Being Pregnant Can Leave You Feeling Bloated
We all know that things like a missed period and nausea can point to pregnancy, but according to;What to Expect,;bloating is another common and very typical sign of a new pregnancy and impending baby bump.
“You can blame on the hormone progesterone, which helps slow down digestion, giving the nutrients from foods you eat more time to enter your bloodstream and reach your baby,” the site explained. “While progesterone is essential for maintaining a healthy pregnancy, it also triggers that oh-so-delightful trio: bloating, burping and passing gas,” another What to Expect article revealed.
The reason for this bizarre occurrence? Progesterone relaxes muscle in your stomach and intestines, slowing digestion. This gives your body more time to absorb nutrients from the food you eat but also increases pressure throughout your digestive system leaving you feeling seriously uncomfortable and bloated. For many pregnant women, bloating usually starts to show up at around 11 weeks into a pregnancy and can unfortunately continue all the way up to the time of delivery.
Rule Out Food Allergies And Intolerances To Common Foods
Food allergies and intolerances are relatively common.
When you eat foods that you are intolerant to, it can cause excess gas production, bloating and other symptoms.
Here are some common foods and ingredients to consider:
- Lactose: Lactose intolerance is associated with many digestive symptoms, including bloating. Lactose is the main carbohydrate in milk (
- 14 ).
Both lactose and fructose are a part of a larger group of indigestible carbs or fiber known as FODMAPs. FODMAP intolerance is one of the most common causes of bloating and abdominal pain.
If you strongly suspect that you have a food allergy or intolerance, see a doctor.
Food allergies and intolerances are common causes of bloating. Common offenders include lactose, fructose, wheat, gluten and eggs.
What Are Fodmaps Foods
The term FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols Certain foods are classed as FODMAPs meaning that they are poorly absorbed by the body, which may result in IBS-type symptoms such as abdominal pain and bloating.
High FODMAP foods, such as onion and garlic, are common foods which the gut finds difficult to digest. Discovering and, most importantly, understanding your own personal thresholds of a certain ingredient may ensure you make the best dietary choices in order to optimise your diet, take control of your bloating and quality of life.
Here are some examples of high FODMAP foods:
As weve mentioned, bloating can be a sign of a food intolerance and therefore finding out your trigger foods could be a great way to manage your bloating.
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Dont Eat Foods That Give You Gas
Some high-fiber foods can make people produce large amounts of gas.
Major players include legumes like beans and lentils, as well as some whole grains.
Try keeping a food diary to figure out if certain foods tend to make you more gassy or bloated than others.
Fatty foods can also slow down digestion and the emptying of the stomach. This can have benefits for satiety , but can be a problem for people with a tendency to bloat.
Try eating less beans and fatty foods to see if it helps. Also, check out this article on 13 foods that cause bloating.
If certain foods make you feel bloated or give you gas, try cutting back or avoiding them. Eating fatty foods can also slow digestion and may contribute to bloating for some people.
Fermented Foods Can Help
If the balance of gut microbes is a little messed up, increasing your probiotic intake could help to restore your microbiome back to equilibrium. Foods that decrease bloating might include fermented examples, like kefir and yogurt containing natural probiotics .
Some research has shown that Bifidobacterium infantis could be helpful for IBS patients. However, other studies have shown that some probiotics, like those containing Lactobacillus, can help with IBS symptoms, but dont necessarily reduce bloating.
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Drinking Too Much Soda
Carbonated beverages, such as soda or sparkling water, are a common reason for bloating. The fizz in your favorite sodas can cause gas to get trapped in your stomach, which can lead to bloating and belching.
Try limiting the amount of soda you drink and switch to a healthier alternative. Water with cucumber or lemon can offer a flavorful drink with your meal, and black tea can provide the caffeine kick you may need in the early afternoon. If youre already feeling bloated, peppermint tea is a common remedy that can be used to help reduce the discomfort.
How To Relieve Bloating After Eating
The best way to relieve bloating is to prevent its occurrence. As dietary triggers are often the cause of bloating, knowing which triggers you are most sensitive to is vital to avoid bloating. Keeping an eye on your intake of fiber, salt, and carbonated beverages can also play a big part in preventing stomach bloating. Also, make sure you are not consuming a high-fat diet, as fatty foods are a major culprit in stomach bloating after eating. There also may be a difference between trans fats, saturated fats, and unsaturated fats for your digestion as well, so try and keep track of which ones make you feel the worst.
