why are young women bloated?
Our gut health is important, so why do so many of us neglect it? I know I definitely do. Even though I put so much emphasis on improving my mental and physical health, I just assumed that my constant bloating was normal, since many of my friends are also going through the same thing.
Regular episodes of constipation and stomach problems have apparently become commonplace among young people. When I asked my Instagram followers if they were actively thinking about their gut health, 75% said no. PT Joe Mitton recount Stylist that gut health is “essential to everything we do” – so why do so few of us care?
Mitton thinks that when it comes to young people, gut health is “probably the most overlooked aspect of fitness.” Often we don’t physically see the signs of poor gut health, and when we do, consultant hematologist and lecturer Dr. Shireen Kassam says we don’t make the connection between gut health and gut health. other aspects of our well-being.
A lack of gut health education is evident, with many young people not realizing that many factors, not just your diet, can impact your gut. Mitton thinks it’s easy to ignore the gut, because a lot of people think, “It’s okay, I’m young.” But intestinal problems left untreated can cause serious problems.
I know that’s all too true; I started having gut issues in my early teens and didn’t speak to a doctor properly until last year – and I’m not the only person in my social circles in the same situation.
So, are young people entirely responsible for neglecting their gut health? It’s a topic rarely mentioned – not just by our educators and peers, but also by influencers. Many of these fitness bloggers focus on exercises you can do to improve your outward appearance, but rarely discuss the connection between fitness and your gut.
Sarah Campus, personal trainer and founder of LDN Moms Fitnessbelieves that people tend to “think of other factors that are more mental and physical” when it comes to our health, as these are the areas where we tend to see results.
According to Dr. Kassam, our gut health impacts “every aspect of our body.” If you’re having health issues in another area, it can be helpful to consider what your gut is doing, as often conditions can be linked without us even realizing it.
How to improve your gut health
Dr. Kassam explains that even if you’ve neglected your gut health, beneficial changes can be made “in days to weeks.” Before you start overloading on fruits and vegetables, remember that this change must be maintained – your gut health will not improve if your actions to deal with it are not sustainable.
Develop a more intuitive relationship with your body
Mitton suggests asking yourself, “What does my body need and how can I give it those nutrients?” To improve your gut health, you have to deal with your body’s signals.
Dr Kassam tells us that getting a good amount of sleep can be surprisingly valuable when you start treating your gut and that psychological stress can also have a negative impact on your gut health – it really is true that a healthy mind and a healthy body go hand in hand.
De-stress the way that suits you
Campus also says stress reduction is important: “Do activities you enjoy, including exercise, self-care, seeing friends, and listening to a podcast or music.”
It’s crucial not to neglect your workout routine when looking for answers to your gut issues. Campus breaks down the link between physical activity and gut health, explaining, “Exercise promotes the growth of bacteria that produce the fatty acid responsible for promoting gut lining repair and reducing inflammation. , thus potentially preventing diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and insulin. resistance.”
Eat more fiber
The most important part of improving gut health is your diet. While many young people may admit that they are not eating as well as they should or not drinking enough water, we often fail to make the connection between our poor diet and poor gut health. Dr. Kassam points out that our modern diets are often “industrialized” and “low in fibre”, which can cause day-to-day problems. Both Kassam and Campus recommend eating 30 plants per week, which can aid digestion and help maintain gut health.
Try new fermented foods
Dr. Kassam also recommends trying adding fermented foods to your diet, such as sauerkraut and kimchi — if you’ve never tried these foods before, don’t worry. Improving your gut health through your diet can often be an exciting way to find new favorites; after starting my gut health journey, fermented probiotic yogurt drink kefir became one of my daily staples. Campus says probiotic foods like live yogurt “encourage the growth of more good bacterial microbes.”
Staying hydrated is key to maintaining good gut health
And don’t forget that hydration is the key to a healthier gut. This was one of the areas where I noticed an immediate change; the NHS Eatwell guide recommends between six and eight cups of water a day, which equates to around 2 litres. I can’t caution you enough against underestimating the importance of drinking water regularly – within a week of hitting my daily water intake, the majority of my bloating issues were gone.
Despite all of this, it’s still important to see a doctor if you’re concerned about your gut health. Lifestyle changes can often be a solution for those with mild gut issues, such as occasional constipation and mild bloating, but if you have more serious symptoms, the best thing you can do for yourself is to stop neglecting this aspect of your well-being, and get checked out.