With Love
From Kat

With Love
From Kat

Common Causes of Bloating and Digestion Problems

Happy Wednesday!  I never thought I’d be talking about bloating on here, but it’s something that I’ve personally been dealing with for the past 3 years and after opening up about it on my instastories, I was shocked to learn so many of you have too.  It seems like almost everyone I know these days is suffering from bloating, digestion problems, stomach pain, and/or food sensitivities.  And what’s really sad is that most of us haven’t been able to figure out what’s causing it. Despite seeing countless doctors and trying every diet under the sun!

Well, I feel incredibly lucky and grateful to have finally gotten to the bottom of my stomach problems and I wanted to share everything I’ve learned over the past 3 years with you.  I’m a total nerd and when I need an answer to something or am interested in a particular topic. I go on a deep dive and read every article, book or podcast I can get my hands on to find a solution!  I have been able to speak to countless experts in the industry and pour through hundreds of documents to come up with this list for you!

Ultimately what really solved my bloating though – was listening to my body, a lot of trial and error, and eliminating foods high in histamine.  As a reminder I am not a doctor and you should consult with yours before making any drastic lifestyle changes!

-Raw veggies especially cucumber skin and carrots are hard to digest for some
-Eating fruit with other food. It should always be eaten on an empty stomach
-Probiotics containing lactose or weird additives
-Kombucha (at least for me!)
-Chewing gum
-Refined sugar – try an alternative like maple syrup or coconut nectar/sugar
-Nuts – if you can tolerate nuts, only eat sprouted or soaked nuts because they are much easier to digest
-Gluten free baked goods that you think are healthy but actually have more chemicals in them!
-Brown rice syrup (found in many energy bars)
-Brown rice – I eat white rice since it’s easier to digest, many say brown is healthier, but my bod just doesn’t digest it as well
Stevia – I got addicted to stevia and it actually increased my sugar cravings and made me feel sick after consuming it regularly
Agave – this is not a healthy sugar alternative
-Alcohol – If I do drink, I love Belvedere because it’s the purest vodka
-Additives and preservatives in food like guar gum and carrageenan. Basically anything that you can’t pronounce or don’t know what it is and isn’t natural – wreak havoc on my gut – and is found in “healthy” food including almond milk and yogurt too. So read your labels and don’t buy anything with it
-You could have SIBO or a parasite
-You could have a food sensitivity and not know it (I found out I have a histamine intolerance)
Histamine intolerance
-Drinking ice cold beverages. Cold liquids are a major culprit for me so I drink mostly room temperature water, etc.
-Carbonated beverages – even Pellegrino
-Too much salt (the celery juice craze is real, but celery is very high in salt, so cut the salt content by adding in other veggies with your juice)
-Too much fiber and not enough water with it
-Not enough water throughout the day
-Drinking too much water with a meal. You should technically not drink water 20 minutes before a meal and 1 hour after since it dilutes the digestive enzymes in your tummy, I don’t follow this religiously, but I am mindful not to guzzle water with a meal, or right after a meal – instead I’ll have small sips if I’m dying of thirst
Stress – we hold emotions in our guts
-Nightshade sensitivity.  I stay away from tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and mushrooms 90% of the time since they cause inflammation
-Supplements/powders that aren’t high quality or that your body just can’t digest/break down – I do not take anything
-Not giving your body enough time to digest between meals and grazing throughout the day
-Eating too many high FODMAP foods. I love zucchini but it is a high FODMAP so I don’t eat it every single day – it’s crucial to rotate and switch up the food you eat everyday so you can get a wide range of nutrients
-Eating spicy foods when your dosha doesn’t align with it – check out Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda to find out your dosha (its been around for almost 5,000 years and is the real deal)
-Pre-existing conditions/illnesses can also make you more susceptible to bloating

The way I personally beat bloating was through an IgG blood test (a food sensitivity test), trial and error, an elimination diet, and avoiding the things I listed above majority of the time.  The icing on the cake to my health journey was realizing I had a histamine intolerance which I will eventually do an entire blog post on, but for now you can find a list of high histamine foods here.  To explain the the IgG blood test – it’s a test that basically compares the protein in your blood to the protein in common food items and analyzes whether or not they’re an inflammatory for your body.

