This One Thing is Causing Your Bloating

Understand this function of the gut to beat the bloat

The gut’s tiny housekeeper

The Migrating Motor Complex (MMC), a sequence of electromechanical activity in the stomach and small intestine, is responsible for maintaining a clean and tidy gut. Many scientists refer to it as the gut’s ‘little housekeeper’ as it works to sweep the undigested food from our meals and snacks onward from our stomach and small intestine to the lower parts of the digestive system. In her book, Enders writes that “an hour after the small intestine has digested something, it begins the cleanup process”. The MMC ensures that all food is processed and sent on its way into the large intestines and beyond, but critically the function only kicks in during periods of fasting, which is bad news for enthusiastic snackers.

Step away from the snacks!

In her book, Giulia Enders cautions readers about eating too regularly as, ”constant snacking means there is no time for cleaning”. Eating throughout the day interrupts the optimal function of the MMC and residual undigested food gets left behind and begins to ferment. Over time, this leads to an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestines and creates a prime environment for bloating and other IBS symptoms. The stomach and small intestine must be completely empty before the MMC is able to get to work. A mid-morning snack will break the natural fasting periods between breakfast and lunch and will hit the MMC’s pause button.

Give your gut a break

By reviewing the frequency of your meals you will allow the MMC to function and ensure all of the food from your last meal is properly processed before you load up the stomach with more. Enders explains what happens when you fail to insert an appropriate break between meals, “if we eat something before the cleanup is finished, the housekeeper immediately stops working and returns to waiting mode”. A gap of up to 5 hours between meals is recommended to allow the MMC to complete the cleanup cycle.

  • Eat a portion of food at mealtimes that will sustain you between meals
  • If you insist on a sweet treat or dessert, eat it directly after the main meal
  • Chew food properly and limit distractions by not eating at your desk or in front of the TV
  • Review your stress level and assess how it is impacting your digestion

Source : Medium