Don’t Multitask When Eating
“I’m almost never just eating a mealI’m also on my computer or watching television or scrolling through my phone,” admits Lindsey Metrus, Byrdie’s senior editor. After a lifetime of bloat, she decided to try traditional Chinese medicine to ward off some of her discomfort. It turns out, the distraction was part of the problem. “Multitasking with some sort of digital distraction leads to overeating or scarfing down food hurriedly, which translates to poor digestion. It’s also one of the main reasons people face spleen qi deficiency,” according to Emma Suttie, D.Ac., AP.
Metrus continues, “I made it a point to enjoy as many meals as I could peacefully and undistracted, focusing on chewing each piece of food since breaking down foods before they get to the spleen means the spleen has less work to do.” Not only will chewing slowly encourage healthier digestion and, in turn, less bloat, but it will also speed up your metabolism .
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.
Bloated Stomach Causes And Helpful Tips
3 minute read time
Do you suffer from bloating? It can be a horrible experience and very uncomfortable to those who suffer from it, particularly if this is a regular occurrence. Always looking to help, at YorkTest we want to inform you about some of the causes of bloating and show you some methods to help to relieve the discomfort and physical appearance of stomach bloating.
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What Causes Bloating In The Stomach
Gas is a natural byproduct of digestion, but too much intestinal gas means your digestion is gone awry. While you can ingest gasses by swallowing air or drinking carbonated beverages, these gasses mostly escape through belching before they reach your intestines. Gasses in your intestines are mostly produced by gut bacteria digesting carbohydrates, in a process called fermentation.
If theres too much fermentation going on, its because too many carbohydrates werent naturally absorbed earlier in the digestive process, before reaching those gut bacteria. That could be for several reasons. Maybe you just ate too much too fast for proper digestion. Or you might have a specific food intolerance or gastrointestinal disease. Some possible causes include:
These can include solids, liquids, and gas. Digestive contents can build up in your digestive system when there is a backup or restriction in your digestive tract or when the muscles that move digestive contents along are somehow impaired. Any build-up of digestive contents along the digestive tract will leave less room for normal amounts of gas to process through. It also leaves less room for other things in your abdomen, including circulatory fluids and fat, making everything feel tighter. Causes of build-up can include:
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
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Look At Supplements And Medications
Some supplements, such as iron, can cause constipation and other symptoms of indigestion. This can increase bloating. Potassium, on the other hand, may reduce bloating by helping to balance the bodys sodium levels .
Medications may also cause side effects that affect GI function or cause indigestion. If this happens, a doctor or pharmacist can suggest alternatives that are more gentle on the digestive tract.
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
Does Drinking Water Reduce Bloating
Water can help beat the bloat, yes. This is because water is an essential part of a healthy digestive system.
Have you ever been dehydrated and as a result, felt sluggish and just plain blah? This is because water helps to reduce the sodium level in your body, which is often a contributor to bloat.
Water is also crucial if you are planning to add fiber to your diet. Keeping the digestive system moving is reliant on good ole H2O.
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Reduce Your Stress Levels
Stress can be a big factor in IBS and is often a trigger for symptoms like bloating and diarrhoea. It can make indigestion worse too. So managing your stress may help reduce your physical symptoms too.
Try things like soaking in a warm bath or a relaxing massage to help reduce stress. A tummy massage can be particularly helpful at relieving bloating.
Eat Slowly So You Don’t Gulp Air
When you finally get home after a long day, you’re totally famishedwe get it. But that doesn’t mean you should scarf down your dinner in a hurry. Eating too quickly causes you to swallow excess air, which can lead to uncomfortable gas and bloating. Slowing down the chewing with your mouth closed, on the other hand, can have the opposite effect. Fight off the urge to engorge your entire meal by snacking on something like a small piece of fruit or an ounce of nuts before dinner is ready.
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Hold Off On Drinking Alcohol
Alcohol can directly damage the digestive tract and research has also found it to mess with the good bacteria in your gut. But more importantly for when you’re trying to reduce bloating in 24 hours or less, alcohol inhibits digestion, as well.
