The most common causes of a bloated gut accompanied by abdominal pain are lactose intolerance, flatulence, hormonal fluctuations, coeliac disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Another cause is eating too much fibre (yes, it's possible!).
So how do you tell if your bloated gut is due to common gut problems or because you're consuming too much fibre? Read on for the tell-tale signs that you're getting too much fibre in your diet…
Bloated gut, abdominal pain and other signs you’re eating too much fibre
Your bowel movements have changed
Fibre attracts what in your GI tract, so eating too much of it can dehydrate your gut and lead to constipation
unless you have enough fluid in your system or have taken in adequate fluids. This is especially common when the fibre is mostly soluble fibre – the type of fibre found in foods like apples, strawberries, blueberries, beans and oatmeal.
When the bulk is made up of insoluble fibre – the type found in broccoli, tomatoes, leafy vegetables, corn bran and wheat – opposing symptoms like loose stools and diarrhoea can occur. Although upping your intake of insoluble fibre is a good way to combat constipation
, too much can loosen your stools too much, especially if you boost your intake all of a sudden, which will push the contents in your GI tract through much quicker.
What if your digestive issues like bloating, cramps and gas aren’t IBS?
When you see a doctor about your digestive issues like gas, bloating and gut pain, you may be diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
But what if your symptoms aren’t being caused by IBS?
Find out why following a treatment for IBS may not be doing you any good and what tests you need to ask your doctor for to get real answers.
Find out here...
You feel bloated and gassy
Excess fibre can create uncomfortable symptoms like bloating and gas. These symptoms are most common when you eat too much fibre too quickly because your body isn’t able to digest or break down the fibre properly while it moves through your GI tract. The result? The bacteria that live in your colon digest some of the remaining fibre and create a gas by-product.
You have abdominal pain
Along with feeling bloated and gassy and the change in your bowel movements, abdominal pain like cramping can also occur with consuming too much fibre. This pain is usually because too much fibre in your GI tract causes your digestion to slow down or stop altogether.
You’re deficient in certain minerals
Fibre is a binding agent – or, in other words, it binds to nutrients and causes your body to eliminate them before it can even absorb them. This process most commonly affects the absorption of minerals like calcium, iron, copper, zinc and chromium.
If you think your bloated gut may be due to an overconsumption of fibre, consult a dietician who will be able to provide you with tips on how to tweak your diet.
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