Bloating, farts and other extremely “Unfeminine” topics…
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? Are you in pain because you are constantly holding your farts... as any "polite, properly behaved lady" should do?...
Then you will LOVE this post!
We know that healthy gut contributes to our brain health, better mood, healthy sleep, youthful look, good energy levels and of course, a healthy menstrual cycle! Yet research shows that most women still feel embarrassed to discuss their digestive issues, even with their health care providers. Why is that? Well...maybe it's because we were taught that "girls don't fart". Really??? 😂 OH, YES, WE DO! #excuseme
This false (repeat after me…“FALSE”) feeling of embarrassment pushes many women to disregard their pain and discomfort or start seeking answers someplace else (aka social media), rather than reaching out for help when they truly need it.
I am a women’s dietitian, and I say, “BLOATING and farting 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 bloat because we’ve eaten more than usual, or have not eaten anything for awhile because we were sooo busy and then suddenly ate fast, or...maybe we just simply 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 social media 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 or really affects your life…if you are struggling with chronic constipation or diarrhea, it is time to have a chat with your doctor or a digestive health nutritionist!