Image: Courtesy of Arrae

We Spoke to a Naturopathic Doctor About Bloating So You Didn’t Have To

Arrae's experts gave us the low down on everything bloat.

Bloating is still one of the biggest mysteries I’ve ever come across in life. It seems as though I can run into it, no matter what I eat or drink. What is it? Does it have to happen? Can I prevent it by eating a healthy diet? Is there a way I can supercharge my digestion? To find out more, I interviewed naturopathic doctor, Dr. Kelcie Harris, Naturopathic Physician on Arrae’s Medical Advisory Board, to give us the 101 on bloating and answers to the many questions asked from this topic. Arrae’s bloat products are a blend of 5 herbs and a fruit-based digestive enzyme that target every possible cause for bloating so you feel relief immediately (in under 1 hour). In addition to their super popular capsules, Arrae recently launched their Bloat Latte—aka the a new way to de-bloat, without swallowing a pill. Keep reading for more on everything you need to know about bloating!
Image: Courtesy of Arrae

Everything You Need to Know About Bloating

1) What are the common misconceptions of bloating? Can you bloat from healthy foods, not just junk foods?

Foods that are generally considered “healthy” can still cause bloating if your body is not able to metabolize them well. These are known as food intolerances, or foods that your body is not able to digest properly. When you are intolerant to a food, you are not able to benefit from the nutrients it contains and eating these foods can result in sub-optimal digestion and cause symptoms such as bloating, constipation and diarrhea.

2) How is bloat related to hormonal cycles and what can be done to combat this?

Approximately 70% of women suffer from increased bloating around their menstrual period. Bloating and other PMS symptoms are caused by fluctuations in the levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Women who have inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS) are more likely to experience increased cyclical gastrointestinal symptoms. While it can be difficult to completely resolve increased bloating, gas and constipation around your menses, you can decrease symptom severity and feel more comfortable during your monthly cycle. Dietary choices, exercise and natural supplementation can be effective in decreasing period bloating woes.

Fluctuating levels in estrogen and progesterone are the cause of increased menstrual bloating. Progesterone levels are higher mid-cycle until several days before menstruation where they take a dive. Progesterone causes decreased motility, or slowing, in the digestive tract which can lead to symptoms such as gas, bloating and constipation. Rising levels of estrogen and the decrease in progesterone that occurs several days before your period also causes increased fluid retention. More fluid retention means increased bloating. Although cyclical hormonal shifts are somewhat beyond our control, the severity of menstrual bloating can be decreased through diet, exercise and targeted supplementation.

3) Are bloating and stress linked?

Yes! Digestion is a function of the parasympathetic, or “rest and digest”, portion of the autonomic nervous system, or ANS. The ANS has two main branches, the parasympathetic branch and the sympathetic, or “fight or flight”, branch. Back before the modern era, activation of the sympathetic nervous system allowed us to run away from predators. Nowadays, it’s in charge of our response to everyday stressors such as traffic, deadlines, etc. When we are in a sympathetic state blood is shunted to our extremities, away from our digestive organs. We do not process food well while we are in a sympathetic state which can lead to the symptoms such as bloating.

4) What are the best ways to de-bloat while traveling?

The best way to de-bloat while traveling is to prevent it from happening in the first place. I like to pack my own snack-pack full of fiber-rich, whole foods. I make sure to include foods that I normally consume in my day-to-day routine so I know how I feel when I eat them. This hack helps me to avoid eating the excessively salty, processed food that is available during travel. It is also important to stay well hydrated, especially during air travel. I bring my own refillable liter water bottle that I make sure to regularly drink from for the duration of travel. On top of these nutrition tips, Arrae’s Bloat Capsules are a quick fix, too!

5) How do the combination of Arrae’s natural products work effectively in under an hour?

Bloat by Arrae works to beat belly bloat with a powerful combination of natural digestive aids. The ingredients in Bloat are not laxatives and they are non-habit forming, making this product safe to use frequently if needed. Ginger root, dandelion root, bromelain, slippery elm, lemon balm and peppermint work synergistically in this product to decrease gas, bloating and abdominal discomfort following meals.

Bloat by Arrae is an effective, non-habit forming digestive supplement. The herbs and enzymes in this product are designed to soothe abdominal discomfort and the gas or bloating that commonly occurs following meals. Bloat does not contain any laxatives, making it safe for daily use if needed. It is not meant to be used as a weight loss aid, but instead to help you find food freedom and enjoy your favorite meals again. For more information I recommend reading this blog post.

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