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Can gastrointestinal bloating be due to a plant-based diet?

by , 08 March 2018
Can gastrointestinal bloating be due to a plant-based diet?
So, you recently switched to a mostly plant-based diet and have lost a lot of weight as a result, but you seem to be experience gastrointestinal bloating more than before. You're probably wondering if this is normal and the answer is, well, yes.

After switching to a plant-based diet, you're likely to experience digestive symptoms like gas and gastrointestinal bloating. That's because your digestive system will take time to reach a point where the foods you're eating will no longer cause digestive issues.

The good news is that in the long run, a plant-based diet will improve your bowel habits and overall digestive health. Keep reading to learn what you can do to beat the bloat until your digestive system adapts.

Many high-fibre foods cause gastrointestinal bloating

Surveys have shown that 20% of the American population feels they have digestive issues like excess gas and gastrointestinal bloating.
 
Gas production is most often related to swallowed air when you drink, eat or chew gum – and it only worsens when you talk while you drink or eat. Fizzy drinks and beer also contribute to gas that needs to be expelled one way or the other – it’s not absorbed by your bowel.
 
High-fibre foods typically included in a plant-based diet, such as fruits, vegetables, grains and fibre supplements, commonly cause gas and gastrointestinal bloating complaints. Many artificial sweeteners and additives may increase such complaints. The same goes for laxative abuse and antibiotic use.

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Probiotics offer relief from gastrointestinal bloating

Until your digestive system adapts to your new diet, relief is available to you with the use of simethicone or Mylecon as needed. A natural and even better option is probiotics – try adding some low-fat Greek yoghurt with probiotics to see if your digestive symptoms improve.
 
If excess gas and gastrointestinal bloating persists despite these simple remedies, you might want to consider a visit to your doctor to get checked out for other digestive conditions, such as food sensitivities or allergies, GERD, diverticulitis or inflammatory bowel disease.

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