Stomach Aches

Don’t be left with the discomfort or pain of gas and bloating, which can be caused by poor digestion and/or food intolerances. Most of the time, assessing food intolerance is difficult, costly and the tests available are not always reliable.

The best approach is to question the body and observe which foods or drinks are causing us discomfort. It’s also possible to withdraw what you love to eat for at least three weeks and then reintroduce it. Again, this can be difficult when there are several foods which, alone or in combination, cause stomach aches or discomfort.

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Stomach aches are common symptoms that can have a variety of causes, including food intolerances, gas, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth). In this article, we’ll explore these different aspects and provide accessible information on how to manage them.

Food intolerances

Food intolerances occur when the digestive system has difficulty digesting certain foods. The most common intolerances are lactose and gluten. Lactose is a sugar found in dairy products, and people with lactose intolerance are deficient in lactase, the enzyme needed to digest it. Gluten, on the other hand, is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, and people with celiac disease have an abnormal immune response to gluten.

If you suspect food intolerance, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional, who can guide you in identifying problem foods and help you establish a diet plan tailored to your needs.

Gas and bloating

Gas and bloating are common symptoms related to digestion. They can be caused by excessive consumption of certain foods, such as cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts), legumes (beans, lentils) or high-fiber foods. Carbonated beverages and excessive chewing of gum can also lead to gas build-up.

To reduce gas and bloating, we recommend eating slowly, chewing food properly, avoiding fizzy drinks and limiting consumption of foods known to cause gas. In addition, certain herbs and spices, such as peppermint and ginger, can help relieve these symptoms.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic disorder that affects the colon and is characterized by abdominal pain, bloating, changes in bowel habits and increased bowel sensitivity. The exact causes of IBS are not fully understood, but factors such as stress, hormonal changes and communication problems between the brain and the gut are suspected to play a role.

Managing IBS can include dietary changes, such as avoiding individual trigger foods, increasing fiber intake, taking probiotics and reducing stress. It’s important to work closely with a healthcare professional to develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific symptoms.

See also: Preventing irritable bowel syndrome

SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth)

SIBO is a condition in which there is an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine. Common symptoms of SIBO include abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and nutritional deficiencies. The exact causes of SIBO are not always clear, but factors such as altered intestinal motility, anatomical abnormalities and microbial imbalances may contribute to its development.

SIBO can be diagnosed by means of a hydrogen breath test. Treatment of SIBO generally involves the use of antibiotics targeting excess bacteria, followed by re-education of the gut with probiotics and dietary modifications.

Read also: SIBO or too many bacteria in the small intestine

In conclusion

tummy aches can be caused by a variety of factors, including food intolerances, gas, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome and SIBO. If you experience these symptoms frequently or persistently, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and a treatment plan tailored to your individual situation. Management of these disorders can often involve dietary changes, lifestyle modifications and, in some cases, specific medications. Translated with (free version)

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Photo Jean-Pierre Deschênes

Naturopath, homeopath, massage therapist (retired!), stress coach and practical kinesiology

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Jean-Pierre Deschênes, n.d., h.d., mt.d, coach stress, pract.kin.


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