We’ve probably all experienced bloating and gassiness at some point, usually during holidays and their abundant feasts. What is it, why does it occur and most importantly, how do we make it stop?
Abdominal bloating happens when the gastrointestinal tract gets filled with gas, which results in swollen, increased abdomen. It’s characterized by pain, flatulence, abdominal gurgles, burping…
Along with discomfort and embarrassment it brings, it can also be a symptom of serious health conditions like autoimmune or digestive disorders, allergies, and, in extreme cases, even cancer. The good news is that it commonly isn’t that serious and you can avoid this condition very easily, so don’t start panicking yet.
Mostly, you can take care of this annoying problem by changing some of your daily routines, that is, by choosing a healthy diet. The list of the possible causes and treatments is very long, here are the most frequent:
Overeating: it regularly leads to bloating so try to get used to eating food in smaller portions.
Constipation: avoid constipation by consuming food high in fibers and exercising.
Food intolerance: the inability to completely digest certain food often leads to abdominal bloating. If you notice that this occurs to you after consuming food rich in lactose, fructose, gluten, soy, corn, eggs, etc. try avoiding it in order to eliminate the causes of bloating.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): this is a common condition that requires long-term management. It’s a chronic disorder that affects the colon and leads to bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, cramping and abdominal pain. While some people can take care of this problem by managing their lifestyles, others will need medication.
Gassy food: broccoli, beans, kale, cabbage, lettuce, cauliflower, legumes, Brussels sprouts, lentils… I know, we’ve mentioned that eating food rich in fibers is good for you. And it’s true, actually. Along with their other beneficial properties, the consumption of nutrient-rich food that’s abundant in fibers will result in obtaining a healthier and stronger digestive system, more resistant to bloating. So, don’t shun the green stuff away, since these vegetables are utterly beneficial to your well-being. The only downside is that they contain a sugar that produces gas after the bacteria in your bowel ferment them, which in conclusion leads to bloating. So, just learn to keep your portions balanced and steam your veggies in order to soften its fibers and ease the digestion.
Also, lessen the intake of the carbonated drinks, chewing gums, hard candy, alcohol, milk products and whole-grain food.
Air swallowing: Aerophagia is a condition when you swallow such a big amount of air into your gastrointestinal tract that you end up in abdominal cramps, bloating, hiccups and belching. How to get rid of it? Avoid carbonated drinks, chewing gums, drinking with a straw, smoking and fast eating.
Menstruation: many women experience bloating during their period and we have water retention and estrogen fluctuations to thank for that. Tips to de-bloat during the menstrual period: exercise, eat food rich in proteins, skip the salt, coffee, alcohol and carbonated drinks and, of course, gassy food.