How To Reduce Bloating
Do you experience bloating? By the end of the day, have your clothes become unbearably tight around your stomach? If so, you're not alone.
Bloating is completely normal. When we wake up, we have little to no food in our stomach and as the day goes on we eat food which has to go somewhere. It’s completely normal that as the day progresses our stomach will expand too.
But sometimes the bloating you experience is excessive and the discomfort can impact your day-to-day activities and quality of life.
So what is bloating?
Bloating is the feeling of fullness or tightness in the tummy, which can be uncomfortable and even painful. It is often accompanied by a visible swelling or distention of the tummy.
What causes bloating?
There are several factors that can contribute to bloating, including:
- Eating habits: Eating too quickly, eating large meals or consuming foods that are high in fat or fiber can cause bloating.
- Digestive issues: Bloating is often associated with digestive issues such as constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and food intolerances.
- Gas: The build-up of gas in the digestive system can cause bloating.
- Fluid retention: Hormonal changes, certain medications, and medical conditions can lead to bloating.
- Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions such as celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and gastroesophageal reflux disease can cause bloating.
When is bloating an issue?
Bloating can be uncomfortable and inconvenient but it’s usually not a major cause for concern and can be easily managed with lifestyle changes.
If you experience persistent bloating or the bloating is accompanied by other symptoms like pain, constipation, diarrhoea or smelly farts then it’s best to see your doctor.
How to reduce bloating?
If bloating is an issue for you, there are a few things that might help:
Eat smaller meals
Eating smaller, more frequent meals can help prevent bloating.
Eat slowly & chew thoroughly
Sounds easy enough right? When we chew our food well we’re making the digestion process easier and this can help reduce the post-meal bloat.
Identify if foods are causing bloating
There is no need to eliminate or cut foods out of your diet as it can make it harder to pinpoint what is triggering the bloating. Instead, try keeping a food diary to help identify which foods may be causing your bloating. Speak to your doctor about your bloating as they can refer you to a dietitian who can help you identify any food triggers.
Peppermint helps relax the gut muscles which may provide relief from bloating. Try a warm cup of peppermint tea or get peppermint oil capsules from the pharmacy.
Have less fizzy drinks and chewing gum
Fizzy drinks like sparkling water can contribute to a build-up of gas in the tummy, while chewing gum can lead to swallowing more air and bloating.
Drink plenty of water
Drinking water can help move things along your digestive tract which can help reduce bloating.
Regular exercise, such as walking or yoga, can help promote digestive health and prevent bloating.
Humble heat pack
Soothe your tummy with a heat pack to relieve bloating pain and discomfort.
Bloating is very common and many people experience it from time to time. Try some of the strategies above next time you experience bloating to relieve the tummy aches and discomfort.
If you are experiencing severe bloating and it’s impacting your life, seek help from your doctor. Don’t suffer in silence, there are people who can help!