A Guide To Bloating: Causes & Prevention
Do your trousers dig in after every meal? Or perhaps your stomach resembles a beachball months after summer is over? You could be suffering from bloating, but help is at hand.
First, see your GP to rule out anything more serious such as coeliac disease or irritable bowel syndrome if youve been suffering for several months.
We need to eat, but the after-effects of a heavy meal arent always so enjoyable in fact, nearly one in three of us experience an uncomfortable bloated feeling after meals.1
This guide gives you the lowdown on the causes of bloating, and how you can help manage it with the right food, lifestyle or supplement choices.
Supplying your gut with the right balance of these nutrients can aid the smooth running of the digestion process.
And as a result, you may find youre feeling the need to loosen your waistband less often.
Take A Fiber Supplement
A fiber supplement can help relieve constipation.
Fiber supplements are bulking agents, says Dr. Garg. They add weight, size and soften the stool, which helps move the stool through your intestines.
There are many options available over-the-counter online or at stores. They come in different forms like powder, fiber thins, capsules and gummies. Options include psyllium , methylcellulose or plant-based prebiotic fiber .
Dr. Garg notes that fiber supplements can cause some minor cramping, as theyre gentle laxatives, but theyre generally well-tolerated.
And when it comes to how often you should use a fiber supplement, it depends on how often you have constipation.
If your constipation is very mild and happens sporadically, you can just take it as needed. Be aware that it can take 12 hours to three days to take effect, says Dr. Garg. But if its been bothering you most days of the week, for example, you might want to take it on a regular basis like once daily.
Foods That Cause Bloating
On the other hand, here are the foods that may cause bloating in some people. Some of these foods cause bloating due to gas, and others cause bloating due to their sodium content, which can make you retain water.
Looking for some other ways to beat the bloat? Here are some ways to avoid bloating:
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Eat Foods High In Fiber
You are what you eat isnt just a common saying. It can help you focus on eating the right types of foods that are high in fiber and plant-based so you feel well, says Dr. Garg.
What you eat can affect your bowel habits, your gut microbiome and how you feel in general.
Adding high-fiber foods to your diet can help regulate your bowel movements by bulking up your stool and helping it move through your intestines faster.
These foods are high in fiber:
- Whole-wheat pasta.
Why Am I Bloated All The Time
You are bloated all the time because you have not identified the root cause of your bloating. The fool-proof way to reduce it is to find the cause. You are likely bloated all the time due to a combination of the factors below:
You can take comfort in the fact that it is usually not a sign of serious medical problems.
Here are 19 strategies for instant bloating relief.
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When To See A Doctor For Constipation
You should contact your doctor if you go beyond three days without a bowel movement and this is unusual for you, says Davis.
While hormonal changes and the lack of physical activity may result in the occasional bout of constipation, chronic constipation or extremely infrequent bowel movements can have several causes, which include:
- Colonic diseases, such as irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis
- Abdominal mass, or an abnormal lump in the abdomen, caused by a cyst, immune reaction, or cancer
- Defecatory disorders, like insufficient relaxation of anal sphincter or impairment of rectal sensation
- Neurological conditions, like multiple sclerosis or a spinal cord injury
Make Use Of Probiotics
There is some evidence that probiotic supplements can often help improve and reduce symptoms of gas and bloating in people with digestive problems.
However, this does depend on the individual as well as the type of probiotic strain used.
If a bloated feeling remains, then Rennie offers a range of products that can help tackle the problem. Rennies Deflatine contain Simethicone, an active ingredient which breaks down the tiny bubbles of gas that cause the bloated feeling and gurgling noises of trapped wind. This helps to form fewer, larger bubbles, which are more easily expelled or absorbed in the intestine.
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Steer Clear Of Smoothies And Fruit Juices
While eating fruit wont increase bloating if its spread out across the day, do be careful of drinking smoothies and fruit juices.
These usually contain three portions of fruit, which means a huge dose of fibre all at once and this can be a challenge for your body to digest, leading to bloating.
While it may not matter so much on a normal day, if youre off to a party later, its best to avoid it.
