Proven Ways To Reduce Or Eliminate Bloating
Bloating is when your belly feels swollen after eating .
It is usually caused by excess gas production or disturbances in the movement of the muscles of the digestive system .
Bloating can often cause pain, discomfort and a stuffed feeling. It can also make your stomach look bigger .
Bloating is not the same as water retention, but the two terms are often used interchangeably. Put simply, bloating involves excessive amounts of solids, liquids or gas in your digestive system.
However, in some people, bloating is caused mostly by increased sensitivity. It just feels as if there is increased pressure in the abdomen, even though there isnt (
Although bloating is sometimes caused by serious medical conditions, it is most often caused by the diet and some foods or ingredients you are intolerant to.
Here are 11 proven ways to reduce or eliminate bloating.
Causes Of Ovarian Cancer
The exact cause of ovarian cancer is unknown.
But some things may increase a woman’s risk of getting it, such as:
- being over the age of 50
- a family history of ovarian or breast cancer this could mean you have inherited genes that increase your cancer risk
- hormone replacement therapy although any increase in cancer risk is likely to be very small
- endometriosis a condition where tissue that behaves like the lining of the womb is found outside the womb
- being overweight
- exposure to asbestos
What Causes A Bloated Stomach
When our stomach is empty, it is about the size of a clenched fist. However, the design and structure of the stomach allows it to increase in shape and size to accommodate what we eat. That said, its worth bearing in mind that your stomach can only handle about a litre to a litre and a half of food at any one time. Overeating can put strain on your stomach and compromise your digestion.
1. Food and lifestyle factors
Our lifestyles and dietary choices will influence our gut and how it functions and feels. Inactivity, being over-weight, weak abdominal muscles and even psychological issues, including stress, can influence how effectively our digestion processes the food we eat. For some, certain foods can trigger symptoms artificial sweetners, dairy, some starchy foods and even certain vegetables can potentially be triggers. If this sounds familiar, keep a food diary and record the food you eat and your corresponding symptoms be prepared to discuss this with a medical professional before making any changes to the foods you eat. Do not eliminate food groups without professional guidance.
One of the most common causes of bloating, IBS affects one in five people at some stage in their lives. Symptoms include changes to bowel habits, cramping, bloating and distension as well as excess gas. Treatment varies but dietary changes, the addition of probiotic and prebiotic foods, exercise and stress management may be effective.
4. Food intolerances
5. Coeliac disease
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How To Go On A Wheat
Cutting out bread and other foods containing wheat should not harm your health, if you do it properly.
Wheat is one of our staple foods, and lots of wheat products, such as breakfast cereals, are fortified with vitamins and minerals.
In the past, there was a danger of running short of essential nutrients like B vitamins and iron if you cut out wheat. But there’s now a good range of widely available wheat-free alternatives that will not compromise a balanced diet.
Read more about vitamins and minerals.
“There are great wheat substitutes you can buy off the supermarket shelf now. Go for gluten-free bread, and try other types of grains, such as quinoa, corn and rice,” says Dr Skypala. “Just make sure you substitute other equally nutritious foods for the wheat-based ones you’re cutting out.”
Be sure to cut out all wheat from your diet. Some sources of wheat are obvious, such as bread, but others are less so, such as soy sauce.
The Health Problems Caused By Wheat
There are 3 key health problems caused by wheat:
- Wheat allergy reactions usually begin within minutes and include itching, sneezing and wheezing. See your GP for referral to an NHS allergy clinic.
- Coeliac disease a condition where the intestine lining can’t absorb and is damaged by gluten-containing foods including wheat, barley, oats and rye. See your GP for a blood test.
- Wheat sensitivity symptoms like bloating, cramps, diarrhoea and sickness come on quite slowly, usually hours after eating wheat. There’s no diagnostic test.
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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.
Notable ones include:
- Lactase: An enzyme that breaks down lactose, which is useful for people with lactose intolerance.
- Beano: Contains the enzyme alpha-galactosidase, which can help break down indigestible carbohydrates from various foods.
In many cases, these types of supplements can provide almost immediate relief.
If youre interested in trying a digestive enzyme supplement, a wide .
Many over-the-counter products can help fight bloating and other digestive problems. These are usually digestive enzymes that help break down certain food components.
