Could I Have A Food Intolerance
Genuine food intolerances are actually pretty rare, says explains nutritionist Amanda Hamilton, co-author on The G Plan: The Revolutionary Diet For Gut-Friendly Weight Loss.
You may be sensitive to certain foods, particularly if you eat them all the time which, in the case of wheat, gluten and dairy, many people do but its unlikely you need to cut them out entirely.
Think you have a food intolerance? Book an appointment with your GP, for tests
Theyre also notoriously hard to diagnose. While some, such as lactose intolerance, can be tested for, others, like gluten, cant. If your GP has ruled out coeliac disease, a number of things could be to blame, from non-coeliac gluten sensitivity to IBS or even an anxiety disorder.
To ease your symptoms, a dietitian may suggest following the low-FODMAP diet, which stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. Basically, the natural sugars, like fructose and lactose, found in a lot of high-fibre foods.
Try To Avoid Chewing Gum
If you find that youre dealing with bloating more often than youd like, and you also happen to chew gum a lot of the time, those two things may actually be connected. In fact, the NHS specifically recommends that if youre experiencing bloat then it may be time to stop chewing gum.
Not only can the constant chewing lead to you swallowing too much air, but when this air mixes with your digestive gases, then this trapped air can quickly increase the pressure in your stomach and give you that unpleasant bloated feeling. If you feel that you can go without chewing gum for a while, give it a try and see if it helps.
Home Remedies For Bloating
That feeling when your jeans just dont fit like they did last weekwomen know it well. Being more prone to bloating than men, women are likely to experience several of these days each month around the time Mother Nature arrives for her monthly visit. Although bloating is normal, the feeling is still unpleasant. Thankfully, there are some easy at-home remedies for reducing bloating.
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How Can I Prevent Stomach Bloating
If your stomach bloating is caused by diet or alcohol, you can help prevent it by making some lifestyle changes. Some good general guidelines include:
If the cause of your bloated stomach is something more specific, such as specific food intolerance, perimenopause or a medical condition, you might need a little help with diagnosis, treatment and prevention. Some options include:
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Why Is My Stomach Bloated Causes Of Bloating
Theres no single culprit to bloating, and we are all individual. It depends on many things like stress, gut microbes, how sensitive your gut is and how quickly you eat your food, says The Gut Stuff team.
Certainly, theres a current trend of demonising bloating, but there are so many reasons why we get bloated. These range from not chewing properly to your microbes having a little party after lots of fibre, continues The Gut Stuff team. Above all, its important to remember that the severity of bloating will vary from feeling a wee bit gassy to experiencing pain and discomfort.
Here are some reasons why youre bloated and what you can do.
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Eat Several Small Meals
To keep your metabolism revving throughout the day, focus on small, protein- and fiber-packed snacks or small meals every 3 to 4 hours. You will not only burn more calories eating a series of smaller meals, but also avoid the afternoon crash and end of the workday slump.
Eat This! Tip: Use your smartphone or computer to remind you of these intervals. Some go-to healthy snack ideas include:
- Apple with peanut butter
Can Bloating Be Prevented Or Avoided
There are many ways to prevent and avoid bloating:
- Avoid the foods that are known to cause gas. These include cabbage, Brussels sprouts, turnips, beans, and lentils.
- Avoid chewing gum.
- Avoid using straws for drinking.
- Reduce or avoid drinking carbonated drinks .
- Reduce or avoid eating and drinking foods that include fructose or sorbitol. These artificial sweeteners are often found in sugar-free foods.
- Eat slowly.
- Eat more foods high in fiber to prevent constipation. If foods alone dont help, consider taking a fiber supplement.
- Avoid dairy products if you notice they cause gas and bloating.
- Quit smoking.
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How Long Does It Take For Normal Bloating To Go Away
How quickly that bloat resolves depends on what led to it in the first place. The good news is it usually disappears overnight in most cases, and one fast until the morning, says Dr. Brown. Abdominal distention occurs naturally during the day in response to oral intake or eating. It will therefore typically subside after a bowel movement, he says.
Know that your stomach will expand again once you eat and that’s totally normal. “Everybody develops abdominal distention during the day. There is no way you can take in food and not have that material, plus the associated GI secretions created by the GI tract, to absorb it take up space in the abdomen,” Dr. Brown explains.
Check For A Food Intolerance Or Allergy
Occasionally, a wheat allergy or lactose intolerance results in a lot of undigested food that can be acted on by bacteria and cause bloating, says Dr Chopada.
If you want to reduce bloating consider food intolerances, says Claire. The most common intolerances are lactose , fructose , wheat and gluten, and eggs. You can do this by cutting out food you think you might be intolerant to and seeing how your body reacts. If you arent sure, find a specialist who can test you, she advises.
