At best, bloating makes you feel uncomfortable. In contrast, it is so painful for some people they can’t carry on with their day. Whatever the case, we can all agree that bloating is a pain in the neck. Fortunately, you don’t have to face this battle alone. We are here to bring you our top ten tips to say goodbye to bloating.
In this article, we will learn how to get rid of bloating and its leading causes. What foods should you avoid? And which ones should you incorporate into your diet? Everything you need to know is right here in this guide!
What Causes Stomach Bloating?
Detecting the causes of bloating can be pretty challenging. However, there are some known causes of stomach bloating, including:
- Excess gas
- Small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO)
- Dysbacteriosis, irregular amounts of microorganisms in the bowel
- Food intolerances
- Sensitivity of perception to the digestive tract
- Some mental disorders, such as anxiety or depression
- Spinal curvature of the lumbar spine resulting in lessened abdominal capacity for gas
- Gastroparesis, a condition that delays the normal movement of the muscles in the stomach
More often than not, bloating is a result of the causes above. Yet, it could potentially be a symptom of a more dangerous digestive problem. Among these disorders are inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer.
Another thing to consider is that bloating and water retention are not the same. Though sometimes used interchangeably, water retention doesn’t typically involve the digestive system, unlike bloating. Nevertheless, both caused an uncomfortable feeling, a puffy appearance and, a distended abdomen.
Which Types of Food Cause Stomach Bloating?
If you regularly experience stomach bloating, you should visit your doctor to discuss treatment options. Once the doctor determines the cause of your bloating, the FODMAP diet is the most prescribed treatment. Several foods cause bloating. FODMAP stands for everything you should avoid:
- Fermentable Oligosaccharides: Wheat, onions, garlic, legumes, and beans are high on this.
- Disaccharides: Also known as double sugar, this compound is found in lactose products like milk, yogurt, and ice cream.
- Monosaccharides: This class of sugar is very high in some fruits, such as apples and pears, because it includes fructose.
- Polyols: This organic compound, also called sugar alcohols, is found in apricots, nectarines, plums, and cauliflower. It can also be an added ingredient in chewing gums and candy.
But you might be wondering, how come this diet relieves bloating? This diet, low in the carbohydrates listed above, helps out the small intestine and the colon. Studies indicate that the small intestine can have a difficult time absorbing these carbohydrates. Therefore, some carbohydrates aren’t absorbed and pass to the colon. There, they become fermented and then make gas, which causes bloating.
Some Easy Tips to Get Rid of Stomach Bloating
Are you sick of this painful and uncomfortable feeling? Lucky for you, there are some quick, effective ways to relieve bloating. Without further ado, let us share with you our top ten easy tips to get rid of this horrible puffiness.
Go for a Walk
How about some fresh air? Physical activity is a great way to get the bowels moving. Even though it is a low-impact exercise, walking reduces bloating. The best part is that it requires minimal equipment, can be done at any time of day, and can be performed at your own pace.
Practice Yoga Poses
Similar to walking, yoga can be a fun way to exercise without exerting yourself. Moreover, some yoga stretches can kick-start the digestive process and, in turn, relieve inflammation. Child’s Pose, Happy Baby Pose, and squats encourage the release of excess gas. Besides, practicing yoga reduces stress and helps with weight loss.
Try to Take Gas Relief Medicines
The most popular over-the-counter medications for gas relief contain simethicone, which the FDA approves. Many of these medications have been around for years, such as Gas-X and Pepto Bismol. Even so, no medication should be taken without consulting your doctor first.
Use Peppermint Capsules as a Fourth Option
Though peppermint oil capsules are usually part of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) treatment, they also relieve bloating. These over-the-counter capsules work by relaxing the intestinal muscles, allowing gas and stool to move along better. Before taking peppermint capsules, always read the instructions on the packet.
Use Essential Oil
In 2016, a group of researchers carried out a study on the effectiveness of essential oils to treat irritable bowel syndrome. They gave supplements containing a combination of fennel and curcumin essential oil to 116 people with mild-to-moderate IBS. Thirty days later, these people reported an improvement. These oils helped reduce bloating, abdominal pain, among other uncomfortable symptoms. Anyway, before consuming essential oils, you should speak to your doctor.
