YMCA Healthy Living Magazine, powered by n4 food and health Summer 2017 - Page 16

MARNIE NITCHKE, APD Marnie is a dietitian with Shepherd Works, which offers the expertise to help with bloating, gastrointestinal symptoms, as well as individualised dietary advice. To find out more about Marnie visit www.shepherdworks.com.au or www.n4foodandhealth.com HOW TO BEAT BLOATING Gastrointestinal Specialist Dietitian Marnie Nitchke explains how to avoid bloating. s a specialist gastrointestinal dietitian, one of the most common complaints we see in clients is abdominal bloating. This symptom usually refers to physical distension, but can also include a full and uncomfortable sensation after meals, even when not overindulging. Commonly, we hear comments from such clients along the lines of ‘I look six months pregnant by the end of the day!’ A Bloating is often associated with abdominal pain, altered bowel habits and lethargy. It can also make people feel extremely self-conscious, which can even result in restricting their participation in desired activities. What are the causes of bloating? There are a range of potential causes of abdominal bloating. Such triggers can include: • hormonal fluctuations (affecting the smooth muscles which line the gut) • stress (through its effect on the brain-gut axis) • altered muscle function (of pelvic floor and diaphragm) • foods and food intolerance reactions (discussed in more detail below). Syndrome (IBS), a functional gut disorder affecting up to one in seven people. Your GP can assist you, and arrange any screening tests and referrals needed, to rule out these conditions. Common food triggers for bloating Processed, sugary and fatty foods are often blamed for bloating, and there are a number of reasons why they may be problematic, for example: Fatty foods take a lot of work to digest and can slow our gut transit time, exacerbating distension and discomfort. Some people are more sensitive to the fat content of meals than others. Similarly, sugary foods such as soft drinks, baked goods, chocolate and lollies can be problematic in large doses. This may be in part due to an overload If you suffer from bloating, it’s vital that you don’t self-diagnose, but instead discuss this symptom with your doctor. Bloating can also be the outer manifestation of undiagnosed coeliac disease, inflammatory bowel disease (for example, Crohns and colitis), or more sinister issues such as bowel and ovarian cancer. Bloating can also be a common symptom of Irritable Bowel 16 YMCA HEALTHY LIVING MAGAZINE SUMMER 2017