Over the counter medications like Deflatine tablets can help, adds Dr Chophada.
Drinking enough water can actually reduce bloating, rather than cause it.
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Take An Epsom Salt Bath
Relaxing in any tub is always nice, and adding two cups of magnesium-rich Epsom salt may help deflate your belly more effectively Your skin also absorbs the mineral and electrolyte, magnesium, which can help reduce inflammation and may even reduce muscle cramps. Soaking in an Epsom salt bath for 20 minutes can help alleviate constipation as well, which is another cause of bloating.
Slow Down At Meal Times
Itâs not only what you eat, but also how you eat that plays a huge role in the development of bloating! Eating quickly, gulping down food and forgetting to chew thoroughly can all contribute to bloating and gas. Aim to always sit down to enjoy your meal, remove distractions and chew thoroughly, putting your cutlery down every few mouthfuls.
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Eat More Fiber And Avoid Refined Flour
Foods made with white flour like white bread, white pasta, and white rice are relatively low in fiber and may cause you to get a little, uh, backed up. Instead, opt for whole-grain varieties. A simple switch from white bread to whole wheat or from white rice to brown will keep things moving along smoothly.
High fiber foods that are free of indigestible fibers mentioned before include:
- Whole grain bread
How Is Bloating Diagnosed
Your doctor can generally diagnose the cause of your bloating through a physical exam in the office. They will ask you questions about your symptoms. They will want to know if your bloating is occasional or if it occurs all the time.
Temporary bloating is usually not serious. If it happens all the time, your doctor may order other tests. These could include an imaging test to look inside your abdomen. This could be an X-ray or CT scan.
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Is Your Bloated Belly A Sign Of Something Else
Tummy bloating is usually a harmless annoyance we experience from time to time. And the good news is, its usually short-lived.
For example, if its caused by your guts intolerance for gluten, removing wheat from your meals can often put a stop to bloating and gas after eating.
If your stomach is always bloated or its accompanied with other symptoms, its worth seeking guidance from your GP.
How Is Bloating Treated
Bloating will usually go away by itself if you adjust your diet for a while. Cut down on salty foods, carbohydrates and fizzy drinks. For some people, it can help to avoid foods that contain onion or garlic, wheat, rye, lactose products or stone fruit.
Bloating caused by constipation can be treated by eating more high-fibre foods, increasing the amount of water that you drink, and exercising regularly. Some people may need laxatives to treat constipation.
If you have a medical condition such as coeliac disease, you will need to follow a strict diet to prevent bloating and other symptoms. If you have IBS, following a high-fibre diet and the low FODMAP diet may help. This involves cutting out some dairy products, wheat and other grains, and some fruits and vegetables. Talk to a health professional such as your doctor or a dietitian before starting this diet to make sure it is right for you.
If you have a food intolerance, you may need to try an elimination diet to find out which food or foods are causing your problems. Your doctor or dietitian will advise you.
Some people find that probiotics containing lactobacillus and bifidobacterium can help with bloating by reducing the production of gas in the gut.
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Avoid Swallowing Extra Air
It might sound like chewing a stick of gum would be a good tactic for helping you steer clear of those bloat-inducing high-fat foods.
But actually, researchers have found it can actually trigger trapped wind too.
Most chewing gums even the sugary versions contain artificial sweeteners, like sorbitol, which are poorly absorbed by the stomach, and can cause bloating and abdominal pain. In large doses, this can cause chronic diarrhea.35
And theres another problem all that chewing signals to your stomach that food is on its way, triggering the release of enzymes and stomach acids that aid digestion.
Yet with no food appearing, all that action going on inside your stomach can cause bloating.
- Cut back on chewing gum
- Avoid fizzy drinks
What Exactly Does It Mean To Feel Bloated
A common misconception about bloating is that its always the result of eating too big a meal. To doctors, it usually means an excess of gas in the gastrointestinal region, causing abdominal discomfort and distension.
Causes can range from an imbalance of bacteria, to eating too much fiber, to not eating enough. When you take antibiotics, the bacteria responsible for breaking down complex carbohydrates may fail and produce gas. The most common causes of bloating, however, are swallowing too much air and eating too fast.
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Food Intolerances And Allergies
If your body has difficulty digesting food, your bowel may not empty properly.
This sometimes leads to the production of too much gas and this excess air may get trapped.44
Foods that are more likely to cause problems are:
- FODMAPS – our bodies can find it hard work to digest the sugars in this group of foods This leaves some of us with more gas in our digestive system.
- Wheat – if youre sensitive to gluten or have problems digesting it, foods containing wheat can cause a painful bloated stomach.
