5 Reasons You Bloat More After Age 45

 

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Bloating is generally the result of not being able to properly digest foods.  These not-so-digested foods feel like they're just sitting around causing discomfort and a general feeling of being stuffed and “gassy”.

It can happen at any age but if it seems to be more frequent as you're getting older it can very well be because of your stomach's reduced ability to produce enough acid for proper digestion or digestive enzymes from your pancreas.

Normally, when we eat cells in our stomach release more acid which is important for so many digestive processes like breaking down foods and activating enzymes.  As we age this process can become less efficient and the result can feel like it's wreaking havoc on the rest of the digestive system.

Unfortunately, this can have wide-ranging effects on all of our digestion abilities “downstream” and that can result in bloating.

Bloating Reason #1:

Sometimes our bodies are (or become more as we age) sensitive to the fiber in certain fruits or veggies.  This can also occur when we introduce new ones into our diet as it may take a while for our body to get used to them.

Pro Tip:  Try chewing your vegetables more thoroughly, or lightly cooking or steaming raw ones.  If a fruit or veggie seems to be consistently related to bloating try eliminating it for a few weeks and monitor your symptoms.

Bloating Reason #2:

Decreased stomach acid can reduce the activation of a key protein-digesting enzyme “pepsin”.  This means that the proteins you eat aren't broken down as much and they can pass through your system somewhat “undigested”. With reduced stomach acid you also have a reduction of the “activation” of several of your digestive enzymes (protein-digesting pepsin being one of them).  In order for certain enzymes to go to work digesting your food they need to be activated.  This usually happens with the assistance of stomach acid.

Pro Tip:  You may consider reducing the amount of animal-based foods you eat or better yet take a Digestive Enzyme with every meal - my favorite one is http://www.goldenzymes.com/. Enzyme supplements assist your body in digesting food while you work on reestablishing your own production of stomach acid (a healthy diet and lifestyle can do this!).

Bloating Reason #3:

One thing that can seriously cause bloating is when your digestive system slows down.  Then things seem to be a bit stagnant, just hanging around in there a bit (a lot?) longer than you'd like. Being sedentary doesn't help either. 

Exercise has a lot to do with this problem.  By working out your core you also strengthen not only your small intestines but your large intestines as well. If you live in the Cincinnati area why not grab one of my 3 Free Days Of Group Fitness Passes and see if my program is right for you :)

Ginger has been found to help with digestion and reduce nausea for certain people.  And peppermint is thought to help your digestive muscles keep pushing food through, so it doesn't stay in one spot for too long.

Pro Tip:  Consider drinking a digestive tea like peppermint or ginger.  See my recipe below - and if you are not on an exercise program then start one NOW - not later :)

Bloating Reason #4:

All this lack of digesting in your stomach and small intestine puts extra stress on the large intestine.  The large intestine is the home of all of your wonderful gut microbes that have SO many functions in the body.  The problem is when undigested food enters the large intestine it can feed the not-so-great microbes.  These “unfriendly” bacteria produce waste material and gas as a part of their natural metabolism.  The more of these microbes you have in your system (they will multiply if they are constantly being fed by undigested food in the large intestine) the more gas that will be produced in the large intestine.

Pro Tip:  Try eating more fermented foods.  Fermented foods contain probiotics which will feed the good bacteria and microbes in your system to keep the bad guys at bay  This includes things like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi (as long as these don't cause bloating for you!).  Make sure they're unpasteurized and contain live cultures.  If you cannot tolerate dairy based yogurt and kefir dairy free options are available or you could make your own dairy free versions.

You can also consider taking a probiotic supplement like the ones we carry at my Colon Hydrotherapy Office. Our line of probiotic are formulated based on a 3:2 ratio of Bifidobacterium to Lactobacillus cultures, and helps mitigate mild to moderate digestive irreularity, relieves occational constipation and diarrhea, and optimizes intestinal immune health. You can learn more about our line of digestive care by clicking right here. 

Bloating Reason #5:

Food Sensitivities as we age seem to intensify and can cause not only bloating but many health problem.  It can be difficult to identify the offending foods since we eat so many different foods over a three day period and items often contain several ingredients. Many times the foods we eat frequently, and seem healthy, are contributing to our health problems. A simple blood test can identify any foods that you may have a sensitivity to. To learn more about Food Sensitivites click right here. 

Pro Tip:  You may consider eliminating any foods that you feel might be causing you problems  and make sure you are reading all the labels on your food. You may also consider having a Food Sensitivity Blood test to rule out any of the foods you usually consume. 

Conclusion:

You can try the “pro tips” I've given you in this post.  Maybe you'd prefer working with a practitioner on an elimination diet to get to the bottom of which foods you may be sensitive to?  If bloating is a serious problem you should see your doctor or alternative health care practitioner.

Recipe (Tummy Soothing Tea): Ginger Tea

 

Serves 1

Fresh ginger root (about 2”)

Hot water

Lemon slices (optional)

Honey (optional)

Pour the water into a saucepan and heat it on the stove.

Grate the ginger root into the saucepan.  Let it come to a boil, and then simmer for 3-5 minutes.

Strain the tea into a cup with a fine mesh strainer and add lemon and/or honey as desired.

Serve & Enjoy!

Tip:  If you don't want to use a grater and strainer then you can peel the ginger and thinly slice it into your cup before adding boiling water.  The pieces should be big enough that they will sink to the bottom.

References:

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-menopause

https://authoritynutrition.com/11-proven-ways-to-reduce-bloating/

http://www.dietvsdisease.org/how-to-get-rid-of-bloating/

http://summertomato.com/too-many-vegetables-how-to-prevent-gas-and-digestive-problems-caused-by-healthy-eating

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/elimination-diet

https://nccih.nih.gov/health/peppermintoil

https://nccih.nih.gov/health/ginger