“Alcohol inhibits digestion and causes dehydration, causing the digestive tract to slow downwhich results in constipation,” says Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN. When you drink alcohol, your body switches to processing the alcohol out of your system first before digesting any food, which can leave you with a bloated stomach. It may be tough, but avoid the hard stuff while you’re trying detox.
What Does Inflammation Have To Do With Bloating
Inflammation has a LOT to do with bloating. So much, in fact, that Ive dedicated a video to the topic, which you can watch here.
Ive also written several posts about inflammation because it really can wreak havoc on your health.
- Take a look at 18 Top Anti-Inflammatory Foods to see some of the foods best for helping to reduce inflammation and bloat.
- On the other end of the coin, youll find 10 Foods that Cause Inflammation. Find out what to avoid and why.
- If you need help with all of this, start off on the right foot with my 5-Day Anti-Inflammatory Diet Meal Plan.
I hope you find some of this information helping! If you are struggling with the discomforts of bloating, relook at the 10 simple tips Ive outlined above and try them out. Even bit by bit is fine.
The more steps you take, the better youll feel. Guaranteed!
This post contains affiliate links to products I use regularly and highly recommend.
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Causes Of Serious Bloating You Need To Know About And What To Do About Them
1. Ovarian cancer isnt the most likely, but it is one of the most lethal. Although ovarian cancer is only the fifth most common cancer in women, it causes more deaths than any other reproductive cancer mostly in women over 50. Risk factors include never having children or having them late in life, obesity, a family history of ovarian cancer, certain genetic abnormalities, and long-term treatment with hormone replacement therapy. Persistent bloating, feeling full faster, and pelvic pain are typical symptoms.
What to do if youre concerned about ovarian cancer:
A thorough pelvic exam or transvaginal ultrasound is the best way to diagnose ovarian cancer. The blood test CA-125 isnt a reliable screening test, but it can be helpful for following the course of treatment after diagnosis.
2. Uterine cancer. In addition to bloating, uterine cancer can cause abnormal vaginal bleeding, a watery or blood-tinged vaginal discharge, pelvic pain, or pain with intercourse or urination. But its important to know that sometimes bloating or a change in bowel habits may be the only initial signs of uterine cancer. Important risk factors include taking tamoxifen taking estrogen supplements that dont also contain progesterone radiation therapy a family history of uterine cancer or a family history of a form of inherited colon cancer called Lynch syndrome.
What to do if youre concerned about uterine cancer:
What to do if youre concerned about colon cancer:
Warning Signs And Symptoms
Weight loss is one of the main warning signs for serious bloating. If you find yourself losing more than a few pounds without changing your diet or starting a new exercise regimen, that should be cause for concern, especially if its 10 percent or more of your body weight. Weight loss can be caused by tumors that press on the intestines, making you feel full after just a small amount of food, or from substances secreted by tumors that suppress your appetite.
Ascites is an abnormal buildup of fluid in the abdomen or pelvis. It can cause bloating, weight gain, and a rapidly expanding waistline. Ascites is usually caused by liver disease, but cancer is the culprit about 10 percent of the time. A large amount of fluid can make you look and feel like youre several months pregnant. The combination of bloating and jaundice, which turns the eyes and skin yellow, can be a sign of cancer thats spread to the liver, although it can also occur with more benign forms of liver disease like hepatitis.
Blood in your stool, vaginal bleeding in between periods, or postmenopausal vaginal bleeding can all be associated with serious bloating. Fortunately, the most common causes of these symptoms arent the most serious, but bleeding should always be evaluated because it can be a sign of cancer, particularly colon or uterine cancer.
