Food Intolerance - Smartblood Q&A

Could beer be behind your bloating?

The easing of lockdown has ushered in a welcome return to the beer garden. While many of us indulged in alcoholic drinks at home over the past year, the social element of the pub has been something that many of us have missed.

For some of us, our alcohol intake has reduced, as at-home drinking lacked the lustre of a good night out. Now, as we head back to our favourite spots to enjoy soaking up the sun with a cold, refreshing glass of our favourite tipple, we might start to notice some unwanted side effects creeping in as we reintroduce some of our best loved beverages.

If you’ve noticed that you’ve been feeling bloated lately, and this seems to coincide with going out more frequently, it might be time to take a closer look at what’s in your glass.

Battling the bloat

Bloating happens when you have a build-up of gas in the stomach and intestines. The sensation can range from mild discomfort to sharp, intense pain as the trapped air moves around your abdomen.

You may also notice that your stomach looks distended. This swollen appearance can sometimes be quite extreme.

What causes bloating?

There are many factors which can cause the build-up of excessive gas that leads to bloating, including:

  • Swallowing too much air. Munching gum, talking while eating or chewing with your mouth open can all cause you to take in excess air which, when swallowed, can lead to bloating.
  • Fizzy drinks. Carbonated drinks are a common cause of bloating, thanks to all the bubbles entering your digestive system.
  • Premenstrual tension (PMS). For many women, bloating is a common and uncomfortable symptom associated with PMS during the monthly menstrual cycle.
  • Coeliac disease. Approximately 1% of the UK population reportedly suffers with this immune condition, which causes a reaction to gluten. Side effects include bloating, as well as diarrhoea and stomach aches.
  • Food intolerance. Much more common than coeliac disease, around 45% of the UK population is believed to suffer with a food intolerance, causing problems such as bloating and other digestive discomforts.

What is food intolerance?

Food intolerances can occur when your body’s immune system mistakes a food protein as a threat, releasing antibodies to fight it. This reaction can cause inflammation, leading to a host of complaints such as headaches, brain fog, skin conditions like eczema or acne, or joint pain. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and bloating are particularly common complaints.

It’s estimated that around 45% of the UK population has some kind of food intolerance. Often, they go undetected for years, causing mild, but persistent and frustrating problems that stop you from feeling your best.  

So, could it be alcohol?

While the general term ‘alcohol intolerance’ suggests a sensitivity to ethanol, it’s more likely that you are reacting to one of the many ingredients found in the beverage.

These potential ‘trigger foods’ are often completely overlooked, as we tend to assume that it’s simply a case of ‘drinking too much’, which causes us to feel unwell.

So, what could be causing the bloat?

Yeast

The basis of the fermentation process necessary in beers and wines, yeast is a common trigger for food Intolerance. Feeding off sugars to ferment, the resulting bubbling can be upsetting for the digestive system for those with a yeast intolerance.

While it can be difficult to avoid yeast when it comes to alcohol, you can choose to partake in spirits and mixers such as vodka, gin, or bourbon. Or instead, opt for filtered beers and wines.

Wheat and gluten

A component of wheat-based beers and ales, gluten can be a common cause of many problems with digestion.

If you feel that the swollen stomach that you’re experiencing the next day simply doesn’t add up to the amount you actually drank, it could be the case that it’s the gluten causing you problems.

Fruit

Many artisanal beers, as well as ciders and perries, are made using a range of fruits. This can be bad news if you have an intolerance to berries, apples, pears, or other fruits such as citrus.

As a food we assume is good for us, even in alcohol we don’t tend to think fruit would cause us any problems. But, if you’re experiencing reactions to certain fruits, they could be behind your bloating.

Take control of your diet

Getting to the bottom of a food intolerance can be frustrating. A common recommendation is the elimination diet, where you remove one food at a time for a few weeks to see how you feel. But this process can take a long time. And, although many of us commonly react to a few different ingredients, the elimination diet is often abandoned when the first trigger food is found, leaving an incomplete picture of what’s causing the problem.

