Bloating is swelling or distention of the abdomen (belly area) after eating.it is very frequent and normal for the majority of people. About 16-30% of people report that they regularly experience bloating after eating. But for some, it is quite painful and makes them sluggish and uncomfortable.
Causes of bloating;
➡️ Some medical conditions like; celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, eating disorders, hormone flux and food intolerance.
➡️ Serious causes like; ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer liver diseases and kidney diseases but remember, bloating in these conditions is associated with other specific symptoms.
➡️Large meals: eating large potion means our body produces more gas during digestion and that process can lead to our tummy being larger.
➡️Food sensitivity: some food like beans, pulses, lactose, wheat, veggies high in FODMAP may cause bloating in some people.
➡️ fizzy drinks, drinking through a straw and talking during eating may increase the amount of swallowed air.
➡️Stress and anxiety may also cause bloating, poor sleeping habits can have an impact.
➡️Drinking too much caffeine or alcohol
How to reduce bloating;
👉Small meal and proper chewing: proper chewing may reduce the amount of swallowed air and makes you eat slower.
👉Check your fibre: fibre intake should be adequate. too little or too much fibre can make bloating worse.
👉Food records: food diaries may help to identify the patterns of symptoms and food you eat.
👉 Fermented food; eating fermented food like kimchi, tempeh, pickles and kefir may reduce bloating as they are full of probiotics and natural way to boost good bacteria in our gut.
👉 Stay well hydrated: As constipation is one of the main cause of bloating and could be triggered by not drinking enough fluid. Aim to drink 1.5 litres of water a day and cut down on hydration robbers like caffeine, alcohol, fizzy drinks.
👉Avoid chewing gums and carbonated drinks.
👉Regular exercise: A short walk after a meal can alleviate bloating. Aim for 30 minutes mild exercise. gentle exercise and stretching can help diffuse trapped gas like yoga
👉 Check your hormonal cycle; many women experienced bloating and constipation when their period is due, because of higher levels of progesterone. Overcome any hormonal hurdle by staying active, drinking plenty of water and eating a healthy diet.
👉Herbal tea can also helpful; peppermint tea or peppermint oil has been shown to relax our gut muscles and help relieve bloating triggered by trapped gas. several studies suggest that peppermint oil in IBS is helpful as it has an antispasmodic effect which means it relax our gut and reduce tummy pain and bloating associated with IBS.
▶️Take-home Message: it is important to remember that occasional bloating is normal but If bloating is associated with diarrhoea and other medical conditions you should consult with the doctor.