How Can I Prevent Stomach Bloating
If your stomach bloating is caused by diet or alcohol, you can help prevent it by making some lifestyle changes. Some good general guidelines include:
If the cause of your bloated stomach is something more specific, such as specific food intolerance, perimenopause or a medical condition, you might need a little help with diagnosis, treatment and prevention. Some options include:
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Prevention And Relief From Abdominal Bloating
- Avoid consuming gas-producing foods like cabbage, beans, and carbonated drinks.
- Avoid swallowing air while eating or drinking.
- Do not smoke.
- Do not eat more than your stomach can take.
- Treat constipation as it is one of the main culprits behind stomach bloating.
- Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- Practise yoga mudras that can help ease digestion and gas problems such as Vayu mudra.
Most cases of abdominal bloating are not of much concern. But in some cases, stomach bloating can have severe side effects on your health and can even be a symptom of a more serious underlying medical condition.
What Does A Bloated Stomach Tell You
There is a difference between feeling bloated and being bloated. A bloated stomach can actually be a symptom of an underlying health condition that you are not aware of. A bloated stomach is not really a good sign. More often than not, a bloated stomach is a sign that there is something going on inside your tummy. So, what does a bloated stomach tell you?
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What Causes Bloating On The Keto Diet
People following a ketogenic diet often complain of gas retention and a stuffy stomach. This is because the keto diet includes eating a lot of vegetables, of which many are loaded with FODMAPs that are difficult to digest.
FODMAPs stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols, which are a group of carbohydrates notorious for giving belly bloats and flatulence.
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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What’s Special About Functional Foods That Reduce Bloating
So now that we know what to avoid, what should we add to our menus to help prevent or reduce bloating?
“Seek out foods high in potassium and water,” says Rachel Fine, RD, a registered dietitian, and owner of the nutrition counseling firm To The Pointe Nutrition in New York City. When you don’t eat enough potassium, your body will hold onto extra sodium and water, which can cause a distended belly.
“To make potentially bloat-causing foods easier to digest, try cooked veggies instead of raw, and sprouted grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes rather than regular.”
What Naturally Reduces Bloating
Here are additional suggestions to decrease bloating: Eat slowly, and consume smaller, more frequent meals. Chew your foods well. Drink beverages at room temperature. Have your dentures checked for a good fit. Increase physical activity during the day. Sit up straight after eating. Take a stroll after eating.
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Is It Wheat Intolerance Or Sensitivity
If your symptoms return, it confirms you’re sensitive to wheat and will also show you which foods are especially troublesome. Some people may only have problems with pasta, for example, while others are fine until they eat bread.
If you are sensitive to wheat, or you have trouble digesting it, the main way to relieve your symptoms is to embark on a wheat-free or partially wheat-free diet.
What Causes Bloating In The Stomach
Gas is a natural byproduct of digestion, but too much intestinal gas means your digestion is gone awry. While you can ingest gasses by swallowing air or drinking carbonated beverages, these gasses mostly escape through belching before they reach your intestines. Gasses in your intestines are mostly produced by gut bacteria digesting carbohydrates .
If theres too much fermentation going on, its because too many carbohydrates werent naturally absorbed earlier in the digestive process, before reaching those gut bacteria. That could be for several reasons. Maybe you just ate too much too fast for proper digestion, or you might have a specific food intolerance or gastrointestinal disease. Some possible causes include:
These can include solids, liquids, and gas. Digestive contents can build up in your digestive system when there is a backup or restriction in your digestive tract or when the muscles that move digestive contents along are somehow impaired. Any build-up of digestive contents along the digestive tract will leave less room for normal amounts of gas to process through. It also leaves less room for other things in your abdomen, including circulatory fluids and fat, making everything feel tighter. Causes of build-up can include:
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Take An Epsom Salt Bath
Relaxing in any tub is always nice, and adding two cups of magnesium-rich Epsom salt may help deflate your belly more effectively Your skin also absorbs the mineral and electrolyte, magnesium, which can help reduce inflammation and may even reduce muscle cramps. Soaking in an Epsom salt bath for 20 minutes can help alleviate constipation as well, which is another cause of bloating.
More Advice To Beat The Bloat:
1. Eat fermented food once a day: Foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles, kefir and kombucha are naturally high in probiotics. Like the probiotic supplement, fermented foods introduce good microorganisms that can contribute to maintaining a balanced, healthy gut.
