How to Get Rid of Uncomfortable Bloating
After you eat, you may begin to feel some digestive discomfort. This can come with many symptoms, but one of the most common is bloating. While bloating sounds like it may not be a big deal, it can be quite uncomfortable and debilitating.
Knowing the reason for your bloating can be difficult. While a certain food can cause symptoms one day, it may not bring about any the next. For these reasons, it helps to understand what bloating is, and some factors that can potentially cause it.
What Is Bloating?
When you experience bloating, what you’re feeling is a buildup of gas. This either comes as a result of ingesting it, or from it being created in your body. There are a few ways to ingest gas, including drinking carbonated beverages or if you happen to swallow air as you eat and drink. Swallowing air is usually a result of eating too quickly or taking large gulps of your drink. To prevent this, slow down when you eat and drink, eliminate carbonated drinks and take slow, deliberate sips.
What Can Cause Bloating?
- Bacterial Digestion – When we eat, the food gets broken down along our digestive tract by various bacteria. These bacteria can be both good and bad, and it is when the balance gets thrown off that there is usually a problem. This can happen if you are sick, experiencing inflammation, taking antibiotics and if you are constipated. In these circumstances, the bad bacteria can outnumber the good, leading to digestive issues. Taking a probiotic supplement or adding foods with high levels of probiotics to your diet can help, but it will take some time.
- Sensitivity to FODMAPs – FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligo-Di-Monosaccharides and Polyols. These elements are found in many foods we commonly eat, including dairy, fruits and vegetables, beans, grains and legumes. While they are not unhealthy, people often have some issues digesting the carbohydrates in these foods. If the carbs make it to your small intestine without being properly digested, the bacteria there will eat them, causing them to ferment and leading to gas and bloating.
- Sugar Substitutes – Sugar substitutes, including erythritol and xylitol, are becoming more popular as we look to reduce the sugar intake in our diets. However, these substitutes are often not able to be broken down and digested, leading to bloating and discomfort.
- Hormones – Changes to your hormones, including menstruation and pregnancy, can affect how your digestive system functions. Pregnancy can cause your digestion to become slower, making pregnant women more likely to experience gas and bloating.
- Not Exercising – Not being active and moving can alter the rate at which your body digests foods. After a meal, try going for a quick walk to help get things moving and increase the blood supply to your digestive tract. There are also several yoga poses that are great for relieving built-up gas and bloat.
Solutions for Bloating
- Do something active after you eat to keep things moving along.
- Eat smaller meals more frequently to let your body move smaller portions along instead of large ones.
- Try intermittent fasting. This will give your body a break from digestion and allow things to balance out.
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