Bloating is an unpleasant fact of life and can be the result of a number of reasons. A bloated stomach happens to all of us from time to time and is a common complaint among people of all ages.

Bloated stomach symptoms can range in severity from very mild to severe enough to cause pain. They usually include feeling overly full after meals. For some people the bloating can be so bad that it leads to flatulence, belching and abdominal noises.

Why does swelling happen?

Bloating or bloating is the result of excess gas in the digestive tract. It happens for two reasons:

  • First, the digestive process itself releases gas from the food as it breaks down.
  • Second, certain habits can cause you to swallow air. When the two are combined, it can be an uncomfortable experience.

8 causes of a bloated stomach

For many, bloating is an occasional annoyance and for most people the problem resolves after a few (uncomfortable) hours. However, if you are suffering from periodic bouts of inflammation, there are a few simple lifestyles changes you can make to help you feel less uncomfortable.

1. You eat too much or too fast

Eating too much food is one of the most common causes of bloating (this is also one of the hidden reasons that you cannot lose weight). The gas created by the digestive process is unable to disperse and only sits in the intestine. Try to serve yourself smaller portions but allow yourself more time to eat.

It takes about 20 minutes for the brain to recognize the body’s signals that it has had enough, so if you eat more slowly, you will be less likely to overeat. Portion control is also one of the changes that leads to weight loss.

Taking the time to savor each bite has other benefits as well. Chewing your food more thoroughly helps get the digestive process going (saliva is a digestive juice that helps break down food).

Lastly, people who eat too fast often gulp air along with their food adding the gas to their bellies. Preventing this can help relieve swelling.

2. You are swallowing air

Not only are you eating too fast it can lead to excess air in your abdomen. The following habits can lead to swallowing air:

  • Use straw
  • Drinking soda or other fizzy drinks (which have many other adverse side effects)
  • Chew gum or suck on hard candy

Try cutting out these things and see if they help you feel better.

3. You are stressed

Stress and anxiety cause physiological changes in the body. Among them is the reaction that diverts blood from the digestive system and elsewhere in the body. This makes the digestive process less efficient and can lead to bloating. In some people, the stress response also causes changes in their breathing that result in swallowing air. One of the 5 types of belly that can be distinguished, especially in women, is the product of stress.

If you are nervous or anxious, try some simple breathing or relaxation exercises to help you feel more in control. You can also use essential oils for anxiety and natural remedies for stress.

4. You are eating gas-producing foods

Some foods are more likely to cause bloating and excess gas than others. Fat is the hardest food group to digest; very rich foods can lead to bloating. Fat takes longer to digest than protein or carbohydrates, so it keeps your stomach full for longer.

Examples of gas-producing foods include beans and cruciferous vegetables ( broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage). Some people are more susceptible to certain vegetables and fruits than others. Whole grains that are very high in fiber are also a common cause of gas problems. These foods have amazing health benefits, but you may need to eat them in moderation, or skip them if they cause persistent bloating.

5. You don’t drink enough water

Most people can’t drink enough water, you can tell because there are signs that your body is lacking in water. Insufficient fluid intake can lead to dehydration that prevents body systems and functions, including the digestive system, from working at their peak efficiency. Dehydration has many other side effects.

The foods mentioned above are a key part of a healthy diet. When you especially eat foods that contain a high percentage of high fiber, you should try to drink more water. This will help maintain mobility within the digestive system and prevent bloating and constipation.

6. You use artificial sweeteners

In an effort to cut down on sugar, many people turn to artificial sweeteners (which can cause illness and diabetes) or to alternatives like high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) that is also added to many processed foods, like tomato sauce, bread and even coffee. HFCS is one of the 10 toxic ingredients in the food industry.

Many people do not easily absorb fructose in the body. Fructose is normally absorbed in the small intestine, but for those with fructose intolerance, something travels to the colon, where the bacteria ferment the fructose. This causes the release of hydrogen and methane gases that cause pain, bloating, flatulence, and diarrhea.

Instead of using the above sweeteners, try alternative sweeteners to sugar. You also need to keep in mind that sugar-related diseases are on the rise.

7. Dairy consumption can cause inflammation in the stomach

Some people have undiagnosed lactose intolerance, and most people are lactose intolerant. If you find that you are susceptible to bloating after consuming dairy products, then you may need to look for an alternative.

8. Your medications cause bloating

Many over-the-counter and prescription drugs and supplements can cause gas and bloating. Some examples are:

  • Aspirin.
  • Antacids.
  • Medicines for diarrhea, such as Imodium, Kaopectate, and Lomotil.
  • Narcotic pain medications.
  • Fiber supplements and bulking agents such as Citrucel, Fiberall, and Metamucil.
  • Multivitamins and iron pills.

If you’ve noticed that your inflammation symptoms have worsened since starting a new prescription or supplement, it’s worth checking with your doctor if he or she may be able to recommend an alternative.

If you are taking a medication or supplement that has not been prescribed by a doctor, stop taking it. Call your doctor if you feel like you need to keep taking the medication or if you need help managing your symptoms.

Natural remedies for a bloated stomach

Bloating is usually fairly easy to control if you know what to do. Also, making the changes described in this article should make you see a drastic easing of the symptoms. If you keep experiencing the odd bout of bloating and want relief, you can use home remedies:

Herbal teas for bloating

Herbal teas have several benefits when it comes to digestive problems: they absorb gas, reduce stress, aid in blood flow to the digestive system, and remove various contaminants.

Foods to prevent bloating

There are certain foods like ginger, papaya, and pineapple that can prevent bloating, but there are many other foods that are helpful as well.

Abdominal massage for bloating

Abdominal massage is a technique that has been used by multiple cultures since the time of the ancients. Performing abdominal massage can help regulate metabolic function and reduce waste build-up in the body (which contributes to bloating), leading to relief from uncomfortable bloating.

Bloating – When to see your doctor

Bloating is rarely serious, but if you can’t get it under control by following the suggestions in this article, you should consider making an appointment to see a medical professional.

If the swelling is accompanied by blood in the stool, vomiting, persistent diarrhea, weight loss, or heartburn that becomes increasingly painful, you should make an appointment to speak with your doctor. While some abdominal discomfort with bouts of bloating is not uncommon, prolonged and severe abdominal pain should be a cause for investigation.

Before your doctor’s appointment, keep a food diary noting everything you ate, the time you ate it, and the times of bloating episodes. This should help you and your doctor to clearly establish the causes and possible avenues of investigation.

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