Although it is a dairy product, eating yogurt can help to fill your stomach with healthy bacteria in the form of probiotics, which boost digestion and gut health. When eating, try not to drink too many liquids. Beverages dilute stomach acids and cause the digestion process to become prolonged. Wait until after eating to finish your drink. Finally, take your time and eat slowly while sitting up straight. Allowing your digestive tract time to begin the digestive process will help to decrease the risk of bloating after eating.
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What Is Bloating In The Stomach
Its common to feel like your belly is tight, full, and swollen. When your gut is full of food or stool, it’s normal for your belly to stick out a bit more than it did when you first woke up. However, with stomach bloating, there is more at play.
Many people refer to this issue as stomach bloating, but it is also called distended stomach or distended abdomen. People often describe the sensation as similar to a balloon being blown up in your belly. Women often report looking like they’re several months pregnant. It might also be accompanied by other unpleasant symptoms, such as belching , flatulence , and abdominal discomfort.
There are multiple causes of stomach bloating, and thankfully, there are plenty of remedies and treatments as well.
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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Causes Of Feeling Bloated After Eating Only A Small Meal
The most common cause of feeling bloated after eating a small meal is consuming foods or drinks that can;cause bloating, such as;carbonated drinks, lentils, and beans. However, if you experience bloating regularly, and regardless of what food types you eat, there could be another underlying cause. There are several potential disorders which can cause bloating or fullness, but it is important not to self-diagnose, and you must visit your health professional for further investigation.
Take It Easy With The Salt
Sodium is a major ingredient in the Western diet, and diets high in sodium are also known to cause bloating. Salt encourages the body to retain water, thats why we feel thirsty after eating salty food. It can also alter the composition of the gut microbiome by decreasing the abundance of Lactobacillus, a probiotic bacterium.
The good news is reducing salt intake can relieve the symptoms of bloating, and its simple to do. Most sodium intake comes from processed foods and eating out, so try cooking at home and using herbs and spices to infuse your dishes with flavour.
Drinking Through A Straw
A straw might make your morning protein shake easier to sip on the run, but it isn’t doing your stomach any favors. “When you drink through a straw, you also suck air into your stomach, which can increases gas and distention in your digestive tract,” says Rumsey. Sip straight from the lid to ward off tummy discomfort.
Swallowing Too Much Air
Most people think of taking in air when they inhale, but it can also be done a number of other ways. Common daily habitssuch as drinking from a straw, chewing gum and eating too quicklyare ways to add air into your digestive tract instead of your respiratory system.
When you swallow too much air you can start to feel bloated, Hoffman said. If its becoming a problem, start cutting out gum and straws and see if that helps eases your symptoms.
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Which Foods Cause Stomach Bloating After Eating
All types of foods can be triggers for bloating, including carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. For some people, having a food intolerance can also increase the risk of bloating. The most common triggers include apples, dairy products, beans, cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower and cabbage, lettuce, onion, peaches, and pears. Artificial sweeteners, like those found in diet sodas, can also be a cause of bloating. Many people cannot digest these sweeteners, resulting in an unusual amount of gas.
Switching to a whole grain diet has been known to cause bloating, as the amount of fiber intake is significantly increased after switching to whole grains and fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate. If you plan to switch to a whole grain diet, make sure to do so slowly and drink plenty of water.
Salt is another well-known culprit of bloating. When people talk about losing water weight, what they are referring to is the bodys natural tendency to decrease water retention when salt intake is reduced. Avoiding foods with high salt content can prevent water retention and the bloated feeling associated with it.
Dairy intolerance is the most common cause of bloating. Nearly 10 percent of adults suffer from some form of dairy intolerance. While calcium is a required nutrient for the bodys health and well-being, it can be sourced from other foods besides those containing lactose. There are also many lactose-free alternative dairy options.
You’re Sitting Too Much
Sit all morning, rush to lunch, eat at your desk, barely move until its time to clock out. Sound familiar? This pattern of staying sedentary through most of the work day can make it hard for food to move through your digestive tract, which can lead to feeling bloated, Manning says. ” I’ll often tell someone to go take a walk after lunch to help them to digest so they don’t feel so uncomfortable, she explains.
Speaking of going for a walk, being active can be extremely helpful if your bloat seems to be related to constipation. Exercise helps speed up your bowel transit and helps you to go to the bathroom more frequently, Manning says. So even if youre not interested in becoming a fitness beast, a routine that gets your blood flowing may be what you need to help get your bowels in shape.
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My Tummy Grew By 23 Inches In Eight Hours
One of the most common causes of bloating is IBS.
