02 Apr Five Ways To Avoid Feeling Bloated on The Paleo Diet
Many people experience many benefits from the Paleo diet, which steers clear of processed foods. Paleo focuses on meat, fish, veggies, berries, seeds and other stuff cavemen supposedly ate.
Many Paleo followers eat better, feel better, and lose more weight than they ever thought possible.
Many (but not all) Paleo followers experience less bloating, along with better digestion, more easily formed stools, and less gas.
But some Paleo followers have the opposite response to the Paleo diet: more bloating, gas, and constipation.
How can this be? And what can you do if you’re among the unfortunate minority?
All will be revealed in the fullness of time in this blog post, along with five things to do to fix your problems and live happily ever after.
Sound good? Keep reading. First up…
If you start to follow a Paleo diet, you will probably be eating much more fiber than you did before, especially if you really hammer the veggies.
You will naturally increase HCL; the hydrochloric acid levels responsible for protein digestion.
Going Paleo also means reducing sugar and processed carbs intake. This isn’t zero carbs. It’s just about using foods in their whole form that absorb and digest more slowly.
It all adds up to starving some of the bad bacteria in your small intestine.
You will also likely experience less heartburn, less acid reflux, and become more regular.
Then there is the other response from Paleo and a higher fiber diet: more bloating, gas, and constipation. How could people react so differently to the same diet?
Welcome To SIBO
SIBO stands for Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. It’s actually quite common.
SIBO explains why some people had adverse reactions to Paleo because of all the extra fruit, veggies, and fiber they take in. They feed the good and bad bacteria in the large intestine where most of the gut flora is found. But sometimes bacteria form in the wrong spot.
“SIBO occurs when bacteria in the large intestine travel to the small intestine and is often result of poor HCL production or poor pancreatic enzymes. SIBO is often overlooked or dismissed as a contributor to several health problems including IBS, fibromyalgia, restless leg syndrome, and possibly interstitial cystitis. ” (1)
It has also been shown via several studies that 78% of people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Crohn’s and Colitis have SIBO.
If you don’t have acid in your stomach protecting you from bacteria, fungi, and parasites coming in on your food, you are left wide open to issues. An awesome by-product of antacids is lower stomach acid, which means you cannot break down your foods or absorb nutrients properly. They ferment and putrefy. Can you say: stinky farts?
The best test for SIBO is to have an organic acid test done. The typical treatment via western medicine is to use antibiotics to kill all bacteria then start rebuilding good gut bacteria via specific probiotic strains.
This is temporary, might not even work, not to mention the use of antibiotics will wreck an already damage gut even further.
What To Do Instead
Here are some options to help ease the burden on your gut:
(1) Temporarily cut your fruit and vegetable intake. Reduce the fiber that is causing most of the problems. Then slowly build back up once symptoms calm down.
(2) Steam, blend, cook, and juice your veggies. Eat your fruit whole. The insoluble fiber in plants is awesome. But in the beginning, it can be a literal pain. You won’t have the gut bacteria present yet to properly digest it. In this case, it’s best to avoid raw veggies. Cooking helps to soften and break down some of the fiber and cellulose people have issues digesting.
(3) Soak, sprout, and pressure cook grains and legumes. You will not only eliminate lectins (potential inflammatory proteins found in these foods) but makes these items more digestible. You will remove most of the anti-nutrients and gas-forming qualities.
(4) Take a probiotic strand called Saccharomyces boulardii. It is a French strand used with great success to calm SIBO, IBS, and acute bowel distress. It does so by basically killing the bad bacteria. It does not regenerate gut bacteria. Think if it as a cop in your GI tract that helps keep things in check. Dosage is very individual: some people need one capsule daily, some need three. Find out what works best for you.
(5) Try Restore. This new product seals up the leaky membranes in the gut, reduces gas and bloating, and helps your body re-establish the proper gut diversity. It isn’t a probiotic. It’s a mineral supplement that re-establishes balance within the gut. (Disclosure: we have no affiliate or other financial relationship with Restore and make no money from mentioning it here. We include it only because we’ve seen it work for our clients. We’ve seen symptoms calm down within days as our clients start to get back on track.)
Becky’s Story And How It Can Help You
Becky came to use with several of the digestive issues mentioned above.
She ate healthily, but still had issues. They included gas, bloating, irregularity and skin breakouts. All were getting worse.
Becky stopped eating so much raw food, cut back on her veggies, and cooked them. She slowly started to get better.
We add the S boulardii and Restore. The result? More slow but steady progress. We gradually added legumes and grains that were soaked and pressure cooked.
Becky’s rashes went away.
Her joints stopped hurting.
And her digestion normalized.
Food intake often isn’t the real issue.
More important is often what’s going on in your gut.
Removing a “bad” food doesn’t always fix this issue. It can just be a band-aid.
Address the root causes as outlined above to get to the crux of the matter.
Time to zoom up to 30,000 feet to get a clear perspective on what matters most:
Finding time to take action.
You’re not too busy to lose weight.
Keep the weight off, once and for all.
Download the free cheat sheet Fast and Delicious Meal Secrets That Make Weight Loss Easy.
About The Author
Matt Terry B.Sc, CSCS, PN1 is a former member of the US National Olympic Weightlifting team who placed second at the 2001 Pan Am Games. The co-owner of Body Solutions in Kansas City, Matt helps both professional athletes and “regular folks” lose fat, be pain free, and improve their performance. He has clients ranging in age from 7 to 70.
(1) Digestive Wellness by Elizabeth Lipski