Fruit juices, while they dont contain as much fibre as smoothies, arent much better. Juice has a lot of fructose fruit sugar which can cause bloating, says Kirsten.
Be Mindful Of The Beans You Eat
You might pat yourself on the back when you add chickpeas to your salad, thinking about how much protein youre giving your adult self. But if youre not already eating beans on the reg, the Cleveland Clinic writes, the extra fiber they bring to your diet can increase bloating. When the sugars in beans break down, they can cause a buildup of gas. Soaking beans overnight is touted as a method to make them easier on digestion, but rinsing canned beans should be just fine.
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Do Supplements Help Relieve Bloating
Many people believe daily use of probiotics is a cure for bloat, but Dr. Brown points out that there has not been any conclusive evidence that shows it works. There is no harm in trying one, though. Some studies suggest that a multi-organism probiotic that requires refrigeration works better than one that contains only one species of organism and is stored on the shelf, he says.
If you are looking for immediate relief from bloating, Dr. Brown says immediate relief may be possible with simethicone, a medication that is available over the counter under brands like Gas-X and equate. “About 80 to 120 milligrams of a chewed tablet with meals can help, he shares.
Although daily fiber intake can help with bowel movements and overall digestion, consuming large quantities of a fiber supplement such as Metamucil and or Citrucel actually worsens most bloating, says Dr. Brown, so cool it with these supplements if you are feeling a bit puffed up.
Again, bloat typically goes away on its own within 24 hours, but here are some short- and long-term solutions to help the process along and prevent it from happening.
Some over-the-counter probiotic supplements can cause gas, bloating, or other GI symptoms, but chowing down on real foods packed with this healthy gut bacteria can be beneficial, says Courtney Schuchmann, RD, a dietitian at the University of Chicago Medicine.
I know, it’s amazing, but there’s a side effect to all that no-cal sippingbelly bloat.
S To Alleviate Constipation And Bloating
Constipation and bloating are some of the most common gastrointestinal problems in the United States, affecting around 42million people, or around 15% of the population. Bloating is a common symptom of constipation, and refers to trapped gas in the stomach and intestines. There are many causes of constipation and bloating, like certain foods, aging, or keeping an inactive lifestyle. It is important to avoid certain foods in order to prevent constipation and bloating. It is equally important to make certain lifestyle changes and try natural treatments to alleviate constipation and bloating.
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Eating Food Rapidly Creates Constipation And Gas
Another cause of constipation and gas is eating food rapidly. In most cases, most of the time, eating food in a rush has only detrimental effects to digestion.
Aerophagia is the result of doing this thing. The more rapidly you eat food or drink liquids, the more air gets inside the intestines. This thing also means that the stomach cant prepare the food for digestion properly.
Rule Out Chronic Medical Conditions
A small percentage of cases could be an underlying medical condition. Long-term very painful bloating could be a sign of Crohns disease, ulcerative colitis or inflammatory bowel disease.
Some gynecological conditions like endometriosis can also cause pain, swelling and bloating.
Please see your doctor if you think things are serious. You may end up getting additional testing to rule out the above conditions.
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Be Mindful Of Cruciferous Vegetables
These otherwise healthy veggies contain sulfur-containing phytochemicals called glucosinolates and raffinose .
When these undigested veggies travel to the colon, bacteria in the intestines ferment the undigested food, which creates gas and bloating.
This doesnt mean you need to ditch cauliflower and other healthy cruciferous veggies altogether, though.
Natural Home Remedies For Bloated Stomach And Pain
Are you looking for a perfect solution to get rid of bloated stomach and pain? Do you want to know how to overcome this gastric problem naturally & fast? If your answer is Yes, then you should read this writing. In this article, VKool.com will show you top 10 natural home remedies for bloated stomach and pain. The writing is a collection of the safest and most effective solutions for gastric problems from reliable sources. However, it is not intended to give medical advice and it is solely for the informational purpose. Keep reading this writing to learn more!
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When To See Your Doctor
If youve made changes to your diet, exercise routine, stress level and medications, but still have frequent constipation over the course of a few months, it might be time to see your doctor.