To find out what triggers it, Professor Peter Whorwell gets his patients to wear a Bloat-ometer belt.They keep it on for 24 hours and a computer monitors their girth every hour.
We asked two women who suffer from IBS to try it out…
Terri Taylor’s stomach expanded after a hectic morning at work
Terri Taylor, 21, is a student nurse from Huddersfield.
WAIST: Morning, 27in; Lunchtime, 33in; Evening, 33in
My stomach was flat when I woke up, but by the end of a hectic morning at work it had expanded.
For breakfast, I had two Weetabix and two slices of white toast, and by the time I got on the ward ten minutes later I felt really uncomfortable.
Then when I got home at 2.30pm, absolutely starving, I had a big plate of beans on wholemeal toast, which pushed it up by another inch .
Just a few minutes after eating, I; had stomach pains and had to loosen; my clothes.
That night I had to study for my nursing finals. I finally ate my dinner of wholemeal pasta and vegetables around 9.30pm, but left a quarter of it as it made me feel so ill. Overnight my stomach went right down to 27in. If only it would stay that way.
Professor Whorwell says:
What triggers the bloating can vary widely some patients literally put food in their mouths of have a glass of water and their stomachs will distend.
Patients often ask me why they can eat, say, tomatoes one day and be fine, yet the same food will cause them to bloat a day later.
Increasing Your Fiber Intake Too Quickly
You know that upping your fiber intake can aid your rapid weight loss efforts, but if you aren’t used to eating the uber-filling nutrient a large dose of the stuff can be hard for your body to digest, explains Rumsey. The result? A midsection that’s suddenly as round as a basketball. “Wean yourself onto high-fiber foods like bran cereals, beans, and lentils, starting with small portions,” suggests Rumsey. Another trick: Down a large glass of water with every high-fiber meal. Fluids help to move fiber through the digestive tract, preventing bloat.
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Chronic Drinking Can Leave You Chronically Bloated
You can get more than a hangover and a beer belly from overindulging on beer and alcohol. “Drinking too much on a single occasion or over time can take a serious toll on one’s health,” Gail Basch, director of the Rush Addiction Medicine Program at Rush University Medical Center, warned in an interview with the;Chicago Tribune.
In addition to being packed with calories that can make you gain weight, heavy drinking can impact your body’s ability to burn fat. Excessive alcohol can also be an irritant to the digestive system, triggering nausea, cramping, and diarrhea all of which can also leave you feeling bloated and miserable.
The Tribune;further highlighted that chronic drinking can lead to nutritional deficiencies, and such deficiencies cause your ab muscles to lose strength, your stomach to stick out, and can greatly increase your risk for cirrhosis of the liver a condition that can cause fluids in the abdomen to build up to the point where they impair breathing and may need to be drained, again creating an incredible bloated sensation for those who are impacted.
What Are The Symptoms And Causes Of Indigestion
Most of us have experienced indigestion and its symptoms, for example, upper abdominal pain and cramping, bloating, belching, nausea, vomiting, and the feeling of fullness after only eating a few bites. There are common causes of indigestion like GERD or pregnancy. More serious causes include cancers or heart attack.
The best way to relieve and even prevent symptoms of stomach bloating and gas, is a healthy diet and regular exercise, however, there are many things you can do to prevent and relieve bloating and gas.
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Ways To Avoid Bloating After Eating
Once you know the reasons behind bloating,you can take steps to deal with it. Here is what you can do to keep bloating at bay.
1.;;;;;;;Avoid Carbonated Drinks
You should avoid carbonated drinks or at least limit their intake. Drink more of these drinks and carbon dioxide will build up in your system. This will lead to bloating. The best thing is to stick with plain water or add a slice of lemon to make it taste better.
Do not eat too fast because this makes you swallow air that leads to bloating after eating. Take more time to eat this keeps you from swallowing air and also helps reduce your overall food intake.
3.;;;;;;;Take a Walk
Go for a walk after you eat your meal. Even a short walk after a meal can work wonders in reducing the gas buildup that usually leads to bloating. Besides, walking will also benefit your overall health.
4.;;;;;;; Mind the Food You Eat
What’s more, several difficult-to-digest, bloat-inducing foods can make things extremely difficult when you are already having a hard time dealing with bloating after eating.
5.;;;;;;; Try a Supplement
You can find gas-busting or anti-gas supplements such as a-galactosidase tablets to avoid dealing with gas after eating certain foods. These pills not just help relieve bloating, but they also prove effective against flatulence and belching. You need to take most of these supplements before every meal, but talk to your doctor about how often you should take it.