Despite all the regular exercises and the clean diet you have been incorporating in your life, do you find yourself still stuck with a bloated stomach? It is not an uncommon ailment. Abdominal bloating occurs when there is a buildup of gas in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. This causes the abdomen to feel full and tight, making the belly look bigger than usual. Bloating is sometimes accompanied by belching, gas and discomfort in the stomach.
Causes of Bloating
There are a number of triggers for abdominal bloating. These triggers include:
Trigger 1: Digestive Issues
You could be swallowing excess gas, when you drink through a straw or eat too quickly, or you could be suffering from constipation or food allergies that result in bloating.
Trigger 2: Not Eating Right
If your diet consists largely of fizzy drinks, too much salt, too much sugar but not enough fibre like fruits and vegetables, you can experience bloating.
Trigger 3: Your Body’s Hormonal Changes
Women tend to experience bloating more often than men, usually before and after their menstruation, due to hormonal changes and water retention.
Remedies For Bloating
Bloating makes you feel lethargic, as you constantly battle the pain and discomfort caused by bloating. It also makes your stomach bulge out more, and you find yourself hiding behind loose clothing as you want to hide the bulge. There are some remedies you can incorporate to reduce the bloating:
Remedy 1: Be Active
When you participate in physical activity, it helps to get your bowels moving more regularly. This will help to release excess gas and stool, and is especially helpful if you are experiencing constipation. Even a short 10-minute walk can help to provide relief from the gas pressure. Another way to make your belly look flatter is to tone and strengthen the abdominal muscles. Pick core-strengthening activities like planking, crunches and pull-ups that work your abdominal muscles.
Remedy 2: Pick Up Yoga
Yoga is not just for improving your flexibility or fitness. Certain yoga positions can help to relieve the gas pressure inside your GI tract, which will reduce bloating. Try doing the child’s pose, bridge pose or happy baby pose to release the excess gas.
Remedy 3: Abdominal Massage
You can perform this abdominal massage by yourself. Massaging your abdominals helps to move the stool along the inside of your colon, and relieve the bloating, pressure, cramps and any tightness you feel. You start by placing your hands above the hip bone, and rub in a circular motion up towards the ribcage. Be careful to use light pressure strokes. Rub straight across the upper belly area towards the other side of the ribcage and slowly move down towards the hip bone. Repeat as necessary.
Remedy 4: Increase Your Intake of Fibre
Another way to prevent abdominal bloating is to increase your intake of fibre. Some examples of fibre you can consume are whole grains like brown rice, cereals, beans, at least 2 cups of fruits and 2½ cups of vegetables. And while increasing fibre is good for your gut, there is such a thing as too much fibre. A rapid increase of fibre in your diet can cause the bloating, cramping and even stomach gas to intensify. So, be sure to introduce fibre into your diet slowly.
Remedy 5: Avoid Carbonated Drinks
Carbonated drinks contain fizzy gas that can build up in the stomach. This fizzy sound you hear when you pop open a can of soda is carbon dioxide, and it can cause bloating in your stomach. Carbonated drinks also contain artificial sweeteners that give it flavour, and these artificial sweeteners can also cause gas and bloating as well. Consider swapping out carbonated drinks with water, a great zero-calorie drink or with unsweetened tea.
Remedy 6: Take Your Time to Eat
Even if you work in time-sensitive work environments, where you do not have the luxury of a one-hour lunch break, you will still need to take your time to eat and chew slowly. Swallowing your food down is a surefire way to swallow excess air and this leads to bloating. So slow down and enjoy your food. Another benefit of eating your food slowly is that you may end up eating less, when you eat slow. Plus, wouldn’t you prefer to savour your food?
Remedy 7: Reducing Dairy in Your Diet
As you grow older, your body stops producing as much lactase, an enzyme that digests milk, as compared to a baby. Therefore, your body may find some difficulty digesting milk and other dairy products. Although you may not be lactose intolerant, the dairy products you consume may not be well digested and can cause bloating. Start by cutting back on dairy products for about two weeks and monitor if your bloating goes away.