Many women link digestive bloating to their hormonal cycle and come to accept it as being ‘normal for them’. However, did you know that feeling bloated can be a key clue to why you are struggling to maintain a healthy body weight?
Your bowel contains both good and bad bacteria, and research shows that the good kind plays a crucial role in your overall health by reducing inflammation and keeping your weight in check. For starters, this means bloating can lead to higher levels of inflammation which in turn can cause your body to store more fat.
However, this aside, the second problem occurs when the amount of bacteria increases, or when the type of bacteria gets thrown off-balance. (For optimal health, it’s best to think of it like a seesaw – best when the good and bad is totally balanced.) When that happens, what’s known as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) can occur, and it can cause weight gain in two ways.
SIBO & Weight Gain
First of all, the bacteria could produce methane gas, which “slows down the overall function of the small intestine, allowing the intestinal villi – small, finger-like projections in the lining of your intestine – to absorb more calories per bite. In other words, the exact opposite of what you want to happen.
Second, SIBO can slow down metabolism and affect your insulin and leptin resistance, both of which help regulate hunger and satiety. As a result, you’re likely to crave carbs and probably won’t feel full after eating, even if it’s a fully satisfying meal.
How To Get Relief
When someone experiences SIBO, it’s generally presumed the problem is related to candida or can be fixed with a general probiotic. However, in a small percentage of women, other factors come into play and these are not tested for in routine pathology testing. This means the problem is never treated and women often resort to giving up on having a healthy body weight or taking laxative to ‘get them through’.
What’s important to remember, is the cause of SIBO is complex and won’t go away with just probiotics. Effective relief is achieved once you get to the hidden cause. Some of the most common ones include:
- Thyroid problems
- Poor gall bladder function
- Food sensitivities.
- Digestive dysbiosis caused by bacteria or parasites
- Stealth pathogens or chronic infections
- Stress hormone over or under production
What’s interesting is all of the above factors are also linked to weight gain, bloating and fluid retention, which means you may experience rapid weight gain or find it extremely difficult to lose weight.
If this is happening to you ar someone you know, it’s important to get to the cause and not just ignore it. Leaving it unchecked will lead to more weight gain and potentially increase the risk of other complex health concerns.