We asked a naturopath why our tummies feel so bloody bloated all the time.

Hippocrates once said “All disease begins in the gut”, but we are only now recognising how correct he was over 2000 years ago. Healthy digestion is critical to general wellbeing, and improving your gut health could be one of the best investments you can ever make.

What can cause abdominal bloating?

Abdominal bloating is often caused by gases produced by the bacteria, which live in the large intestine. These bacteria always produce some gas, but excessive gas can be produced:

  • When the gut bacteria is out of balance
  • When we consume certain foods
  • When our digestive tract is unable to absorb food

My tips to help ease abdominal bloating

Try herbal medicine for symptom relief:

Globe Artichoke and Chamomile, herbs traditionally used in Western herbal medicine may assist with symptoms such as bloating, flatulence and belching.

In traditional Chinese medicine herbs such as Chinese Licorice, Chinese Yam, Goldthread, Citrus Peel, Evodia and Black Atractylodes are often used for symptoms associated with abdominal bloating and discomfort.

Support your gut bacteria:

Did you know that your gut contains ten times more bacteria than all the human cells in the entire body?

If you are experiencing abdominal bloating, your gut bacteria could be out of balance. This imbalance may be caused by use of antibiotics and other medications, diet high in refined carbohydrates, sugar and processed foods, diet low in fermentable fibre, various toxins, chronic stress and chronic infections.

Image: Getty.

The good news is you can improve the health of your gut bacteria. Include fermented foods in your diet or choose a broad-spectrum probiotic with a higher number of strains, which can help support the diversity of your gut bacteria.

  • Eat foods, which support normal digestive enzyme production such as bitter salad leaves, apple cider vinegar, artichokes, asparagus, fermented foods, papaya, pineapple, lemons and limes. You can also include ginger, turmeric, fresh peppermint herb or tea on regular basis to help prevent or reduce bloating.
  • Pay attention to what and how you eat and document any associated symptoms. Record what you eat and how you feel each day in a diet/symptom diary for at least two weeks. This may help increase your awareness about what you are eating and how you feel.
  • Be more mindful about your eating habits; take time to smell and chew your food. This will help enhance your body’s ability to produce digestive enzymes.
  • Be organised. Prepare healthy meals for work or snacks for travel to avoid unhealthy food choices.
  • Avoid eating when stressed or on the run.
  • Manage your stress levels.
  • Exercise to assist body’s detoxification and enhance your sense of wellbeing. You are more likely to choose healthy food when you feel great.

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Ask for help:

Speak to a holistic practitioner who can help identify the actual cause of bloating. Abdominal bloating is a very general symptom and may be associated with various health conditions.

Erika is a qualified Naturopath and Holistic Nutritionist. She has over a decade of experience working within the natural therapies industry and continues to educate herself to grow her expertise. She is part of the technical services team at Fusion Health, providing expert advice to consumers, practitioners and retailers alike. She is also a founder of an online natural fertility coaching business, educating and supporting couples on their fertility journey. She is especially passionate about empowering and supporting women to live a nourished, fulfilled life. She can be contacted at

Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist, consult your healthcare practitioner.