Can Bloating Be Prevented
To keep your digestive system working well, follow a healthy diet and eat at least 30g of fibre every day. Cut down on processed and fatty foods, and drink less alcohol. Drink plenty of water and take any medicines as directed by your doctor.
Dont overeat, and try to eat more slowly. Eating regularly will help to prevent digestive problems.
Regular exercise is also important for your gut because it strengthens the muscles in your tummy and stimulates the digestive system to push food through. It also helps with stress, which affects the nerves in the digestive system and can slow down digestion.
Smoking is very bad for your digestion. If you smoke, try to quit now.
Joy Bauer Shares Tips To Beat The Bloat This Summer
Similar to bloating is water retention. This lovely feeling is usually caused by consuming too much salt . High levels of sodium cause your body to hold on to extra unwanted fluid. Not only can bloating and water retention be uncomfortable and less than attractive, it can be downright painful. Here is a guideline to beat the bloat.
What Causes Bloating And Gas After Eating
Bloating is a term thatâs often used to describe a feeling of uncomfortable fullness, having a tight, swollen belly, and feeling gassy after eating. Bloating happens when large amounts of air or gas get trapped in your gut.
So, what causes bloating?
Eating is a common cause of bloating because our bodies produce gas as they digest food.
We can also end up swallowing air when we eat, which gets trapped in our digestive system. The fizzy gas in carbonated drinks and beer can also make you feel bloated, although it often comes out through burping rather than from the other end of your digestive system.
The gas lower down the gut mainly comes from the trillions of microbes that make up your gut microbiome. As our gut microbes break down components in our food, they release lots of different molecules, called metabolites, as well as gases that we usually get rid of by farting.
Several factors affect how much gas brews up in the gut. The most obvious is what youâve eaten, as well as the types and numbers of different microbes living in the gut. Another is the length of time food takes to travel through your gut, known as transit time.
This gut gas is mostly made up of nitrogen, hydrogen, methane, and carbon dioxide, which donât smell. The classic fart stink comes from the tiny amounts of strong-smelling hydrogen sulfide and other sulfur-containing compounds that are also in there.
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When Is It Serious
Most of the time, you can manage bloating on your own. But if you also feel weak or lose your appetite, or have diarrhea, weight loss, fever, belly pain, or blood in your stool, talk to your doctor. To find out whatâs going on, they may take a stool sample or an X-ray of your small intestine, or test you for lactose intolerance or celiac disease.
Youre Eating Foods That Cause Gas
Certain healthy foods, like beans and cruciferous vegetables, contain complex sugars that the body cannot digest.
When those sugars reach the large intestines, the bacteria inside work to break them down and cause fermentation, gas and bloating, says Rizzo.
Some people are better able to tolerate these foods than others. If you notice that beans, legumes or some veggies, like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, onions or garlic, are triggers for you, then stay away.
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When To Talk To Your Health Care Provider
Bloating can be normal, but it can also be a sign of serious conditions. Its important to keep track of what foods cause you to feel bloated, but also note if you experience other symptoms that have accompanied bloating.
If you notice a drastic change in weight or changes in your bowel movementssuch as changes in color or consistencyyou need to tell your provider that as well, as they can be signs of an underlying condition, Hoffman said. If you ate too much and are having trouble digesting your food, then you know that was the likely cause of your bloating and cramping, but if its come on suddenly with a healthy diet, you should err on the side of caution and visit your provider.
Youre Lacking In Fiber
Men need to eat 38 grams of fiber per day. If youre not meeting that amount, there is a chance that you might be constipated, which can cause gas and bloating.
Many men who follow restrictive diets, like keto, tend to skimp on carb-rich fruits, veggies, whole grains and beans, and they often miss out on some of their daily fiber needs, says Natalie Rizzo, M.S., R.D.
To fix it, its as simple as adding more whole foods into your day. Think about trying to get some sort of fruit and vegetable at every meal.
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Youre Not Getting Enough Exercise
Exercise can do wonders for your GI tract. Essentially, it gets things moving and decreases your risk for constipation and, therefore, bloating. Adults need 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week, along with strength-building exercises. Just by exercise and adhering to a plant-forward diet, like the Mediterranean diet, its beneficial for a lot of things and can help with bloating, as well, Dr. Christmas says.
What Foods Bloat Your Stomach
20 Foods and Drinks That Help with Bloating Avocados. Avocados are highly nutritious, packing a good amount of folate and vitamins C and K into each serving . Cucumber. Cucumbers comprise about 95% water, making them great for relieving bloating . Yogurt. Berries. Green tea. Celery. Ginger. Kombucha.
