Bloating occurs when your gastrointestinal tract is filled with gas or air. This tract begins at the mouth and ends at the anus, covering the entire digestive system. Bloating can feel like there is no room in your stomach or like you have ate a big meal or overate. You might be able to physically notice that your stomach looks bigger and your clothes might feel a little tighter. In this article, we will look at the symptoms, causes and how to prevent bloating.
Bloating is usually nothing to worry about and common bloating symptoms include:
- Stomach pain
- Abdominal rumbling or gurgling
However, bloating can signal other serious underlying conditions. For example, if the bloating doesn’t go away, fatigue, severe stomach pains, appetite changes then you should consider talking to a doctor. Some serious bloating symptoms include:
- Blood in your stool
- Significant weight loss
Salt – Most of us consume a lot more salt than we need. So, put down the salt shaker and start checking food labels for sodium levels.
Overeating – Your stomach is not as big as you think it is. It is roughly the size of your fist and when we overeat it can stretch and this is when we experience bloating. Learn when your body is getting full so you can avoid overeating.
Fizzy Drinks – These drinks are filled with gas and once this gas reaches your intestines it stays until you pass it. Fizzy drinks are also full of sugar, which can make you hold onto water and feel even more bloated.
Celiac Disease – This is where the immune system attacks your own tissues when you consume gluten. It primarily affects the small intestine and damages the lining of the gut which means the body will not be able to absorb nutrients from foods.
Period - Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) affects the hormones in your body and our bodies tend to hold onto more water during this time, which can make you feel bloated.
There are little things you can do to prevent and avoid bloating. For example:
- Avoiding certain foods that cause bloating such as dairy products, beans, lentils and brussel sprouts.
- Take your time to chew and digest your food as this can prevent overeating and helps with better digestion.
- Cut out fizzy drinks from your diet.
- Quit smoking as the toxins in cigarette smoke cause inflammation in the lining of your stomach and can make you feel bloated.
- Constipation can cause bloating so eating foods that are high in fibre can prevent this.
- Speak with your doctor to ensure that you don’t have any allergies or intolerances.
We hope you better understand how your body works when it comes to bloating and our tips to avoid bloating can help you out! If you are experiencing any severe symptoms of bloating, please contact your doctor as soon as possible.
By Pooja Depala