Have you ever felt like despite being fit some days your body looks swollen? Despite hitting the gym and having a balanced diet some days it makes you look like you have gained weight. Our body functions systematically and sometimes due to excess gas production or disturbance in the movement of our digestive system, we experience pain, discomfort, and a stuffed feeling. This stuffy feeling is generally termed bloating. Bloating makes our belly look swollen right after having our meal making our stomach look bigger than usual.
Do not get confused bloating with water retention as they both are often used interchangeably but have a different insight. Bloating involves extreme amounts of solids, liquids, or gas in your digestive system.
Some people might feel increased sensitivity which causes extreme pressure, however, there isn’t any such case. Every human body is designed differently; therefore, people experience different kinds of symptoms.
Nearly 16-30% of people have a regular experience of bloating.
Bloating can be caused by different reasons among people. Sometimes the cause can be some serious illness or sometimes just because of your diet and some foods or ingredients you might be intolerant to.
Here, at Healthlink.news we provide a helping hand with this article to provide an in-depth insight into what bloating is and how can you eliminate it from your life?
1. Don’t Eat Too Much at a Time
People who experience bloating often have increased sensitivity to food in the stomach. Therefore, eating smaller meals can be very useful.
Being stuffed can feel like being bloated, but the problem is that you simply ate too much.
If you’re eating big meals and tend to feel uncomfortable afterward, then try smaller portions. Add another daily meal if necessary.
Subsets of people who experience bloating don’t have an enlarged stomach or increased pressure in the abdomen. The issue is mostly sensory.
A person with a tendency to be bloated will experience discomfort from a smaller amount of food than a person who rarely feels bloated.
For this reason, simply eating smaller meals can be incredibly useful.
Chewing your food better can have a two-fold effect. It reduces the amount of air you swallow with the food (a cause of bloating), and it also makes you eat slower, which is linked to reduced food intake and smaller portions.
2. Rule out Food Allergies and Intolerances to Common Foods
Food allergies and intolerances are relatively common.
When you eat foods that you are intolerant to, it can cause excess gas production, bloating, and other symptoms.
Here are some common foods and ingredients to consider:
- Lactose: Lactose intolerance is associated with many digestive symptoms, including bloating. Lactose is the main carbohydrate in milk.
- Fructose: Fructose intolerance can lead to bloating.
- Eggs: Gas and bloating are common symptoms of egg allergy.
- Wheat and gluten: Many people are intolerant to gluten, a protein in wheat, spelled, barley, and some other grains. This can lead to various adverse effects on digestion, including bloating.
Both lactose and fructose are a part of a larger group of indigestible carbs or fiber known as FODMAPs. FODMAP intolerance is one of the most common causes of bloating and abdominal pain.
Immediately consult a doctor if you experience any discomfort or suspect of some food allergy or intolerance.
3. Avoid Swallowing Air and Gases
Our body has two sources of gas in the digestive system.
One is gas produced by the bacteria in the gut. The other is air or gas that is swallowed when you eat or drink. Carbonated drinks like soda or fizzy drinks are not suitable for our health. They contain bubbles with carbon dioxide, a gas that can be released from the liquid after it reaches your stomach.
Chewing gum, drinking through a straw, and eating while talking or while in a hurry can also lead to increased amounts of swallowed air. The swallowed air can contribute to bloating.
4. Don’t Eat Foods That Give You Gas
Some people might experience the production of gas in a larger amount due to high-fiber foods. Such foods include legumes like beans and lentils, as well as some whole grains.
If you are experiencing more bloated and gassy then you should try keeping track to know the cause of it.
Avoid or cut down foods that make you feel bloated or gassy. Eating fatty foods can also slow digestion and emptying of the stomach contributing to bloating for some people. . This can have benefits for satiety (might aid in weight loss), but can be a problem for people with a tendency to bloat.
5. Try a Low-FODMAP Diet
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most common digestive disorder in the world.
It has no known cause but is believed to affect about 14% of people, most of which are undiagnosed.
Common symptoms include bloating, abdominal pain, discomfort, diarrhea, and/or constipation.
The majority of IBS patients experience bloating, and about 60% of them report bloating as their worst symptom, scoring even higher than abdominal pain.
Carbohydrates called FODMAPs can drive bloating and other digestive symptoms, especially in people with irritable bowel syndrome.
A low-FODMAP diet has been shown to lead to major reductions in symptoms such as bloating, at least in IBS patients.
If you have problems with bloating, with or without other digestive symptoms, a low-FODMAP diet may be a good way to fix it.
This diet can be difficult to follow if you’re used to eating many of these foods but maybe worth trying out if you have bloating or other digestive problems.
6. Be Careful With Sugar Alcohols
Sugar-free foods and chewing gum contain sugar alcohols. These sweeteners are generally considered to be safe alternatives to sugar.
However, these sugar alcohols can make lead to the production of gas as the bacteria present in your large intestine digest them. Thus, it can lead to major digestive issues. Sugar alcohols are FODMAPs as well, so they are excluded from a low-FODMAP diet.
Avoid sugar alcohols that include xylitol, sorbitol, and mannitol. The sugar alcohol erythritol can be a slightly better option but can result in larger complications.
7. Take Digestive Enzyme Supplements
Certain over-the-counter products may also help with bloating, such as supplemental enzymes that can help break down indigestible carbohydrates.
Some prominent ones include:
- Lactase: An enzyme that breaks down lactose, which is useful for people with lactose intolerance.
- Beano: It contains the enzyme alpha-galactosidase, which can help break down indigestible carbohydrates from various foods.
If you are looking for immediate relief then these supplements might be the best suitable option for you.
8. Don’t Be Constipated
If you struggle with constipation then your bloating symptoms can get worse. Constipation is a very common digestive problem that can cause by different reasons.
Considered, increasing your soluble fiber intake to reduce your constipation.
However, if a person is suffering from gas or bloating then they should take necessary precautions while increasing their soluble intake as it can worsen their bloating.
Increasing physical activity and hydrating more one might see efficient results against constipation.
9. Take Probiotics
One of the main causes of bloating is gas production by the bacteria in the intestine.
As the human body is differently designed so every human experiences different issues. Therefore, the bacteria that reside in the intestine are also different.
Many different types of bacteria reside there, and they can vary between individuals. The amount and type of bacteria present there is humongous which might be the reason for the gas production as supported by some research.
There comes the probiotics supplement which aids in improving the bacterial environment in the gut aka intestine. It helps our body to reduce the causes of gas and bloating.
Some research reflects different opinion stating that it probiotics is useful to reduce gas but not bloating. This might also be the cause of how our body works differently. Probiotics intake has several benefits which make them worth trying.
10. Peppermint Oil Can Help
Peppermint oil can be considered a safe and convenient option for bloating as it has shown effective results to reduce bloating and other digestive issues.
People can experience bloating because of the distorted function of the muscles in the digestive tract. Using a drug known as antispasmodics, aids in reducing muscle spasms. Similarly, peppermint oil which is a natural substance works efficiently by helping in reducing various symptoms in IBS patients, one of them is bloating.
Peppermint oil can be found in supplement form.
11. Consult a Doctor to Rule Out a Chronic and/or Serious Condition
If you have chronic bloating that causes severe problems in your life, or becomes a lot worse all of a sudden, definitely see a doctor.
There is always the possibility of some serious medical condition, and diagnosing digestive problems can be complicated.
However, in many cases, bloating can be reduced — or even eliminated — with simple changes in diet.
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