Natural steps for banishing gas and bloating

“HELP! I need a cure for bloating and flatulence. I love beans and sweet potatoes, and I know they’re healthy foods. But the price I usually have to pay when I eat them is very bad gas, flatulence and bloating that is becoming too much to bear. I also have multiple uterine fibroids that are so large, they bulge when I lie down and when my bladder is full. I feel as if (and wonder if) the pressure from fibroids are blocking my intestines and blocking bowel movement. What remedies are there for me?”

Dr. Fred: First off, the fibroids definitely play a role in all of this. They’re not going away, and they’re sharing the same space with all of your organs. So when you eat and your body is digesting the foods, it just adds to the “too-many-things-and-not-enough-room” feeling—which is extremely uncomfortable. But, there are things you can do to work around this problem.

The first thing you can try is my top recommendation for fibroids: lipotropic factors. Lipotropic factors are substances that can help dissolve fatty deposits in the body. Sometimes I have seen fibroids shrink quite nicely after just a few months of using this approach. Choline is one of the most common lipotropic factors. I recommend 150 mg per day.

As for the bloating and the gas, in my experience, it’s not usually high-fiber foods (like beans and sweet potatoes) that are the real culprits. Often, these symptoms are actually brought on by an underlying yeast or candida issue. And the primary culprit for yeast overgrowth is eating too many sweets or simple carbohydrates.

Obviously, the first step is to eliminate sugar and simple carbs from your diet. But you can help the process along by investing in a good, multi-strain probiotic supplement as well. To get rid of yeast overgrowth, I would recommend up to five capsules twice per day for two days, and then two capsules twice per day for three months. (After that, you can taper back to a maintenance dose.) Grapefruit seed extract can also help break down candida, so your body can eliminate it faster. I recommend 200 mg three times per day.

And finally, to help you process the food you eat more efficiently so there’s less bloating and gas, I would recommend digestive enzymes. I’ve discussed the importance of these in the past (refer back to the August 2014 issue for a more detailed discussion of enzymes). But they can be crucial for people struggling with digestive disturbances, so it bears repeating. Here’s a quick list of some of the key digestive enzymes you should be taking with every meal:

  • Papain—From papaya and helps digest proteins
  • Amylase—Aids the digestion of starches and carbohydrates
  • Lipase—Aids the digestion of fats
  • Cellulase—Helps break down fiber
  • Lactase—Helps break down milk sugars in dairy products
  • Bromelain—From pineapples and helps digest protein

The good news is, there are numerous products on the market that include most—if not all—of these enzymes in one formula. Start with a low dose and take it with every meal.