Proven hacks to beat the bloat
Do you feel heavy after a meal or drink? Do you have a tummy you think might be filled with excess fat? Playing dress up can prove stressful because of your bulging tummy. You just might be experiencing a bloat.
Abdominal bloating is when the abdomen feels full and tight. It commonly occurs due to a buildup of gas somewhere in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Bloating causes the belly to look larger than usual, and it may also feel tender or painful. Many reasons are associated with bloating.
Some common causes of bloating
- Digestive issues. Constipation, food allergies, and intolerances: When stool becomes backed up in the large bowel, it can cause bloating and a feeling of discomfort. Excess gas may also build up behind the stool, making the bloating worse.
- Diet: Fizzy drinks, too much salt or sugar, and not enough fiber in the diet can all cause bloating. Try other diets that allow you to enjoy the right amount of fiber.
- Hormonal changes: Many people experience bloating before and during their periods due to hormonal changes and water retention. This is common among ladies due to their monthly menstruation.
- Recent weight gain: Weight gained within the last year or so tends to go to your belly first. If you’ve gained ten pounds or more, it’s probably impacting your abdominal volume. This means less room for normal digestive processes, so that even a normal meal may cause you to feel abnormally bloated during digestion. Sometimes weight gain also involves water retention, which can make you feel bloated with fluids in your stomach and elsewhere.
Ways to relieve bloating
- Use supplements: Some supplements, such as iron, can cause constipation and other symptoms of indigestion. This can increase bloating. Potassium, on the other hand, may reduce bloating by helping to balance the body’s sodium levels.
- Herbal teas: Herbal teas including peppermint, chamomile, ginger, turmeric, and fennel can aid digestion and help process gas. Purple tea can help relieve water retention.
- Try walking: Physical activity can get the bowels moving more regularly, which can help to release excess gas and stool. Getting the bowels to move is especially important if a person is feeling constipated. A walk around the block can provide fast relief from gas pressure.
Long term hacks
- Practice mindful eating
Take your time to chew thoroughly and stop before you are full. Feeling full is a delayed reaction because it takes a while for the food you eat to actually reach your stomach. If you are notorious for gulping down your meals quickly then you will also be swallowing a lot of air, leading to gas retention. Slow down and chew your food properly while enjoying its taste and flavor.
- Increase fiber consumption
Eating more fiber helps to prevent constipation and bloating. Most people in America do not get enough fiber, with only 5 percent of people meeting their recommended daily fiber intake of 25 grams (g) for females and 38 g for males. However, it is important to bear in mind that eating too much fiber or increasing fiber intake too quickly can cause even more gas and bloating.
People may notice adverse effects from eating more than 70 g of fiber a day. Fiber also tells your body to drink more water, and it makes you feel full sooner so that you don’t eat too much. Finally, fiber is a prebiotic that helps feed and promote the good bacteria in your gut.
- Replace sodas with water
Fizzy, carbonated drinks contain gas that can build up in the stomach. Drinking water eliminates these issues and helps to treat constipation as well. This will encourage motility along your entire digestive tract and keep your digesting food from becoming too hard.
- Avoid too much salt and sugar
An excess of sodium or artificial sugar causes the body to retain water. This can cause a swollen and bloated feeling in the belly and other areas of the body, such as the hands and feet. Maintain a balance in your use of sugar and salt to avoid health issues.
Although it is uncommon, if bloating is not treated, it could cause serious medical conditions such as liver disease. If bloating issues persist even after the hacks and prevention methods above, you should do well to visit your health professional.