3 Natural Ways to Reduce Bloating and Fatigue
This is a guest post from Jen Broyles, Certified Health Coach specializing in digestive health, IBS and SIBO
We live in a very hectic, fast-paced world. If you’re like the majority of the population, then I imagine you run around every day at a frantic pace with a to-do list a mile long. You’re constantly on the go, and consequently, your health suffers.
Most of us don’t take time to sit down to a proper meal, the food we consume is highly processed and nutrient-deficient, and we don’t take time to relax.
After a while, your body systems start to break down, and you begin to experience unwanted symptoms. Your digestion isn’t regular and you have frequent bloating, constipation or diarrhea. You’re fatigued throughout the day, but you don’t sleep well at night. You can’t seem to maintain a healthy weight. You feel stressed, anxious, or depressed. Perhaps you get frequent headaches or brain fog.
This is all too common in our society today, and most people are plagued with at least one of these symptoms.
As our body endures the wear and tear of chronic stress and over-taxing of the adrenals, our digestive system also starts to break down. A healthy gut is absolutely critical to a healthy body. When your gut health suffers, your overall health will suffer. Therefore, proper digestion, and a healthy, balanced gut are essential.
Below are 3 things you can implement right now to help restore your digestive function and improve your energy throughout the day.
A healthy diet is required for a healthy gut and a healthy body. The majority of people today live on processed foods loaded with sugar, gluten, soy, and other harmful, inflammatory components. These foods cause inflammation throughout our body, mess up our blood sugar levels, and destroy our gut.
Food is meant to nourish your body and provide you with the building blocks you need to thrive. Taking time to sit down, relax, and enjoy 3 balanced meals each day can help restore your gut. Focus on choosing real, whole food – nothing that comes in a box, bag, or can. Incorporate the following foods into each of your meals:
- choose clean animal protein, such as pastured chicken, grass-fed beef, and wild-caught fish (like in this recipe)
- load up on healthy fats such as coconut oil, avocado, olive oil, grass-fedbutter, and nuts/seeds (like in this recipe)
Fruits and Veggies
- make sure your plate is full of fresh veggies and enjoy a couple servings of fresh fruit each day (like in this recipe and this recipe)
As you incorporate these nutrient-dense foods into your diet, you’ll start to crowd out the less healthy options. Focus on eliminating the following items: sugar, gluten, soy, and conventional dairy. These foods are very inflammatory and very low on the nutrient-density scale. Additionally, as you feed your body healthy, anti-inflammatory foods that are easier to digest, your body will have more energy to perform other necessary functions.
If you experience uncomfortable digestive systems such as gas, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea after you’ve switched to a healthy eating protocol, then you may need some extra support through supplementation. Below are 3 fantastic supplements that can greatly reduce your digestive problems and leave you feeling much happier and more comfortable:
Chronic stress can alter your gut microflora in negative ways. It also weakens your immune system, causes inflammation, and makes you more susceptible to infections. Probiotics can help combat this. While it’s impossible to make a drastic change in your microflora through probiotic foods and supplements, they are very helpful in promoting gut motility, reducing inflammation, and supporting your immune system. You can get probiotics through a supplement or by eating fermented foods. Consuming probiotics on a daily basis can improve gut function, reduce bloating, and promote regular motility.
If you experience gas, bloating, and altered bowel function, then adding digestive enzymes to your meals can help support proper digestion. Often times, when our gut is damaged through leaky gut, an infection, or dysbiosis, then our body stops producing adequate levels of enzymes that help break down and assimilate our food. This leads to symptoms of gas and bloating, and it can also lead to nutrient deficiencies since we’re not absorbing our food properly. When you give your body some extra digestive support, then your body won’t be using all of its energy on digestion. You’ll feel less fatigued throughout the day.
This is another fantastic supplement to incorporate if you’re experiencing chronic digestive issues. Many people who deal with acid reflux, heartburn, belching, gas, bloating, and altered bowel function often have low stomach acid. This is contrary to conventional wisdom in which you might be prescribed an antacid to relieve acid reflux. The truth is that low stomach acid is much more common and can contribute to variety of GI symptoms. It can also lead to poor digestion of protein and fats, nutrient deficiencies, and susceptibility to gut infections. You can take Betaine HCL with your protein-containing meals to promote good stomach acid levels and reduce your symptoms. Read my article here to learn more about low stomach acid and how to supplement with Betaine HCL.
Lifestyle changes are required if you want to have more energy and restore your health. Finding balance in life is essential for healing your gut and reducing fatigue. Below are 3 things to focus on and begin doing immediately.
- Quality sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your body. Our body needs adequate rest. Try to get 7-8 hours of good, quality sleep each night.
- Everyone deals with stress at some point, but long-term chronic stress can be very dangerous and disruptive to your digestion if you don’t manage it properly. Try incorporating at least one stress management activity into each day.
- Examples of activities include: yoga, meditation, quiet time, spirituality practice, walk in nature, deep breathing, journaling, or epsom salt baths.
- Exercise is good for numerous reasons, but in terms of digestion, it helps reduce stress and promote motility. Exercise also supports the adrenals and can help reduce fatigue, improve mood, and promote good sleep.
- The type of exercise you engage in is important too. Rather than high intensity exercise, try more moderate forms of physical activity, such as yoga, walking, or weight training.
Now that you have some recommendations, begin implementing these ideas into your daily routine. Start with cleaning up your diet and modifying your lifestyle. If you feel you still need support, then try adding the supplements.
After you’ve done this for a while, if you still don’t feel better, then I encourage you to work with a functional medicine practitioner to look deeper into the issue.
Jen Broyles is a Certified Health Coach who works with clients struggling with IBS and SIBO. Her personal story is what inspired her to educate and guide others. She dealt with chronic digestive issues for over 10 years, and it was significantly affecting her quality of life. She returned to school to study nutrition, started doing her own research, and trained with functional medicine practitioners. She now helps clients restore their health naturally through diet and lifestyle changes as well as diagnostic testing to uncover the root cause. She is a firm believer in the role that real food, a balanced lifestyle, and a positive attitude plays on overall health. You can visit her website and blog for FREE digestive wellness tips, recipes, and healthy living advice. You can also download a FREE copy of her IBS guide: 3 Simple Ways to Improve Your Digestion in 30 Days or Less.