levels are pretty high. I often remind people that stress can slow down how our digestive system works. It can contribute to heartburn or acid reflux and it can also contribute to fluctuations in bowel patterns, abdominal pain, abdominal cramps, and even bloating. So, make sure you take some time to do some self-care and listen to some relaxing music, do a work out, meditate, get enough sleep, and laugh often!
Finally, I’m a big fan of simple herbal treatments that can help with bloating. STW5 (otherwise known as Iberogast) is a product that is made up of 9 medicinal herbs that can help with movement of the stomach, reducing inflammation, reducing bloating and gas, and calming your stomach nerves. I use it often in those with irritable bowel symptoms. Ginger, chamomile, lemon balm, and fennel teas can also be nice things you can add into your regimen if you are a tea drinker. These simple tricks can also help keep your bloating down.
We all get bloated from time to time. Just remember, it’s ok. Take it as a sign that your body wants or needs something and try your best to give that something to your body and don’t let it ruin your fun times! Also, please make sure to discuss any treatments or diet changes with your regular medical doctor. Not all options are good for everyone and it is important to make sure you discuss your symptoms and any possible treatments you are thinking about with your physician so that you can come up with the best, most personalized plan for you!