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Causes Of Stomach Bloating
It can be challenging to determine the cause of stomach bloating. Some known causes of stomach bloating include:
- Excess gas in the intestine
- Small intestinal bacteria overgrowth
- Irregular amounts of microorganisms in the bowel
- Sensitivity or intolerance to food
- Sensitivity of perception to digestive tract
- Spinal curvature of the lumbar spine resulting in lessened abdominal capacity for gas
- Gastroparesis, a motility disorder that delays the stomachs ability to empty itself
- Anxiety, depression, and other gut-brain connections
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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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.
Why Is My Stomach Bloated
The most common cause of stomach pain and bloating is excess intestinal gas. If you get a bloated stomach after eating, it may be a digestive issue. It might be as simple as eating too much too fast, or you could have a food intolerance or other condition that causes gas and digestive contents to build up. Your menstrual cycle is another common cause of temporary bloating. Sometimes a bloated stomach can indicate a more serious medical condition.
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Causes Of Stomach Distension
By paying a little closer attention to your eating habits, you can help prevent excessive bloating. Heres a quick list of sneaky foods and habits that could be to blame:
Gum chewing. Your favorite breath-freshening pastime may be the number one cause for a straining waistband. When you chew gum, you swallow air which gets trapped in the GI system and extends the stomach.
Eating too fast. When you eat a large amount of food in a short period of time, your GI system doesnt have enough time to digest and dispel. A backed up system means a buildup of gas and fluid, causing distension.
Drinking from straws. When you go to sip a drink from a straw, you first suck in a straw-length volume of air, which ends up trapped in your stomach.
Not enough fiberor too much. Fiber is notorious for moving things along. When youre backed up, excess gas in your GI track cant escape, causing you to bloat. Next time you need a snack, reach for fibrous-skinned produce like apples and strawberries. Make sure to go easy on insoluble fibers like beans and lentils. Eating too much of these produces excessive gas.
Eat At Regular Intervals
Many people experience bloating directly after a big meal. It is possible to avoid this by eating several smaller meals each day, which can help to keep the digestive system moving.
Swallowing food quickly can introduce air into the digestive tract. Drinking from a straw can also lead to people swallowing more air, which in turn leads to gas and bloating. People who have bloating should avoid using straws if possible and try eating slowly to avoid swallowing air during meals.
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How Do I Get Rid Of Bloating Fast
For quick results, grab a water bottle and hit the streets for a mini-workout. Walking helps get your stomach contents moving and water does, too.
Stay clear of carbonated water and drinks, though, as the bubbles sometimes add air to the stomachand you dont want that.
Remember that getting rid of bloat fast isnt always super simple and its not always a quick fix. But if you are feeling full and tight in the abdominal area, the best thing to do is to get moving!
Skip Your Morning Cup Of Coffee
As much as we love the benefits of coffee, drinking it when you’re trying to get rid of belly bloat in 24 hours or less is a no-no.
“Consuming beverages that are high in sugar or caffeine can not only be dehydrating but, in some cases, can add to excess calorie intake, too,” explains Smith. When your body is dehydrated, it will hold onto water, which causes excessive bloating.
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Face Your Summer Angst Head On
FOMO, travel, beach body anxiety, rooftop dance party highs, and hangover lowsthere are a lot of feelings in the air during summer. Anxiety tends to hide in your belly, where it stalls digestion and perpetuates your nervousness. Check in with yourself regularly and keep up your daily 10-minute meditations. You need that time now more than ever.
How To Avoid Food That Causes Bloating Stomach
Bloating in stomach can be caused by a variety of food which should be avoided and controlled. One should try to avoid eating fibrous food to as much extent as possible. A person should be tested for possible allergies to common allergenic foods and the intolerance to certain food that causes bloating should be avoided. High fat diet is also a rich source of bloating which should be avoided to as much an extent as possible. One must eat and drink slowly without talking to avoid swallowing air that would trap it inside the stomach and further lead to bloating. Carbonated drinks should be avoided so should be the use of sugar alcohol based chewing gums and candies. Light exercise or a walk of 15 minutes should be considered after a heavy meal or intake of food that can cause vulnerability to bloating. Antacids are available over the counter for heart burn while ginger tea is considered a good traditional tonic for curing indigestion.