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You Could Have A Food Intolerance
While lactose intolerance is the most well-known food intolerance, other common culprits include wheat and even some types of sugar such as raffinose, which is more difficult for the body to break down. Beans and legumes contain raffinose and can give many people that bloated, gassy feeling which is where that infamous childhood song comes from.
One type of food intolerance, FODMAP intolerance, is known to contribute to IBS symptoms in as many as 50 to 80 percent of patients. The term FODMAP is actually an acronym standing for multiple types of carbohydrates, such as oligosaccharides and disaccharides, which may be more difficult for some people to digest than others. If your doctor suspects this is the issue, they may put you on an elimination diet to see if your symptoms go away when youre not eating these foods.
Whats The Best Treatment For A Bloated Stomach
Your treatment will depend on whats causing your bloating. There are lots of things you can try at home to get rid of trapped wind including changing your diet to limit foods that cause bloating and exercising more regularly. Read more about how to get rid of trapped wind and natural ways to beat bloating.
IBS and constipation can also also be treated at home, as long as you or a doctor are sure theres nothing else that could be causing your symptoms. For example, IBS usually gets better if you manage your stress levels and get more exercise. You can also keep a food and symptoms diary to try and work out what is triggering your IBS and then exclude those foods or drinks. This is helpful with food intolerances too.
If you have indigestion, diet changes also work well, as well as stopping smoking, not eating too close to bedtime and losing weight. Read more about ways to get rid of indigestion.
But if youre finding that even with these changes, your bloated stomach isnt getting better, you may need treatment advice from a pharmacist or a doctor. This could include medications to reduce the acid in your stomach known as antacid medicines or laxatives to help with constipation.
For more serious causes like ascites or cancers, youll likely need treatment in hospital. This may involve surgery or medication like chemotherapy.
Read more about how to get rid of bloating.
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Get More Active Every Day
Exercise helps your body move stool and gas out of the colon and may make bowel movements more regular. Exercise also releases extra sodium from the body through sweating, which can help to relieve water retention.
It is vital to drink plenty of water before and after exercising to stay hydrated, as dehydration can make constipation worse.
How Can I Reduce Bloating And Gas After Eating
Gut gas is normal and healthy, especially after eating lots of fibrous plant-based foods or a large meal. And many of us suffer from trapped wind or feeling bloated from time to time.
If feeling bloated and gassy after eating is bothering you, there are some things that you can try.
- Let it out! Holding in gas can cause pain and discomfort. Find ways to relax and let it out
- Gentle exercise like walking or yoga is also a good way of getting things moving through your gut
- Avoid taking in air when you eat by having smaller meals and eating more slowly
- Cut down on fizzy drinks and chewing gum, especially if itâs sugar-free
- Try using a food diary to spot likely triggers for gas and bloating
As a reminder, if you experience persistent bloating or pains that cannot be explained by a change in your diet or circumstances , you should speak to your physician. You should also speak with a health professional if youâre concerned that you might have a food allergy/intolerance or be sensitive to FODMAP foods.
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Bloating : Why You Feel Bloated
Bloating, gassiness, and abdominal discomfort arenât limited to the occasional holiday feast. One in 10 Americans say they suffer from bloating regularly, even when they havenât eaten a large meal. In some cases, bloating can become severe enough that it causes distention, or a perceptible swelling of the abdomen. Bloating and gas are usually tied to what and how you eat, so a few simple changes may help.
When To See A Doctor About Bloating
You can usually manage bloating with self-care. But you should see a doctor as soon as possible if you have bloating and:
- its very bad
- you feel full quickly or dont feel like eating
- you need to pee more often or need to pee urgently
- youre having abnormal vaginal bleeding, or vaginal bleeding after youve been through the menopause
- you suddenly cant pee or havent peed all day
- youre vomiting and it looks like blood, coffee grounds or its bright green, or you cant keep any fluids down
- have very bad tummy pain
- you havent had a poo or farted all day
- you have a lot of blood in your poo or your pee
- your poo looks like tar
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How Common Is Stomach Bloating
Between 10% and 25% of otherwise healthy people complain of occasional abdominal bloating. As many as 75% describe their symptoms as moderate to severe. About 10% say they experience it regularly. Among those diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome , it may be as much as 90%. Up to 75% of women experience bloating before and during their period. Only 50% of people who experience bloating also report a distended abdomen.
