What can Cause Bloating & Solutions that Help

Bloating can be uncomfortable and even embarrassing at times. Some may describe it as not able to suck in, a fullness sensation, and/or the feeling of a balloon in your stomach. Distension is different from bloating, although interrelated, as it is a visible increase around your hips (abdominal girth). Both of these are not exactly comfortable and can create a negative mindset around how you feel and how you look.

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What can cause bloating? 

Bloating can be difficult to pinpoint as there are dozens of variables that can cause this symptom. Studies around the causes and treatment of bloating are still inconclusive. Despite this, there is enough research to find solutions and a possible reason(s) for it.

There are a variety of factors that can cause bloating: 

  • Common in gastrointestinal disorders, like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Most patients with IBS report some type of bloating ranging from mild to severe.
  • Intestinal gas.
  • Slow digesting carbohydrates, like fructose, are higher in water content and can cause symptoms of bloating.
  • Constipation can cause symptoms of bloating due to increased intestinal gas.
  • Food Sensitivities.
  • Abnormal levels of gut bacteria.
  • Stress & Anxiety.

What can help Relieve Bloating? 

Before we began digging into possible solutions, it’s important to note the difference between occasional bloating and bloating from a digestive disorder. If you commonly experience bloating that is painful or extremely uncomfortable,  even after trying these solutions, please discuss possible solutions with your primary physician.

Here are solutions that can help relieve bloating:

  • Low FODMAP diet can help pinpoint any food sensitivities and relieve symptoms by more than 30%, especially for those with IBS.
  • Probiotics can help improve digestive health.
  • Digestive Enzymes help break food down during digestion to help reduce bloating.
  • Relieving Constipation starts with drinking enough water, improving fiber intake from whole foods, and increasing exercise (if not already exercising regularly).
  • Limit chewing gum, carbonated drinks like soda, and hard candy.
  • Pay attention to your portion sizes. Larger meals can cause issues compared to smaller, frequent meals. Find what works best for you.
  • LISS (Low-Intensity Steady State) cardio can help relieve any trapped gas within the digestive tract. Along with this, low-intensity strength workouts can help as well.
  • Meditation & Yoga can help decrease stress & anxiety, which can in return help with the symptoms of bloating.
  •  Water with freshly squeezed lemon.

 

Conclusion

Bloating and distention are common symptoms that can affect someone’s quality of life and health. Over the past few years, the knowledge and research on bloating, especially for IBS patients, has thankfully increased. Although research is not conclusive on its development and treatments, it is clear that treatment should target dietary intake, sensitivities, gut health, and colon health. If you experience bloating, try to add in the solutions mentioned above and see if it helps.

 

 

Reference:

Foley, A., Burgell, R., Barrett, J. S., & Gibson, P. R. (2014). Management Strategies for Abdominal Bloating and Distension. Gastroenterology & Hepatology10(9), 561–571.