- With most people’s poor diets, high levels of stress, need for daily medications and exposure to various pollutants, it’s no wonder they are suffering some sort of abdominal bloating.
Abdominal bloating is when the abdomen feels full and tight mostly after eating. It commonly occurs due to a buildup of gas somewhere in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. A bloated belly looks larger than usual and it may also feel tender or painful.
Although abdominal bloating and abdominal distension are often used interchangeably the two terms varies. Abdominal bloating can sometimes signify serious health problems hiding below the surface.
Causes of abdominal bloating
- Gastric distension
- Fructose and other food intolerances
- Food allergy
- Air swallowing
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Celiac disease
- Gluten sensitivity
- Partial bowel obstruction
- Gas-producing foods
- Menstruation, dysmenorrheoa
Signs and symptoms
The most common symptoms associated with bloating is a sensation that the abdomen is full or distended. Rarely, a bloated abdomen may be painful or cause shortness of breath. Pains that are due to bloating will feel sharp and cause the stomach to cramp. Other symptoms are: loss of appetite, fatigue, nausea and vomiting.
Here are 10 proven ways to reduce or relieve bloating
Firstly, regular physical exercise
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, a jog, strolls around the block can provide fast relief from gas pressure.
Secondly, eat in bits but frequent
Many people experience bloating directly after a big meal. It is possible to avoid this by eating several smaller meals each day, which can help to keep the digestive system moving. Eating smaller meals can be very useful to your health in general. It reduces the amount of air you swallow with the food and also makes you eat slower, which is linked to reduced food intake eventually reducing bloating.
Thirdly, reduce intake of salt
An excess of sodium 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.
Fourthly, avoid eating foods that contain gas
Try keeping a food diary to figure out if certain foods tend to make you more gassy or bloated than others. Foods such as beans and lentils, as well as some whole grains. Fatty foods can also slow down digestion and the emptying of the stomach. This can have benefits for satiety but can be a problem for people with a tendency to bloat.
Additionally, avoid constipation
Constipation is a very common digestive problem, and can have many different causes. Increased water intake and physical activity can be effective against constipation. Also, eat more soluble fiber diets.
Probiotics are good bacteria that live in the intestines. Taking a probiotic supplement may help to regulate the colon bacteria that can produce gas and cause a bloated abdomen.
Moreover, avoid chewing gum
Swallowing air while chewing also may lead to bloating and gas pain. Use ginger mints or peppermints to freshen their breath instead.
Also, avoid caffeinated beverages
Carbonated drinks contain gas that can build up in the stomach. The carbon dioxide that makes soda and similar beverages fizzy can also cause bubbling and bloating in the stomach. Artificial sweeteners in the diet can also cause gas and bloating. Drinking water eliminates these issues and helps to treat constipation as well.
Last but not the least, use peppermint
Peppermint oil capsules may also be helpful for indigestion and related gas. Manufacturers usually market them as a treatment for the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, but can also be used to relieve bloating. Peppermint works by relaxing the intestinal muscles, which allows gas and stool to move along more effectively.