If you are a human being at some point you have probably experienced bloating of some kind.
It’s not pleasant and quite frankly it can be downright embarrassing!
Bloating can be a sign of something very serious but bloating is more commonly known amongst the everyday person.
For the most part bloating is harmless but it is something that you should keep an eye on.
What is bloating?
Bloating is caused when there is an overproduction of gas.
Bloating is often caused when the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is filled with too much air or gas.
Bloating can make you feel as though your stomach is full even if you have eaten very little or nothing at all.
It can very uncomfortable but should not be painful in any way.
If you are experiencing pain with being bloated then you should get it checked out as soon as you can to be on the safe side.
Why do people become bloated?
There are usually very good reasons when a person becomes bloated. Some of the reasons include:
1. Eating too much food
When you eat too much food in one sitting you will cause your stomach to become overfilled.
If you usually suffer from this problem then it is a good idea to eat your meals in much smaller portions.
Eating this way works really well, it is especially good for pregnant women who can often suffer from reflux.
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2. Drinking too much soda
We all know that carbonated drinks are bad for us but a lot of us continue to drink them anyway.
A lot of the time unless we see the immediate damage something is doing to our bodies it can be easy to ignore it and continue to do what we want.
Some people are particularly sensitive to soda and can easily see and feel the effects of being bloated by simply drinking some fizzy pop.
This is definitely one to stay away from if you are sensitive!
3. Taking in too much air
This might seem like a bit of a strange one especially as we don’t often go around swallowing large clumps of air.
So how do you take in too much air?
Quite simply you can take in too much air by drinking through a straw and even chewing gum!
Yes, chewing gum is known to cause bloating!
Chewing gum makes your body think that it is about to receive food. It then begins to make enzymes to break the food down.
You obviously aren’t giving your body any food so you are left with a belly full of stomach acid which can feel like bloating.
4. The wrong foods
Eating the wrong types of food can also cause you a problem.
You might find that spicy food is the one thing that you just can’t handle.
Food intolerances are very common so you must know which types of food are likely to upset your stomach and cause bloating.
5. Eating too fast
We’ve all done it at some point. You’re at work, your lunch break is almost over so you scoff your food down as quickly as you can.
Well, truth be told you are doing yourself no favors by doing this.
The quicker you eat the more likely you are to swallow air which will of course, in turn, cause your stomach to feel bloated.
6. Do you know your dairy?
Dairy is the one thing that is not often thought of to cause bloating, in fact, most people aren’t even aware that eating dairy is the source of their bloating problems.
If you are lactose intolerant then dairy probably the source of your bloating problems.
It would be a good idea to keep an eye out each time you eat dairy to check on the effects it has on you.
Constipation is another big one that gives you that uncomfortable bloated feeling.
From time to time we all get constipated and when we do it can feel a little tight around the stomach area.
Usually, constipation should clear up on its own but if it doesn’t you should be able to get some over the counter medicines to help with this.
Which foods cause bloating?
High in fiber foods can cause bloating, so its best to keep an eye on your food intake.
If you are really worried about bloating then I would suggest you keep a food diary and use that to eliminate any food issues that you may have.
Here is a list of food that can potentially cause you a problem:
What are some of the more serious reasons for bloating?
So far we have discussed the lighter side to the causes of bloating but there is a more serious side to it also.
Bloating can, in fact, be cause for concern in certain cases as it could be an indication of something more serious.
If you are experiencing reoccurring bouts of bloating or if they are very painful it could be a sign of liver disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or even some kidney problems or types of cancer.
If you suspect any of these, even in the slightest you need to seek the help of a medical professional as soon as possible.
What you can do to prevent bloating?
Aside from the more serious types of bloating there are little things that you can do to prevent bloating in the future.
1. Increase your fiber
Increasing your intake of fiber is a great way to prevent bloating. Just be careful with this one because you must do it gradually.
Increasing your fiber intake too quickly can have the opposite effect and cause bloating. So use this tip with caution.
2. Give up the gum!
We’ve already talked about how chewing gum can increase your chances of becoming bloated.
Just stay away from it. If you chew gum to keep your breath fresh consider a mint instead.
3. Cut back on the salt
Salt is a known factor in bloating, by simply cutting back on your salt intake you can greatly reduce your likeliness of bloating.
4. Have you heard of FODMAP?
FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols. In lay man’s terms for you and I, FODMAPs are a type of carbohydrate that can be found in foods such as wheat, garlic, and apples.
Choosing to live by a low FODMAP diet could make all the difference to you.
5. Stay active
This is probably the most obvious way to keep the bloating at bay but it also the most likely to be missed prevention method just because it is so glaringly obvious.
Taking a walk after a meal is an extremely effective way to keep the bloating away.
How can you treat bloating?
There are a few natural remedies for treating bloating if you are not big on over the counter medication.
- You could try an abdominal massage. Personally, I’ve never tried it before but I have heard good things about it.
- A warm bath or a hot water bottle on your stomach can help to alleviate some of the pressure.
- Drinking peppermint tea is another great option
Final thoughts on the causes of bloating
Although bloating can be a light-hearted topic of discussion it is also best to get anything you are unsure about checked out by a doctor.
If bloating has been making you feel miserable then perhaps it is time to get more serious and think about a more healthy lifestyle through food and general fitness.
If you want to make a change, today is the day to do it!
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