Things I always disliked growing up like; shellfish, blueberries, and bananas showed up as inflammatory on my list – no wonder I never wanted to go near them!  It’s amazing how our body already pretty much knows what’s good vs what’s bad for it isn’t it?  Now, let me say that this test is not 100000% accurate. Because for example – it said that nuts were good for me/not an inflammatory… but I get bloated and feel sick when I eat nuts, so now I just listen to my body and omit nuts.  You can use the test results as a loose guide (most of it was accurate for me), but ultimately you need to listen to your body.

As far as elimination diets, I have eliminated gluten for weeks, dairy for weeks, meat, and other more specific food items and then reincorporated them back into my diet to see if they were triggers.  Elimination diets are a great way to naturally test what works for you and what doesn’t.  Because again, a test result can’t always tell you exactly how you’re going to feel after you eat something. It really comes down to you.

I did an elimination diet for my histamine intolerance where I cut out all high histamine foods, then slowly one by one started incorporating them back in to see if they gave me a reaction.  An example of how I did this – was I eliminated avocado for 4 weeks since it releases histamine and then reincorporated it back in, but when I did I instantly felt sick/bloated – so there was my answer – avocados are not for me (sad, but I also weirdly had a feeling and just didn’t listen to it – lesson learned!!!)  I did the same thing with chocolate – and was SO happy to have no reactions so I enjoy it in small doses!

Everyone’s body is different and we all require different things.  Please don’t look at this list and think “Omg I can’t have anything, this is so restrictive!”. Because that’s not true.  These are just common things that trigger bloating but some people may be perfectly fine with any or all of these.  I love food and I do not believe in depriving myself.  Now that I’ve got my bloating under control – I feel like I can actually eat more and really enjoy everything from rice to pasta, chicken, salmon, fresh veggies, etc. I am not afraid of carbs haha!  You can see what I eat in a typical day here.

I hope the biggest thing you take away from this post is – LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. Don’t go off what one person, label or article says is healthy, don’t jump on the latest fad diet without checking in with yourself first, use common sense and stay away from chemical filled foods, preservatives and anything that doesn’t come from the ground/is natural, and don’t get discouraged!!!! It’s worth it to do your research, ask questions, get multiple opinions and tests done, and go through trials and errors to find out what will help you look and feel your best. Remember gut health affects your mental health, mood, physical abilities, skin, hair, nails, and more!  I hope you found this article helpful and as always feel free to email me with any questions you may have!!! XO
Shop the Post
Calypso St. Barth kaftan (similar)  |  Star Mela clutch

Jessica Alexander Photography

Share this post

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.


  • Rach says:

    This post is so helpful! Thanks for sharing! And I totally agree that we know our body’s the best and we should definitely be our own health advocate. Test can only tell so much!


    August 15, 2018 | Reply
  • Roses for Fridays | by mia says:

    Wonderful post … merci for sharing! 🌷👍🏻🌷

    🌸🍃ROSES FOR FRIDAYS 🌸🍃| by mia | A Creative Lifestyle Blog

    August 15, 2018 | Reply
  • Ewa Macherowska says:
    August 15, 2018 | Reply
  • Jessica from What To Style says:

    Glad you posted about it! I had to eliminate bread from my life, it’s terrifying how my belly looks after eating it.

    Jessica | New post: whattostyle.blogspot.com |
    Instagram @ what_to_style

    August 15, 2018 | Reply
  • My lovely people says:

    This post is really interesting. It’s incredible how many people suffer of this kind of troubles. As you say the most important thing is to listen to your body and know what kind of food you must avoid in order to resolve your problem.I have to say that unfortunately it is not only what you eat what cause those trouble, now a day stress is a big issue but thats another story.

    Congratulations, great information, I’m really sure that you will help so much people with it.

    Kisses from Miami

    New post blog: Are you planning vacations soon? Well there is an item that you must include in your suitcase. Don’t miss it!!!!!


    August 15, 2018 | Reply
  • Claire V says:

    Thanks for the wealth of advice, Kat! Been having bloating issues for what it seems like my entire lifetime. I’ve never heard of histamine intolerance but am willing to try eliminating many of these foods from my diet and most importantly, listen to my body triggers to finally get this bloating under control.

    August 15, 2018 | Reply
  • Jae says:

    It is definitely a hard journey trying to figure out what is causing bloating. Your list definitely helped me understand what may be causing stomach problems for me. Thank you so much for sharing your journey!

