Gut issues are more common than ever and the greater the tummy trouble, the more diet gets blamed. Banning gluten, grains and dairy is common, and people looking for low fodmap products is on the rise. The interesting thing about the gut is that the symptoms you present with are very good indicators of exactly what is going on in your tummy. So here are the most common gut symptoms and what they could mean in terms of foods you may need to avoid.
A common description and for which the timing is most telling. If you feel bloated within an hour or two of eating, it is most likely the fibres in foods such as legumes, broccoli, cauliflower, apples, oats and dried fruits that you may be sensitive too. Generally this bloating will only last a couple of hours and can easily be avoided by consuming small volumes of these fibre rich foods at any one time.
On the other hand, if you are feeling bloated constantly, and start the day with a flat tummy only to see it balloon out by the end of the day, chances are you are sensitive to FODMAPS, a type of sugars found in a range of fruits, vegetables, dairy and wheat. While it can be difficult to pin point the exact FODMAPS you are reacting too, in general people have 1-2 types they are particularly sensitive too. If you think you may have a FODMAP intolerance, Shape Me can help you.
There are a number of types of wind ranging from odourless to pungent gas. If you are often experiencing wind but it is not smelly, you are fine and chances are your diet is high in fibre. On the other hand, especially smelly gas can be a sign of lactose intolerance and if coupled with frequent diarrhea, it may be worth giving a lactose free diet a go.
Runny poo can be caused by a number of factors but most likely it is from lactose intolerance or a gut bug. A surprising number of individuals do have gut bugs which can be picked up from OS travels or contaminated water. So if your gut issues have been short term only, it may be worth visiting your GP to determine if a gut bug may be the underlying cause. On the other hand, if your loose stools have been a constant feature in your life, it may be worth trying a lactose free diet.
The obvious explanation for constipation is a lack of dietary fibre, and or fluid but if you know you get plenty of fibre and drink plenty of water, wheat or gluten may be your issue. Other signs of gluten issues or coeliac disease include headaches, low iron and long term unexplained gut issues. As coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition, you may also have other family members with thyroid dysfunction or diabetes. Wheat intolerance unlike coeliac disease is more likely associated with gas and bloating. If you are looking for more gluten free recipes, Shape Me offers both low FODMAP and gluten free programs.
The most important thing to remember is that long term gut disturbance is real, so before you self diagnose always seek out the opinion of a qualified medical professional or dietitian to ensure you are not simply eliminating foods from your diet for the sake of it.