If its a constant problem despite making changes then it might be chronic constipation or something else, and it may be beneficial to see a physician, says Dr Garg.
Also, if you experience any of the following, its time to see your doctor.
- Weight loss.
- Severe or persistent abdominal pain.
- Rectal bleeding.
Lemon And Baking Soda Ease Digestion
Baking soda contains flavonoids that aid digestion by neutralizing the excess stomach acid. However, it is important to use it in moderation, as excessive baking soda can render the stomach acids ineffective.
How to use:
Mix ½ teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of lime juice in a cup of water and consume.
Note: This remedy is not scientifically proven but has been shown to alleviate the symptoms of gas.
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How Long Does A Bloated Stomach Last
If your bloating is due to something you ate or drank or to hormone fluctuations, it should begin to ease within a few hours to days. If you are constipated, it wont go down until you start pooping. Water, exercise and herbal teas can help encourage all of these things along. If it doesnt go away or gets worse, seek medical attention.
How To Fix Bloating Indigestion Constipation And Acid Reflux
I recommend three things for these gastrointestinal issues. The very first thing you should do is use apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is highly acidic, which will help get your stomach pH level to between 1 and 3. The second thing I recommend is betaine hydrochloride. This is a natural acidifier. You can actually find both of these in the form of a single concentrated capsule for easy use. Use apple cider vinegar and betaine hydrochloride right before you eat to help acidify your stomach.
The last thing I recommend is purified bile salts. This helps to boost your bile if your body isn’t producing enough. As I mentioned earlier, bile is vital for breaking down food, so this will help with digestion issues and constipation.
Keep in mind that as you get older, your digestive system stops working optimally. Your stomach’s acidity diminishes, which makes digestion much more difficult. If you already have some of these digestive issues, give these tips a try and see how they work for you.
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What Causes Constipation
Constipation consists of infrequent bowel movements and difficulty passing stools.
You could be experiencing constipation for a number of reasons:
- Unbalanced and low-fiber diet
- Endocrine disorders, such as hypothyroidism
- Neurologic diseases that affect gut movement
- Psychological issues
If you are feeling gassy and bloated, you might want to check out our article on how to stop farting fast.
Many people who experience constipation also experience bloating, the uncomfortable gut distension that makes you feel like an overinflated balloon.
How To Reduce Bloating
When you feel bloated, these tips could help reduce the discomfort:
- Try activated charcoal 1g of activated charcoal at least 30 minutes before a meal and another 1g after the meal can ease excess gas, says the European Food Safety Authority36
- Try peppermint oil a 2014 review by Italys University of Salerno reported it may help reduce bloating in people with IBS37
- Exercise regularly a 2006 study in American Journal of Gastroenterology reported that pedalling on an exercise bike reduced bloating, but you could try walking or jogging, too38
- Consider digestive enzymes a 2014 Belgian study found digestive enzymes may help with bloating39
Around 100 trillion bacteria live in your gut. Maintaining the diversity of this bacteria is important to gut health. For example, to ease bloating.
Nothing is more influential to the balance of your gut microbiome than what you eat and drink.
The foods you eat are not just part of the cause of your digestive discomfort. They may also hold the answer to how to reduce bloating.
While some foods can trigger your digestive discomfort, others could help it.
Here we focus on four food groups that can help.
But a note of caution, rather than focussing on eating any one category, aim to get diverse nutrients from all of these gut-friendly food groups.
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Eat At Regular Intervals
Many people experience bloating directly after a big meal. It is possible to avoid this by eating several smaller meals each day, which can help to keep the digestive system moving.
Swallowing food quickly can introduce air into the digestive tract. Drinking from a straw can also lead to people swallowing more air, which in turn leads to gas and bloating. People who have bloating should avoid using straws if possible and try eating slowly to avoid swallowing air during meals.
Bloated Stomach After Eating
The festive period is a common time to experience bloating, for obvious gluttonous reasons. But this can happen at any time of the year.
However, what you eat, as well as how much, can be equally to blame for your bloated belly.
For example, food intolerances can stimulate bacteria breakdown that produces gas and inflammation of the gut.
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