Nutritionist and personal trainer lists her secrets for a healthy gut and how to reduce bloating FAST – as the signs you are in trouble are revealed
- Personal trainer Rachael Attard answered fan questions about gut health
- The nutritionist struggled with her gut health which caused a string of issues
- She said stress is a major contributor and recommended taking probiotics
- Rachael recommended seeing a naturopath for those who regularly bloat
A top personal trainer has revealed her tips and tricks for maintaining a healthy gut and some of the signs yours could be in trouble.
Rachael Attard, a nutritionist and coach from Queensland, asked her 101,000 followers to submit their gut-related questions and she shared her answers on Instagram.
The sports nutritionist and scientist admitted to struggling with gut health problems herself throughout her life, revealed how to reduce bloating and said stress is a major contributor to gut issues.
Personal trainer and nutritionist Rachael Attard (pictured) has revealed her tips and tricks for improving gut health including reducing stress and taking probiotics
Rachael listed the signs of a healthy gut including eating any food without feeling gassy, bloating or having issues with bowels movements
‘I have personally struggled with poor gut health, which then affected everything else – food intolerances, cravings, thyroid hormones, adrenal hormones, sleep, fatigue, and weight gain,’ she said in the post.
Four signs you could have poor gut health
1. You can’t eat certain foods without feeling gassy, bloating not having issues with bowel movements.
2. You don’t have normal daily bowel movements.
3. Food makes you feel lethargic, not energised
4. What you eat affects your sleep and energy levels.
Rachael listed the signs of a healthy gut including eating any food without feeling gassy, bloating or having issues with bowels movements.
If you have normal daily bowel movements, food makes you feel energised rather than lethargic and what you eat doesn’t affect your sleep or energy levels Rachel said your gut is in top shape.
To reduce bloating, Rachel said it’s vital to know what is causing the issue to be able to adequately treat it.
‘The most common cause of bloating is leaky gut, Dysbiosis (imbalance of good and bad bacteria) and SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth),’ she said adding getting a stool sample from a naturopath could point to the specific issue.
‘Coeliac disease, hormone changes (especially during your period), and some medications can also cause bloating.’
Rachel clarified the difference between a food allergy and intolerance saying intolerances can be fixed by improving gut health whereas allergies cannot.
‘If you are allergic to a food, your body will have an immune response, but if you are intolerant, you’ll have gut health symptoms (bloating diarrhoea, etc.),’ she said.
‘Food intolerances are also a sign that something is going on with your gut health. Once you fix your gut health, your will fix your food intolerance. Allergies aren’t treatable, but food intolerances are.’
Rachel clarified the difference between a food allergy and intolerance saying intolerances can be fixed by improving gut health whereas allergies cannot
The PT listed her tips for reducing stress which is a ‘big issue’ for both gut and overall health.
She suggested making sure to get some down time, ‘even if it’s just for 10 minutes a day’ as well as finding something to calm you don’t if you’re feeling stressed.
Prioritising getting eight hours of sleep a night to help the body recover, and not adding stress with a poor diet or alcohol Rachael said will also improve the gut.
‘Managing stress is very individual to what is causing you specific stress. Do whatever you can to reduce it,’ she said.
Rachel recommended taking probiotics and supplements for good gut health but said the quality of the products matter.
‘To find a good probiotic, I recommended one with at least 10 strains of bacteria, at least 30 billion CFU (or more) and one that has the number and letters posted after each probiotic strain,’ she said.
What are the most common causes of bloating?
Bloating is usually caused by changes in your diet, for example if you have eaten a lot of rich food. One theory is that what you eat changes the type of bacteria you have in your gut, leading to bloating and gas.
Eating a lot of salty food and carbohydrates can make you feel bloated, as can swallowing air when you eat too fast or drink a lot of fizzy drinks.
Regular bloating can be caused by other problems, including:
- coeliac disease
- food intolerance, usually to gluten, wheat or milk (lactose intolerance)
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- hormones, including before your period or during menopause
- some medicines
- gaining weight
How is bloating treated?
- Bloating will usually go away by itself if you adjust your diet for a while. Cut down on salty foods, carbohydrates and fizzy drinks. For some people, it can help to avoid foods that contain onion or garlic, wheat, rye, lactose products or stone fruit.
- Bloating caused by constipation can be treated by eating more high-fibre foods, increasing the amount of water that you drink, and exercising regularly. Some people may need laxatives to treat constipation.
- If you have a medical condition such as coeliac disease, you will need to follow a strict diet to prevent bloating and other symptoms.
- If you have IBS, following a high-fibre diet and the low FODMAP diet may help. This involves cutting out some dairy products, wheat and other grains, and some fruits and vegetables. Talk to a health professional such as your doctor or a dietitian before starting this diet to make sure it is right for you.
- If you have a food intolerance, you may need to try an elimination diet to find out which food or foods are causing your problems. Your doctor or dietitian will advise you.
- Some people find that probiotics containing lactobacillus and bifidobacterium can help with bloating by reducing the production of gas in the gut.