2. Drink up: When youre dehydrated, your electrolyte levels can become unbalanced. This means you could be holding on to unwanted water weight without even realizing it. Drinking more water does not mean more water is retained. Drinking more water means your body can flush out any excess more easily.
3. Move more: You can be eating the right foods, but if youre spending all day sitting, the stagnation can cause unwanted gas buildup. Make a point to get up and move every hour.
Breakfast: 1 cup green tea with an egg scramble with leftover grilled salmon and asparagus
Snack:Gut health smoothie: 1/2 cup plain kefir, 1/3 cup papaya and 1/4 avocado
Lunch: Spinach , 2 teaspoons olive oil and top with 1 tablespoon of chopped pecans and 4-6 ounces lemon herb chicken
Drink flat water with lemon throughout the day!
For more advice from Keri Glassman, follow her on .
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Probiotics Balance The Gut Flora
Digestive trouble arises when the balance between healthy and unhealthy bacteria is disturbed, such that one type of bacteria overpowers the others.
Probiotics are essentially live cultures of friendly bacteria that are similar to the good bacteria found in the human gut. Hence, they can help restore the normal microbial equilibrium in the intestine and thereby improve its function.
Probiotics also aid in reducing the severity of IBS symptoms, which include abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence, and altered bowel movements.
How to use:
Several foods contain a heavy dose of probiotics that can be added to your daily diet to restore well-balanced gut flora. You can take probiotic supplements, but preferably after consulting your doctor.
Probiotics help balance out the gut microflora, thus aiding in digestion and, consequentially, preventing indigestion and bloating.
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.
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Ginger Helps The Body Expel Intestinal Gas
Ginger is recognized as a medicinal herb with multiple therapeutic virtues, including the ability to relieve excessive gas and bloating.
Ginger mainly targets the stomach, and its beneficial effects can be enhanced by consuming it with artichoke, which also acts on the small bowel. These two ingredients are present in the commercially available digestive product called Prodigest.
A study supported the efficacy of Prodigest in reducing the symptoms of functional dyspepsia, including bloating, abdominal pain, epigastric heaviness, and nausea, among other discomforts.
How to use:
Add ginger to various dishes as a flavor enhancer. Alternatively, chew on a few slices of ginger, or steep them in hot water to make ginger tea and consume it.
Note: The gastroprotective properties of ginger need to be substantiated by more studies. Moreover, further clinical trials are needed to address the correct dosage and preparation.
The pungent compounds gingerol and shogaol in ginger stimulate the secretion of digestive enzymes, enabling smoother and easier digestion with lesser gas production.
Bloating: Causes And Prevention Tips
How often do you hear yourself or friends complain about bloating? We often just say were bloated when we feel full, but for many women, the problem relates to a chronic underlying condition. If you feel bloated often, you may have a condition like irritable bowel syndrome , which affects up to 24 percent of women.
Linda Lee, M.D., explains common causes of bloating and what you can do to prevent this uncomfortable condition.
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Implement Changes In Your Diet And Eating Habits
You have to keep a personal record of the foods that trigger increased burping, flatulence, and bloating and then cut them out of your diet.
- As a general rule of thumb, people who are prone to excessive bloating and flatulence are advised to limit their intake of the following gas-producing foods:
- Foods that are rich in fat, carbs, sugar, and salt
- Carbonated beverages
- Vegetables such as beans, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and onions
- Legumes such as peas, peanuts, and soybean
- Whole-wheat or bran products
Beware Gut Symptom Triggers
Some people find particular foods cause them problems. Acidic foods, such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, salad dressings and fizzy drinks, can trigger heartburn, while wheat and onions may cause irritable bowel syndrome.
And if you cannot digest lactose, the sugar in milk, you’ll develop wind and diarrhoea after drinking milk or eating dairy products, including cream, cheese, yoghurt and chocolate.
Try to stay away from foods and drinks that trigger your digestive symptoms. Keep a food diary to work out which foods cause your symptoms.
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Take Time To Meditate
The older, wiser, less-bendy sister of yoga, meditation is an amazing activity that people can reap major rewards from. A 2014 study in Eating Behaviorsfound that individuals who meditate are less likely to overeat or give in to emotional eatingand this is key if you want to stay on track with your anti-bloat plan over the next day. To get started, unroll a yoga mat or sit on a carpet in a sunny room and take five uninterrupted minutes thinking about something that you’re grateful for.