Cana­dian di­eti­tians say gas, bloat­ing, among most com­mon di­ges­tive woes

The Hamilton Spectator - - HEALTH - LOIS ABRA­HAM

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.

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“Nearly two in five Cana­di­ans find it chal­leng­ing to avoid gas,” says reg­is­tered di­eti­tian Lau­rie Barker Jack­man.

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