Most of us suffer from gas and bloating sometimes, but if you find it is disrupting your life, it’s time to do something about it! This post covers what causes gas and bloating, seven foods to watch out for, and the top three ways to reduce bloating. Plus when bloating may be a sign of something more serious.
Causes of Bloating
Several things can cause trapped gas. It can result from eating too fast and swallowing air, or it may be caused by the bacterial breakdown of undigested food, creating gas that can get trapped and, or constipation.
Seven Foods That Make You Bloated
Some foods contain things like complex carbs and fiber that are difficult for the small intestine to break down. This causes bacteria to ferment in the large intestine, giving you gas and bloating.
Foods to avoid if you don’t want to risk bloating include:
- Brussels sprouts
- Dairy products.
NB: Carbon dioxide gas in carbonated drinks such as carbonated soft drinks or beer is another cause of bloating.
Top Three Tips to Reduce Bloating
Karen Reyes, a board-certified nutritionist, has given us her top three tips on how to relieve symptoms of gas and bloating:
- Going for a walk helps to move gas through your digestive system so it can be released. Try to incorporate daily exercise into your schedule; just a brief 15-minute walk around the block or going up and down your stairs five times, a couple of times a day, can help keep bloating at bay.
- Always eat sitting down at a table and take your time to chew your food. Be mindful and eat and drink slowly, as this will help prevent you from swallowing excess air.
- You should also avoid carbonated drinks like soda and beer as they produce gases contributing to bloatedness. For certain individuals, avoiding foods such as beans, lentils, wheat and dairy products could make a difference in reducing bloating.
What is the best medicine for bloating?
When it comes to dealing with bloating, there are a number of medications that may be helpful:
- Lactase supplements reduce the symptoms associated with lactose intolerance.
- Antacids can aid those suffering from acid reflux.
- Laxatives provide relief for individuals experiencing constipation.
- Prokinetics support digestion in people whose stomachs empty slower than usual.
Antispasmodics are another option and help to reduce pain and bloating by calming down digestive tract muscles.
Remember that it is also important to speak with your doctor before taking any medication if you find yourself often battling against an uncomfortable bloated feeling.
Do probiotics for bloating work?
Research indicates that probiotics may reduce bloating, but it all depends on the cause. It looks like they could potentially restore the balance of bacteria in the gut and help ease symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
However, the efficacy of these supplements will vary depending on the underlying cause of their symptoms. So it’s essential to speak with a doctor or healthcare professional before taking any probiotic supplements, as they might not be appropriate or helpful for everyone!
What causes abdominal pain with bloating?
Your abdominal pain and bloating could have a variety of underlying issues! The most common potential causes are excess gas in the gut, food intolerances, or constipation. But it can indicate more serious conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or intestinal obstruction. If you’re experiencing abdominal discomfort, then it is definitely best for you to check with a doctor or healthcare professional.
How can I tell if bloating is a sign of something more serious?
If bloating is happening and you have unexplained weight loss, severe abdominal pain, and/or nausea and vomiting, these could be signs of something more serious, such as a bowel obstruction. When fluid retention accompanies regular bloating, you may suffer from swollen legs and ankles and this could also be a sign of heart or liver disease,
Whichever symptoms of bloating and gas you suffer from, it’s always best to check with your doctor or another healthcare professional so that serious underlying causes can be ruled out