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GI-Digestive Awareness Behavior Diet

Battling Bloat

3 weeks, 5 days ago

2357  0
Posted on Jun 25, 2024, 12 p.m.

At one point or another, almost everyone experiences a bout with battling gas and bloating. Bloating can make your abdomen feel larger than it is, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that your abdomen is distended. However, if you are struggling with bloating regularly it could be a symptom of a medical condition such as IBS and you should consult your physician. 

Bloating happens when the organs in your digestive system become stretched. This can occur when solids, gas, or air fills the gastrointestinal tract which can be caused by many factors including, weak stomach muscles, eating too much salty foods, too many fizzy drinks, eating too fast, swallowing air, constipation, food intolerances, stress, certain medications, weight gain, and hormone fluctuations during menopause and menstruation.

H20

Sometimes people can experience bloating because they aren’t drinking enough water. Being dehydrated can lead to constipation, which can cause bloating. Drinking around 8 glasses of water can help to keep your body hydrated. If you don’t like plain water, you can try infusing it with some slices of fresh fruit, or drink other clear liquids like broth to help soften food and make it easier to pass. Green tea is another option to help with hydration that will also help reduce inflammation in the digestive tract. 

Mindful Eating

Eating mindfully can also help with bloating and helps you to avoid swallowing air. When you eat smaller, more frequent meals, and when you eat slowly, taking the time to chew your food well also helps with digestion. Chewing signals the beginning of the digestive process, it tells the body to release saliva that helps to break down food and relaxes the stomach ahead of digestion to allow food to pass through more easily. Eating mindfully also gives them stomach time to signal the brain for satiety. When food isn’t chewed properly, larger pieces enter the digestive tract and can cause gas, constipation, bloating, headaches, food reactions, and lower energy levels. 

Gut Friendly Food

Some foods are just easier to digest and may help with bloating, many of these options are high in fiber, water, or potassium. 

Berries, broccoli, lentils, beans, and oats contain ample amounts of fiber which can support a healthy gut microbiome and fight inflammation.

Watermelon, cucumbers, celery, papaya, and pineapple have water content which can help with dehydration-related bloating.

Bananas, leafy greens, and avocados help to pull salt from the body which can contribute to bloating. As another plus they are rich sources of potassium which is also involved in regulating fluid balance and sodium levels. 

Yogurt contains beneficial bacteria that help to promote a balanced digestive system. 

Ginger, peppermint, and chamomile can help to support a healthy GI system as well as ease bloating, nausea, and stomach upset due to their anti-inflammatory properties. 

Drinking lemon water in the morning kick-starts digestive processes. It helps to fight indigestion, heartburn, and bloating by stimulating the production of bile and gastric juices to help prevent gas formation.

Get Up and Move

Regular physical activity can help to improve digestion and prevent bloating. When you are bloated you may not feel like vigorous exercise, but even gentle movements like yoga, walking, and Tai Chi can make a difference, as well as more intense exercise such as biking, running, tennis, or swimming. 

Take Away

There are many simple causes of bloating like gas, indigestion, fluid retention, constipation, and food intolerances. Most of these symptoms can be treated fairly easily with lifestyle changes, home remedies, OTC medications, and prescription medications. You can even keep a food diary to track if certain foods are causing the problem. Some people even find relief by applying heat to the abdomen with a warm compress, hot water bottle, or heating pad. 

The main ways we expel gas are by burping, bloating, and flatus. 10-20% of adults have digestive complaints centered around belching and flatulence. Typically, we will emit flatus 12-25 times a day. Be honest, we all get gas, and it does not necessarily mean that there is something wrong with your digestion, and you can minimize gas and bloat by focusing on diet and eating habits. 

Occasional gas and abdominal discomfort do not require medical attention in most situations. However, when there is an increase in frequency, location, or severity of the symptoms, or if they are accompanied by weight loss, diarrhea, vomiting, or heartburn you should seek professional medical attention. 

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement. Additionally, it is not intended to malign any religion, ethic group, club, organization, company, individual, or anyone or anything. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. 

Content may be edited for style and length.

References/Sources/Materials provided by:

T.W. at WHN

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/bloating/

https://www.brighamandwomens.org/patients-and-families/meals-and-nutrition/bwh-nutrition-and-wellness-hub/special-topics/gas-beat-the-bloat

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