Welcome to Bloating! Ever woke up in the morning and found your tummy to be bigger and bulkier than the previous day? Just before your meal, you’re fitting into your clothes and the very next hour, you feel like they’ve gone tight suddenly? But then, you’re back to your normal self in a few hours or maybe, in a day or two. Well, you don’t gain weight/fat overnight. Neither do you lose it so quickly. Let’s just get that out of our way. What happens to your body, when you see these sudden changes, is called Bloating. In simple terms, you swell up. It’s an extremely common phenomenon and happens to everybody! Today, let’s dive deeper and understanding bloating better and know the ways to tackle it.
What is Bloating
The definition of “bloated” is swelling or distension, and it usually refers to abdominal bloating, which is a distended belly. Bloating may be accompanied by burping, flatulence, abdominal discomfort, and a feeling of fullness. People sometimes refer abdominal bloating as a “bloated stomach” or “bloated belly.”
Why does it happen (Causes)?
The reason why you are/feel bloated are many. Most of them are simple, harmless causes that go away with simple home remedies, OTC medication or simple movement. Very rarely bloating is caused by something serious, leading to further complications.
Let’s look into these causes –
- Increased intestinal gas (which can be because of swallowing air from drinking through a straw, eating too fast, eating too much)
- Eating fatty foods
- Carbonated Drinks
- Eating foods that create gas in the intestinal tract
- PMS or Periods (causes water retention)
Serious causes such as –
- Food Allergies and Intolerance (Dairy Intolerance/ Lactose Intolerance/Gluten Intolerance)
- Intestinal disorders
- Abdominal adhesions due to prior surgery(s) in the abdominal or pelvic region, for example, hysterectomy
- Stomach Ulcers
- Hiatal Hernia
As we see, there are foods that can cause bloating. These are usually foods high in fiber that cause this gassiness, especially in people who are not used to eating them regularly. Don’t let this scare you though. Eating these foods regularly will get your body accustomed to them and lead to better tolerance, and overall better health. These foods can be natural or processed-
- Raw, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, beans, lettuce, onions)
- Fruits like apples, peaches, pears
- Beans & Lentils (besan too!)
- Whole grains
- Artificial Sweeteners (sorbitol)
- Salty food
- Dairy (milk/cheese/yogurt/ice cream)
Here’s how you can Combat Bloating
- Go for a stroll/walk. Physical movement can get the bowels moving and moves around the gases to give you relief.
- Try a few yoga poses (child pose/squats/Pawanmuktasana)
- Taking Digestive Pill can also help
- Have regular bowel movements to avoid constipation
- Get your food intolerance and allergies checked
- Light abdominal massage to move around the gases
- Take a warm bath
- Increase fiber gradually in your diet
- Replace soda with water/juice
- Avoid chewing gum
- Increase daily physical activity
- Have a set schedule and at regular intervals
- Don’t eat too much too fast
- Reduce the salt (sodium) intake
- Check your medication and supplements intake that could be causing reaction
Try anti-bloating foods –
- Probiotics (dahi, Greek Yogurt, OTC supplements)
When should you see a medical professional?
Though bloating is seemingly harmless and goes away with simple measures, should it become chronic for you, I strongly suggest you seek medical advice to rule out any possible medical complications. Especially if you have –
- Constant pain
- Chest pains
- Excessive sweating
- Inability to eat/drink
- Constant burning sensations
- Frequent/uncontrollable flatulence
I hope with this given information, you are equipped to take the right call for your body and not get overly anxious the next time you’re bloated. Relax! It’s just gas and not fat.
If there are any questions, drop a comment below and I will be happy to help you out.