The Story Behind Bloating And Gas
- Bloating happens when air or gas gets trapped in your gut
- It can be caused by taking in air when you eat and drink, or from gas produced by your gut microbes
- Gas and bloating after eating can be triggered by certain foods, as well as some health conditions
- Simple changes to how and what you eat can help cut down on bloating and gas
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It Could Be Constipation
While youre spending a lot of time at home, you may not be moving as much as you usually do. You may also be eating different foods. This can lead to constipation. You may be constipated if you experience:
- Fewer bowel movements than normal for you
- Stool that is lumpy or looks like pebbles
- Difficulty passing stool or a feeling that you still need to go after youre finished
Fortunately, you can make a number of at-home changes to help relieve your constipation. These include:
Food Intolerance And Bloating
Food intolerance can lead to bloating when:
- your bowel does not empty properly
- the food causes gas to be trapped
- too much gas is produced as a reaction to the food
The most common foods to cause problems are wheat or gluten and dairy products.
The best approach if you have a food intolerance is to eat less of the problem food or cut it out completely.
Keep a food diary for a couple of weeks, noting everything that you eat and drink and when bloating troubles you most. But do not get rid of food groups long-term without advice from your GP.
Find out more about food intolerance.
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Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth
The stomach and intestines are home to a variety of bacteria, many of which help the body digest food. Disturbing the balance of these bacteria can lead to an increase in harmful bacteria present in the small intestine. This is known as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or SIBO.
SIBO can cause bloating, frequent diarrhea, and may lead to difficulties digesting food and absorbing nutrients. For some people, SIBO can lead to osteoporosis or unintentional weight loss.
Look At Supplements And Medications
Some supplements, such as iron, can cause constipation and other symptoms of indigestion. This can increase bloating. Potassium, on the other hand, may reduce bloating by helping to balance the bodys sodium levels .
Medications may also cause side effects that affect GI function or cause indigestion. If this happens, a doctor or pharmacist can suggest alternatives that are more gentle on the digestive tract.
Although it is not common, bloating and swelling of the abdomen can signify a severe medical condition. Liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, heart failure, kidney problems, and some types of cancer can cause bloating.
Bloating that continues for days or weeks may indicate a health issue that needs medical attention. It is advisable to speak to a doctor about ongoing bloating that does not go away over time.
People whose bloating occurs alongside these symptoms should seek medical advice:
- appetite changes or trouble eating
- bright red blood in the stool
- black or dark maroon stools
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When Should I Be Worried About Abdominal Bloating
See your healthcare provider if your bloated stomach:
- Gets progressively worse.
- Persists for more than a week.
- Is persistently painful.
- Comes with symptoms of illness, such as fever, vomiting or bleeding.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
A bloated stomach is not a pleasant feeling. While its a common experience and usually temporary, you may become weary of the cycle. Spending a little focused attention on the problem to identify the cause can be well worthwhile. Try recording your symptoms and possible triggers in a journal. Note diet, hormonal and stress factors. When in doubt bring your notes to a specialist for professional guidance. The different factors that contribute to bloating can be complex and difficult to parse, but medical testing can help. As always, seek medical attention if your symptoms are persistent or severe.
What Is Bloating What Does Feeling Bloated Mean
Why am I so bloated? Abdominal bloating or “feeling bloated” is a very frequent and familiar symptom most people have experienced at some time in their lives. There are many reasons you may feel bloated. Most causes are simple, harmless, and easily treatable with over-the-counter or home remedies. Very rarely, abdominal bloating is caused by something more serious, leading to a rapid worsening of uncomfortable symptoms.
The definition of “bloated” is swelling or distension, and it usually refers to abdominal bloating, which is a distended belly. Bloating may be accompanied by burping , gas , abdominal discomfort, and a feeling of fullness. People sometimes refer to abdominal bloating as a “bloated stomach” or “bloated belly.”
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Does Drinking Water Help With Bloating
While it may seem counterintuitive, drinking water may help to reduce bloat by ridding the body of excess sodium, Fullenweider says. Another tip: Be sure to drink plenty of water before your meal too. This step offers the same bloat-minimizing effect and can also prevent overeating, according to the Mayo Clinic.
What Foods Cause Bloating And Gas
When you eat, your microbes get a meal too, consuming fiber from plant-based foods as well as sugars and protein. If youâve drunk alcohol, your gut microbes will also get a taste, which can be as impactful to them as it is to us.
Some foods that are high in certain types of carbohydrates known as FODMAPs have a reputation for being âfartyâ. This includes beans, lentils, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, or cauliflower. Onions and bell peppers can also cause gassiness, as well as some fruits.
However, these are healthy plant-based foods, which help to feed the âgoodâ gut microbes that are associated with better health, so itâs better to keep them in your diet if you can.
Sugar-free foods containing polyols, such as erythritol, sorbitol, or xylitol, can have a dramatic effect on your gut microbes, causing gas, bloating, and even diarrhea.
Food allergies and intolerances can also cause bloating and gas. One of the most common is lactose intolerance, which is a reaction to the sugars found in milk and dairy products.
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