Get answers faster with Smartblood

When it comes to food intolerance testing, it’s important to do your research and choose a reputable laboratory testing company.

At Smartblood, we offer a comprehensive test to help you take control of your diet quickly and discover your own trigger foods. 

Our home-to-laboratory service gives you fast, accurate results that pinpoint exactly which foods you are reacting to. Tests are completed in our accredited laboratory by trained experts, with clear, easy to understand results sent to you via email within three days.  

Dedicated nutritional support

Our tests include a telephone consultation with our BANT registered Nutritional Therapist. This additional support is there to help you understand your results the changes you need to make to optimise your diet.

Find out more about our tests

Smartblood Story - Julia's Intolerance to Dairy

Julia is a market trader, and also studying speech and language therapy. Julia has suffered with regular migraines for over 22 years, and has tried everything to get rid of them, even ice baths!

It wasn't until Julia had a Smartblood food intolerance test recommended to her by one of her friends that she found out that she had raised IgG antibody levels to many dairy products. Replacing these foods with others on the advice of a Smartblood nutritional therapist has made a big difference in Julia's life - her migraines have vanished, and she would recommend a Smartblood test to anybody.

It’s estimated that those with trigger foods actually react to between 4 and 6 ingredients and the results can be surprising. Anything from prawns to potatoes can present a problem.

If you think dairy is causing you discomfort, cut out the guesswork with a Smartblood test. With results available in as little as 3 days, you don’t have to wait long to take control of your diet and see the benefits.

The 1st-step indicator test is popular with those that have health problems that may be explained by a food intolerance but want to just check this before proceeding to a full test, which can be done on the same sample with no extra effort.

The full Smartblood test is a complete program that includes a 30 minute consultation with one of our BANT registered Nutritional Therapists and is a great way to discover all of your food sensitivities and take control over your own personal trigger foods.

Image

1st Step Test

  • A Simple Yes/No
  • Result in 3 Days
  • Our most popular pathway
  • Can Upgrade if Positive
£19.75Free p&p
Image

Smartblood Test

  • Reactions to 134 Foods
  • Results in 3 Days
  • £110 Refund if No Reactions
  • Nutritionist Consultation
£129.75Free p&p

If you think that a food intolerance may be responsible for your symptoms then we believe that our easy to complete tests could help you. SImply choose either a 1st-step indicator test for a positive/negative result overall or find out all of your food intolerances out at once with the full Smartblood test.

The 1st-step indicator test is popular with those that have health problems that may be explained by a food intolerance but want to just check this before proceeding to a full test, which can be done on the same sample with no extra effort.

The full Smartblood test is a complete program that includes a 30 minute consultation with one of our BANT registered Nutritional Therapists and is a great way to discover all of your food sensitivities and take control over your own personal trigger foods.

Image

1st Step Test

£19.75
  • A Simple Yes/No
  • Result in 3 Days
  • Our most popular pathway
  • Can Upgrade if Positive
Image

Smartblood Test

£129.75
  • Reactions to 134 Foods
  • Results in 3 Days
  • £110 Refund if No Reactions
  • Nutritionist Consultation

If you think that you may have a food intolerance then we believe that our easy to complete tests could help you. SImply choose either a 1st-step indicator test for a positive/negative result overall or find out all of your food intolerances out at once with the full Smartblood test.

The 1st-step indicator test is popular with those that have health problems that may be explained by a food intolerance but want to just check this before proceeding to a full test, which can be done on the same sample with no extra effort.

The full Smartblood test is a complete programme that includes a 30 minute consultation with one of our BANT registered Nutritional Therapists and is a great way to discover all of your food sensitivities and take control over your own personal trigger foods.

Image

1st Step Test

£19.75
  • A Simple Yes/No
  • Result in 3 Days
  • Our most popular pathway
  • Can Upgrade if Positive
Image

Smartblood Test

£129.75
  • Reactions to 134 Foods
  • Results in 3 Days
  • £110 Refund if No Reactions
  • Nutritionist Consultation