Does your self-esteem sink every time your insides grumble throughout the day? Do you find yourself bingeing on Tik Tok viral videos where women are “normalizing” their bloated bellies?
Then you will LOVE this post!
Many people already know that our gut health contributes to our brain health, better mood, healthy sleep, youthful look and energy levels. Yet, research shows that most women feel embarrassed to discuss their digestive health, even with their health care provider! Why is that? Well...maybe it's because "girls don't fart". Really??? 😂 Oh, yes, we do! #excuseme
This false (repeat after me…“FALSE”) feeling of embarrassment pushes us to start seeking answers someplace else (aka social media), rather than reaching out for advice or help when we need it.
I am a women’s dietitian, and I say, “BLOATING can be completely normal!”.
In fact, the unique interplay of systems in a woman's body can increase the potential for many digestive issues, making us extra vulnerable to gas, diarrhea, constipation and more! For instance, our hormone levels fluctuate throughout every month, which increases the risk of subsequent digestive problems, especially around mid-to-end of the cycle.
We also have longer colons than men! Yep, in fact by almost 10 cm (5 inches)! This causes the female colon to drop deeper into the pelvis, where we ALSO have our reproductive organs and bladder - so its quite crowdy, if you can imagine. Research also shows that women may have a more diverse microbiome than men, which seems to be linked to the longer time it takes for food to pass through the colon. Finally, we can simply bloat because we’ve eaten more than usual, or have not eaten anything for awhile and then suddenly eaten fast, or we just ate something new.
And for that, I love those Tik Tok videos! I love that we can use social media in a way that normalizes a woman’s body and experiences and helps to bust negative “gassy” thoughts.
I would never suggest to use Tik Tok as a “remedy”. Because the ultimate truth is not all bloating is normal! If you are bloated for most of the day…if it is painful, uncomfortable or affects your life…if you are struggling with constipation or diarrhea, it is time to have a chat with your doctor or a dietitian.
I always say – your health is your wealth! And your digestive health is natural, NOT embarrassing!!!
As always, love you all and til next!