Bloating and Gas: Is Family the Cause?

We have all dealt with uncomfortable bloating and gas.  Let’s be real.  You have probably even been embarrassed by it once or twice, or even more.  We have all been there.  The occasional bloating and gas is not ideal, but it is not exactly abnormal either.  You eat something you shouldn’t have or you encounter a stomach bug are possible causes.  For the most part though these tend to pass.  Then what is abnormal?

Abnormal bloating and gas is you dealing with this every day for an ongoing period of time.  That is not good.  In fact, it is a big red flag.  If this is you, chances are you and Dr. Google have probably already formed a doctor-patient relationship.  I will tell you a little secret.  I actually was curious and asked Dr. Google myself what causes these symptoms.  The good “Doc” gave me a couple of resources (aka. search engine results), all of which seemed to say the same thing.  Yet, I noticed there was one cause that seemed to left out of all of these resources.

Family: The Cause of Bloating and Gas

Today, I am going to break my normal pattern of sharing information.  Normally, I like to provide the background and then give you the punchline.  What do you say we try something different today?  I am going to give you the punchline, or your main take away point, and then give you the context.  Now if you only read the punchline and don’t hear me out, the punchline is not going to mean that much.  So hear me out.

The cause of your bloating and gas is your family.  Before you think that is the silliest correlation that you have heard, that I just don’t like my family or I am simply grasping for some out there concept to get your attention, there actually is a connection.  I really enjoy my family, in-laws and all.  But let’s be honest, as much as we love our families, spouses, kids, in-laws and extended family, they can stress us out.  “Family ties” prevent us from walking away, whereas if it were someone outside the family, we might just avoid them.  So family causes stress.

Good or Bad Doesn’t Matter

I am about to make the link to bloating and gas, so don’t lose me here.  I am intentionally being generic with the word stress.  There are many different types, not just emotional stress.  Chemical, physical also come to mind.  Ironically some stress is even good, although we rarely associate it that way.  Stress as a whole, good or bad, is incompatible with normal gut function.  So whether it is your family as your source of stress, or some other external stimulus, the door is open for dysfunction of the gut, including bloating and gas.

The Communication Train Derailed

Have you ever seen the aftermath of a derailed train.  What a catastrophe!  The cargo and precious lives don’t make it to their destination.  Such a terrible situation.  I bet what you didn’t know is that you have tracks in your body as well.  Instead of cargo, your tracks carry information.  Literally one of the most important tracks is the one between your brain and your gut.  When this communication tracks gets thrown off, the stage is being set for bloating and gas.

The Stage

Your body has two modes, dealing with stress, or nice and relaxed.  Now depending on what function within your body we are talking about, dictates which mode it will occur in.  The one relevant to our conversation is digestion.  Optimal digestion takes place when you are nice and relaxed.  Ever wonder why you pray before a meal.  It is primarily to thank God and secondarily to put you in a more relaxed mental state to enjoy your food and digest it completely.

The mental connection to digestion occurs via a single nerve called the vagus nerve.  Don’t get side tracked on the name.  The important point I want you to see is that this is the route through which your brain and gut communicate.  As long as you are relaxed, this communication takes place efficient, enzymes and other digestive secretions take place and digestion is flawless.

Is a Derailed Train Sabotaging Your Digestion?

When the communication train between your brain and gut are derailed secondary to stress, bloating and gas are a matter of time.  Stress puts you in a mode that does not support digestion.  If you are saying to yourself right now, “I’m always stressed.”  Then I must inform you that you are not digesting your food adequately.  Adequate digestion of food prevents bloating and gas.  However, if your brain does not talk to your gut, you will not secrete enzymes and more, leaving your food undigested.

Undigested food creates a feast for bacteria and yeast in the gut.  Food not broken down with digestion itself can cause problems.  The result; bloating and gas.  I think at this point, you, like others are probably shaking your head trying to figure out how you are going to eat in a more relaxed state give the daily onslaught of stress, including your daily familial duties.

The Straight Truth

Here is the answer.  Actually two.  First, you have to make a conscious effort to change the environment around you when you eat.  If you continue to eat in a stressed state all the time, don’t expect anything to change.  That would be insanity, doing the same thing expecting a different result.  Small steps, even taking the time to pray before a meal is significant.  Now I am a realist.  There are times I know that stress is unavoidable.  When that happens, and it will, supplemental digestive support is the answer.  It is not a crutch, but support to reduce bloating and gas until you correct the underlying dysfunction.

Alright, so I cannot blame all of your bloating and gas on family.  That is not fair.  They are likely responsible for only a fraction.  Put I had to help you see how a seemingly non-problematic stress is still significant.  So much so that it will decrease the communication between the brain and gut.  And that is just enough to open the door for you to have persistent bloating and gas.

 

1 reply
  1. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    Great article! Thanks for the reminder! I think my newborn is causing my gas! She has gas too, so the feeling is probably mutual! Haha

    Reply

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