- Dairy – if you dont have a sufficient supply of the enzyme to break down lactose in your gut, eating dairy foods can cause a bloated belly.
Behaviors Food Choices And Activity
Eating behaviors and other habits such as gum chewing, gulping foods and drinking with eating can cause us to swallow air. Bulky foods such as lettuce, cabbage, and dense breads not chewed into small enough pieces increase swallowed air.
Typically, swallowed air contains oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide. It tends to not have a foul smell, but it does contribute to the discomfort associated with gas.
People vary widely in how sensitive they are to gas production. Keeping a food record to document incidences of gas in relation to foods eaten can shed light on whether food or behavior may be aggravating the situation.
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Why Do You Get A Bloated Stomach
Bloat sneaks up on you in surprising ways, depending on what you eat, certain habits you have, and even specific medical conditions. For example, bloating can be a result of digestive distress from eating certain foods , eating habits that cause you to take in more air, and even certain conditions such as a weak heart or being pregnant can all contribute to water retention.
Women can also retain water while they’re menstruating. Those who have irritable bowel syndrome can also experience uncomfortable bouts of bloating after eating foods that contain FODMAPS or during moments of stress.
How Long Does A Bloated Stomach Last
If your bloating is due to something you ate or drank or to hormone fluctuations, it should begin to ease within a few hours to days. If you are constipated, it wont go down until you start pooping. Water, exercise and herbal teas can help encourage all of these things along. If it doesnt go away or gets worse, seek medical attention.
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Replace Sodas With Water
Fizzy, carbonated drinks contain gas that can build up in the stomach. The carbon dioxide that makes soda and similar beverages fizzy can also cause bubbling and bloating in the stomach.
Sugars or artificial sweeteners in the diet can also cause gas and bloating. Drinking water eliminates these issues and helps to treat constipation as well.
How Do You Treat Bloating
If you experience bloating that cant be avoided, there are over-the-counter medications that can help ease discomfort.
- Antacidscontain simethicone, which adhere to bubbles in the stomach so that gas is more easily released.
- Lactaid contains lactase, which can help prevent gas for people with lactose intolerance.
- Pepto-Bismol, which is the brand name for bismuth subsalicylate,may help reduce bloating caused by an upset stomach.
- Beano is a product that contains an enzyme called alpha-galactosidasethat breaks down complex carbohydrates into more digestible sugars. This helps prevent gas.
- Probioticsare good bacteria that help maintain the health of the digestive system. They can be found in foods such as yogurt as well as in OTC supplements.
- Movement and massage,like a walk around the block or an abdominal self massage, can help get gasses in the digestive system moving.
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Pumpkin To Treat Stomach Bloating Fast
Eating pumpkin is an effective way to prevent flatulence as well as bloating. Pumpkin contains a high amount of potassium, vitamin A and fiber that helps in digestion.
Steps to Use Pumpkin to Get Rid of Stomach Bloating and Gas:
- Add 1 cup of pumpkin to your meals. It will help to create a smooth digestive flow and reduce gas and bloating.
- You can bake, steam or include it as an ingredient in your meals.
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Try Not To Get Constipated
Regular exercise, adequate water intake and a âGoldilocksâ dose of daily fiber can prevent constipation, itself a frequent cause of bloating. As long as youâve ruled out a medical disorder, Dr. Guandalini also says that occasional use of over-the-counter stool softeners to ease constipation-related bloating is fine.
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What Foods Can Cause Bloating In Sensitive People
Due to their high fiber content, they can cause bloating in sensitive individuals. This is especially true for people who are not used to eating a lot of fiber. Like beans, lentils too
Why do I feel bloated even though I dont eat much?
In many cases, you are probably bloated because of food intake, but sometimes your food intake is not the cause of abdominal bloating. you may feel bloated even if you dont eat much.
Why do lentils and beans cause gas and bloating?
Since our bodies cant process them like they would traditional sugar, they can often cause gas and bloating. Limit your intake of these bloating-causing foods to keep your belly trim and bloat-free. Lentils and beans contain oligosaccharides, a class of indigestible sugars that can cause bloating and gas. Do you still want to eat them?
When To See A Doctor
Although it is not common, bloating and swelling of the abdomen can signify a severe medical condition. Liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, heart failure, kidney problems, and some types of cancer can cause bloating.
Bloating that continues for days or weeks may indicate a health issue that needs medical attention. It is advisable to speak to a doctor about ongoing bloating that does not go away over time.
People whose bloating occurs alongside these symptoms should seek medical advice:
- appetite changes or trouble eating
- bright red blood in the stool
- black or dark maroon stools
- Barrett, J. S., & Gibson, P. R. . Fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols and nonallergic food intolerance: FODMAPs or food chemicals? Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology, 5, 261268
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