Canadian dietitians say gas, bloating, among most common digestive woes
TORONTO — Feeling gassy? Bloated? You’re not alone, according to Dietitians of Canada.
These digestive woes are among the most common troubling Canadians, based on calls fielded by dietitians at Eat Right Ontario and HealthLink B.C.
“People don’t usually want to chat about that and try to figure that out, but what we need to tell people is it’s normal. Nearly two in five Canadians find it challenging to avoid gas,” says registered dietitian Laurie Barker Jackman.
Other problems include irritable bowel syndrome, stress-induced eating, managing a condition like diabetes or high blood pressure, and knowing which information to trust, says Dietitians of Canada, which is highlighting these issues in their annual March Nutrition Month campaign.
About 90 per cent of gassiness comes from air swallowed when talking while eating or drinking from a straw. Carbonated beverages and chewing gum can also lead to gassiness, as can eating too quickly, too much, or late at night.
Carbohydrate-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, dried beans, lentils, chocolate bars, chips and candies can also be culprits.
“When you can’t fully digest that carbohydrate you produce more gas,” says Barker Jackman from Halifax.
“Everybody’s different. What affects me might not affect you in the same way,” she adds. “We need to figure out what foods are causing the problem.”
This can include keeping a food journal to spot trends of a food or behaviour causing discomfort. In some cases, gas or irritable bowel syndrome could be a sign of lactose intolerance or celiac disease
Don’t eliminate gluten ahead of seeing a doctor. A test might yield a false negative, says Emily Mardell, a registered dietitian in Edmonton.
Almost half of Canadians turn to the Internet for answers about what foods are best for them, the group’s survey shows.
“Ask key questions such as: ‘Is the website offering a quick fix or a miracle cure? Are they trying to sell me something. Are the writers qualified to be giving me the information?’ ” Mardell says.
“Nearly two in five Canadians find it challenging to avoid gas,” says registered dietitian Laurie Barker Jackman.