Try Abdominal Massage
Here we bring you a pretty easy way to alleviate the pain that only requires two things: your hands. Massages that follow the path of the large intestine can get the bowels moving. If you don’t know how to massage your abdomen, follow these steps:
- Place your hands just above the right hip bone.
- With light pressure, rub in a circular motion up toward the right side of the ribcage.
- Keep rubbing straight across the upper belly area toward the left rib cage.
- Then move slowly down toward the left hip bone.
- Repeat these steps until the pain is gone.
If the message doesn’t relieve the symptoms or causes more pain, discontinue it immediately.
Take Relaxing, Soaking, and Warm Bath
As we have already mentioned, one cause of bloating is anxiety and high stress levels. Therefore, relaxing for a while in a warm bath can be highly beneficial. Besides, the heat also provides relief for your sore abdomen.
Drink Warm Water
Drinking warm or lukewarm water is a great way to aid digestion. Moreover, consuming water also helps keep the kidneys functioning correctly. How does this work? Water retention is reduced when liquid is adequately eliminated from the body.
Try to Eat Less Salt as Well as Potassium-Rich Foods
Excessive sodium consumption is a cause of gastrointestinal bloating. Potassium-rich foods, such as ripe bananas, are a counterbalance to the effects of excessive sodium. Why? Potassium regulates fluid balance in the body.
Drink Hot Tea
Hot tea has a similar effect to warming water. Peppermint tea, specifically, relaxes the digestive system, which provides relief from gas and bloating. Ginger, lemon, and dandelion teas can also be effective.
Long Term Solution for Stomach Bloating
Prevention is better than cure. Better than relieving bloating once it has begun is to avoid the uncomfortable feeling in the first place. These are several long-term solutions to prevent bloating:
Try to Avoid Chewing
When we chew gum, we mimic how we eat food. Therefore, we get our system ready to digest food that will never come. As a result, a lot of air enters our digestive system, which causes pain and a distended abdomen. On top of that, chewing gum contains sugar and other artificial sweeteners, like sorbitol and xylitol. This can also cause uncomfortable bloating.
Increase Fiber in Your Daily Diet
Eating food with more fiber can prevent constipation and the resulting bloating. The recommended daily fiber is 25 grams for females and 38 grams for males. But be careful — too much fiber might also cause bloating! You should always pay a visit to your doctor before making a change in your diet.
Don’t Multitask While Eating
For those of us workaholics out there, this is a hard one. How often do you have lunch while also checking emails? This is called “distracted eating,” and it usually results in consuming more calories. Besides, we tend to eat faster when distracted, which introduces more air into the digestive system. What does this cause? You guessed it — bloating, of course.
Keep a Food Diary
If your bloating happens after meals, we recommend keeping track of what you eat. Writing this information in a notebook for several weeks might come in handy. The American Academy of Family Physicians offers tips and a template to help people track their diets.
Let’s start by explaining what probiotics are. These are good bacteria that live in the intestines. Colon bacteria might sometimes be the cause of gas and bloating. So, taking a probiotic supplement may help to regulate this bacterium.
Get More Active Every Day
As we have mentioned before, exercise is the enemy of bloating:
- Physical activity helps your body move stool and gas out of the colon.
- It may also make bowel movements more regular.
- It helps with water retention by releasing extra sodium from the body through sweating.
Replace Soda with Water
Carbon dioxide, the thing that makes soda fizzy, causes bubbling. This gas builds up in our stomachs, which creates bloating. Besides, this beverage also contains sugars and artificial sweeteners. Once again, this causes gas. Luckily, soda can easily be replaced by water.
More Related: How to Boost Your Immune System
Abdominal bloating is harsh. Keep in mind that simple lifestyle changes, like mindful eating and doing more physical activity, can prevent this from ever happening. If you are already dealing with this problem, fret not! Luckily, it is treatable. While some stomach-related problems might be fixed with medication, treated bloating is a little bit more complex than that.
Doctors usually recommend all sorts of treatment options, and you should try out every single one. From peppermint capsules and essential oils to abdominal massages and warm baths, anything and everything might work. Each person is different, so don’t get frustrated if some tips don’t relieve your pain. It is only a matter of finding the right fit for you.