Being bloated can be an unpleasant feeling. It can make your stomach extended and be painful. And it can be especially uncomfortable when it goes on for hours.
Unfortunately, some people experience bloating often for different reasons. However, there are some ways you can prevent bloating and get rid of it when it happens. In this article, we will discuss why bloating occurs and how to solve it.
The type of food you eat can cause bloating even if you are not sensitive or allergic to it. Some of the foods best known to cause bloating are:
- High-Fat Food – Doctors frequently advise patients to avoid high-fat meals. Because such foods take a long time to digest, they can induce bloating. Instead, go for leaner choices like grilled chicken or fish.
- Dairy – Lactose found in dairy products can be the cause of bloating, cramps, or even diarrhea, especially for lactose-intolerant patients. If you think that dairy makes you bloated, keep an eye on your consumption of milk, cheese, ice cream, etc.
- Sodas and Other Carbonated Drinks – When drinking a carbonated drink, you also take in more air, which leads to higher gas levels and bloating.
- Legumes – Raffinose, a dietary fiber, is abundant in dry beans and lentils. Consuming a lot of them might create gas, which causes bloating.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup – When taken in large quantities, this substance – which is often found in soda, fruit drinks, and even bread – can induce bloating.
- Cruciferous Vegetables – Bloating from vegetables can be caused by broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. However, this doesn’t mean that you should not eat them at all. These vegetables are high in fibers and minerals and are crucial for a healthy diet. Cooking them can help to reduce the chance of bloating.
When you chew too fast you also intake a lot of air which can cause bloating.
Gas accumulates in the digestive system when undigested food is broken down or air is ingested. This, in turn, might result in that unpleasant bloated feeling.
You may be constipated if you need to strain during a bowel movement or if your stool is small and hard. Constipation is a frequent cause of stomach aches and bloating.
When chewing gum, you can intake air as well which can cause bloating.
Sometimes, the cause of bloating can be more serious. Bloating can be a symptom of different diseases like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastroesophageal reflux disease, celiac disease, dumping syndrome,
ovarian cancer or small bowel bacterial overgrowth.
Now that we know what causes bloating, how can we prevent it?
- Change your diet – Avoid foods that cause bloating.
- Mindful eating – Focus on the food when you are eating and try to avoid taking in too much air by eating slowly.
- Hydrate – Drink enough water before and after eating. Avoid drinking water while eating since it dilutes the acids needed to digest food.
- Keep track of what you eat – In this way you can identify which foods or combinations of foods trigger you.
- Use a straw when drinking sodas – This lowers the amount of air you take in.
If you are already bloated, here is what you can do to reduce it.
- Peppermint oil – According to research, it can help with IBS symptoms such as bloating. It is a short-term therapy that is both safe and effective.
- Probiotics – Probiotics contain good bacteria that are already found in your gut. Taking probiotics can help you reduce gas and ease the symptoms of bloating.
- Walk or exercise- It is recommended to take a 30-minute walk after a big meal since movement helps with digestion. Regular exercise was found to reduce bloating in patients with chronic digestive issues.
- Take digestive enzyme supplements – Different enzymes are crucial to breaking down different foods as they pass through the digestive system. If your body lacks these enzymes, digestion might be affected, resulting in bloating and other problems.
Bloating can have different causes and knowing these causes can be the key to solving this issue. It is important to pay attention to what food and drinks you take in and how to identify the cause. Of course, hydrating, exercise, and a healthy diet are beneficial as well.
How often do you experience bloating? What helps you the most? Let us know in the comment section below!