What causes digestive discomfort and bloating?
There are a multitude of culprits behind a bloated belly and other digestive symptoms. The term bloating usually refers to a feeling of increased pressure inside the intestines that may or may not be visible and is often due to excess gas or wind. Occasional bloating can be normal. You might have eaten too much, eaten too fast, drunk too many fizzy drinks or eaten gas-inducing food like Brussels sprouts, beans or lentils. These types of foods are fermented by bacteria in the colon and lead to gas production as a normal by product of metabolism.
Regular bloating and gut discomfort can be caused by other problems including:2
- Food intolerances, such as lactose, gluten and wheat
- Medically diagnosed irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Some medication
- Hormones, including before your period and during menopause
- Abnormal levels of bacteria in the small intestine3
- Imbalance of gut microbes (dysbiosis/dysbacteriosis)3
What role do probiotics play in bloating and other digestive symptoms?
Certain probiotics can help to keep your gut happy by managing digestive discomfort and relieving bloating and wind. The probiotic strain Lactobacillus plantarum 299v has been investigated in numerous clinical trials and found to improve common digestive symptoms such as gas and bloating. Lactobacillus plantarum 299v may also be suitable if you suffer from medically diagnosed IBS. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 4 weeks of taking Lactobacillus plantarum 299v significantly reduced both the daily frequency and intensity of abdominal pain and bloating associated with medically diagnosed IBS.4 Other probiotic strains that have shown beneficial effects for gut symptoms associated with medically diagnosed IBS include lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis. In one large scale study, 6 weeks of taking this probiotic combination resulted in a significant reduction in abdominal pain and bloating and normalised bowel habits in adults (18-70 years) with medically diagnosed irritable bowel syndrome.5
Which probiotic should I take to relieve digestive discomfort naturally?
There are Inner Health probiotics that can assist with the promotion and maintenance of optimal digestive health and provide targeted (medically-diagnosed) IBS support.
If you suffer from an intermittent sore and puffy belly, wind, inadequate bowel motions and digestive discomfort you could try Inner Health Digestive Defence. Digestive Defence contains high strength Lactobacillus plantarum 299v and may help to support healthy digestion, normal bowel function and relieve digestive discomfort, bloating and wind.
If you’ve been medically diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, there are two products which may be suitable for your needs. Inner Health IBS Support contains Lactobacillus plantarum 299v to help reduce gas and pain and other symptoms of medically diagnosed IBS. Inner Health IBS Control provides 3 probiotic strains for extra strength symptom relief and may be more appropriate for your situation. IBS Control can relieve and reduce the occurrence of medically diagnosed IBS symptoms including gut pain, discomfort, intestinal gas and bloating as well as support healthy bowel function.
If bloating and gut symptoms persist, worsen or become more frequent, you should visit your medical practitioner.
- Belobrajdic D, 2018, ‘Gut health and weight loss: An overview of the scientific evidence of the benefits of dietary fibre during weight loss’. CSIRO, Australia
- Healthdirect, 2020, Bloating, viewed 6 February 2023, <https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/bloating>
- International Foundation for Gastrointestinal disorders, 2023, Understanding bloating and distention, viewed 6 February 2023, < https://iffgd.org/gi-disorders/symptoms-causes/bloating-and-distension/>
- Ducrotte P, 2012, ‘Clinical trial: Lactobacillus plantarum 299v (DSM 9843) improves symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome’, World J Gastroenterol, Vol 18, no 30, pp4012-8
- Martoni C, 2020, ‘Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1 and Bifidobacterium lactis UABla-12 Improve Abdominal Pain Severity and Symptomology in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Randomized Controlled Trial’, Nutrients, no 12, vol 2, p 363