Bloating is not a pleasant experience.
Who wants to feel bigger, sometimes even having to upsize in clothes; feeling swollen, stretched out, full of gas and in pain?
I know I do not want to be a living balloon and I presume you feel the same.
Why do we bloat?
The intestinal organs have nerves in the muscular wall that sense when the organ is stretched or distended. The sensation of stretching is known as bloating.
There may be an excess of liquid, gas or solid contents in sections of your gut which is sensed as bloating.
Some people are more prone to this than others (irritable bowel syndrome sufferers for example).
Bloating is normally associated to excess gas however this does not seem to be the only factor…
What can make bloating worse?
Bloating can be made worse by slower bowels (constipation sufferers), weak abdominal walls, poorly digested foods, an imbalance in your gut bacteria or microbiome, certain medications such as antacids, some iron supplements, pain killers, antidiarrhoeal agents and fibre supplements.
How can you reduce bloating?
There are a wide range of things you can try before seeking health assistance.
- eating more fibre rich foods such as veggies
- drinking enough water - approximately 2L daily
- eat smaller meals and ensure you are chewing a minimum of 15 times per bite. This is to increase your mechanical digestion so food lumps are not reaching your stomach intact and causing bloating
- exercise - movement reduces bloating and promotes digestion so get your runners on and go!
- ensure you are passing a bowel motion regularly (1-2 times a day) and ensuring it feels like a complete evacuation. You may need to see a health practitioner to get this regulated
- avoid foods that cause irritation. We want to avoid irritation and bloating however we may need to address these foods and integrating them back into the diet
- drinking digestive teas such as fennel, ginger, chamomile and cinnamon
- avoiding drinking liquids 15 minutes before, during and after meals
- ensure that you are in a relaxed environment while eating a meal. This means no eating at your desk, instead you need to sit down and consume your food mindfully to avoid stress and promote digestion
- some people hold stress in the digestive system (the gut-brain connection) so ensure you are including enough relaxation activities into your day and week
If your bloating is interrupting your life, please book a consultation to support your gut health.