    August 15, 2018 | Reply
  • Michele Hojsack says:

    Thank you, great blog!

    August 15, 2018 | Reply
  • Francine Queeley says:

    I find this article to be extremely useful since I am always bloated and gassy. Thank you

    August 15, 2018 | Reply
  • Tanesha says:

    What is your typical diet each day.I have had bloating and gas for 12 years now.Most times I am afraid to eat because after I am done I will be bloated.How do I time my eating?sometimes I am bloated whether or not I eat.

    August 15, 2018 | Reply
  • Leros says:

    Waw, waw, waw. This is so much to unpack! I can relate most to holding emotions in our guts. I mean it sounds weird, but my anxiety affects my stomach and digestion!

    Thanks for sharing!

    August 15, 2018 | Reply
  • Sherri stover says:

    I like it

    August 15, 2018 | Reply
  • Lisa Autumn says:

    Oh girl this was so helpful! Thank you!

    x Lisa | lisaautumn.com

    August 16, 2018 | Reply
  • Amber says:

    I truly appreciate this post! Bloating & digestion issues can be such an embarrassing topic for women to discuss, which generally means suffering in silence! It’s very helpful when women open up and share what’s worked for them. Thank you again!

    August 16, 2018 | Reply
  • DANIELLE says:

    Wow I am so glad I came across this and took the time out to read this I totally agree with what you say about listening to your body! I am trying to be more in tune with my body and you are so right about every food is different for everybody and how it responds to each individual doesn’t matter what diet etc that’s key great advice!

    August 16, 2018 | Reply
  • Annie Burger says:

    Always thankful to you for sharing your insight and knowledge with us readers <3 I had absolutely NO idea some of the things you listed were triggers!! I will definitely use your list as a soft guide/reference while trying to figure out/pinpoint the triggers to my own bloating/digestion issues!

    Thanks again Kat!

    August 18, 2018 | Reply
  • Amber says:

    Great post. I have been suffering from bloating for the past month. This is first time I’ve suffered from this. I appreciate you sharing the helpful information.

    August 22, 2018 | Reply
  • Mize says:

    This is very informative and helpful! Thanks so much for sharing

    August 27, 2018 | Reply
  • What I Buy At The Grocery Store - With Love From Kat says:

    […] something is in a box that I need/want like crackers or pasta – I always read the ingredients.  If something has more than 5 ingredients I usually won’t buy it and if there are any ingredients/c….  You will find fillers like this in “healthy” yogurts, almond milks, gluten free baked goods, […]

    August 30, 2018 | Reply
  • 30 THINGS I'VE LEARNED AT 30 - With Love From Kat says:

    […] says something is healthy or the new superfood!!!  What does it have in it?!  If you don’t know what the ingredients are don’t eat it.  If it has more than 5 ingredients and is highly processed think twice.  Just because it’s […]

    January 7, 2019 | Reply
  • I Moved Back to NYC! - With Love From Kat says:

    […] ocean that Venice offered. My body instantly felt at ease in LA, and after years of struggling with digestion issues, Vitamin D deficiency, and sky high cortisol levels, I knew that’s where I needed to be. A few […]

    April 5, 2019 | Reply
  • What Is A Histamine Intolerance? - With Love From Kat says:

    […] to share exactly what it is with all of you. For 3 years I struggled with horrible stomach pains, bloating, and weight gain for no apparent reason. I visited countless doctors, naturopaths, nutritionists […]

    May 29, 2019 | Reply
  • Katie McClure says:

    Thank you for posting this. I have been having issues and this provides clarity. I have just made a doctor appointment to have the IgG test done and some other blood tests as well.

    January 31, 2020 | Reply
  • Advice on Moving and Changes - With Love From Kat says:

    […] then my digestion/stomach issues hit. Everyday I would wake up doubled over in stomach pain, bloated, and sick. I went from doctor to doctor trying to figure out what was wrong, but no one had the right […]

    June 29, 2020 | Reply
  • My Morning Routine - With Love From Kat says:

    […] following me for years, you know that I struggled with my digestion for years. I was constantly bloated, doubled over in stomach pain, had unexplainable weight gain, and brain fog. It was terrible and I […]

    January 15, 2021 | Reply