Bloating is a common issue for many, but the causes vary. Some are easily changed with lifestyle adjustments while other reasons for bloating may be more serious. If you are tired of being plagued by bloating, want to know more about this condition, the potential causes for it, and how to get rid of bloating, look no further.
What Is Bloating?
Before you learn how to get rid of bloating, it is essential to understand what bloating is and what it feels like. Bloating occurs when your belly feels distended, overly full, and too tight.
Bloating is often accompanied by gas, which can make your stomach feel like there is too much air trapped inside. For instance, after a heavy meal or before a bowel movement, you might notice that your stomach appears bloated and out of its regular shape.
What It Feels Like
Bloating feels like you have too much food, liquid, or air sitting inside your stomach. You notice that your gut is bulging somewhat and feels like a heavyweight you have to carry around. Once your meal digests or your body relieves itself through elimination, you might notice a significant difference and see the distention go down considerably.
Causes of Bloating
Before you can understand how to get rid of bloating, you must identify the different causes of bloating to see what could factor into your discomfort. One of the primary causes of bloating is constipation. When the body is not experiencing regular eliminations to rid itself of waste, or you have fewer bowel movements than normal, your stomach may become distended and bloat.
Key signs of constipation include having difficulty beginning or completing a bowel movement, having hard, small stool, or still feeling full after you go to the bathroom. When stool sits untouched in your colon, bacteria can ferment and develop. This leads to gas and pain, all of which you make you feel considerably bloated.
If you have gut issues, such as a condition like IBS, your stomach will be highly sensitive to gas. This can lead to discomfort, diarrhea and bloating. If you have a condition like gastroparesis, where the stomach does not empty properly, this can also cause bloating, along with nausea and backed up bowels. When you have an intestinal condition that causes you frequent discomfort, you will experience a plethora of symptoms, including bloating.
Eating Too Quickly
In learning how to get rid of bloating, realize eating too quickly is a major contributing factor to this condition. When you eat too fast, you consume a lot of air with your food which becomes trapped inside your stomach and gut.
Excess air will lead to bloating and gas. When you eat too quickly, you might swallow undigested particles of food that your body will have to work overtime to process and cause bloating too.
Did you know low-fat foods could be one of the direct causes of your bloating issues? Things like low-fat and sugar-free soda, candies, or cookies do nothing to help the state of your digestive tract. Artificial sugar sources can be gut irritants, spurring on bacteria fermentation and resulting in bloating and gas.
As easy as it is to chew gum as a regular habit, too much of it may cause you to swallow air which your digestive tract will capture. If you chew gum that contains artificial sweeteners, this can compound your misery.
While we all love our morning cup of joe, its highly acidic nature may lead to gas and bloating. It may not just be the coffee either. If you have a problem with lactose, your morning cappuccino or latte could cause you frequent upset. Instead of cutting out coffee altogether, you might see if plant-based milk helps the situation.
However, even black coffee should be drunk in moderation because it is acidic. The acidity serves as an irritant to your digestive tract, producing gas and causing your bloating. Sugar or an artificial sweetener in your coffee can make matters even worse. Even if you do not have a problem with the acidity, coffee is known to trigger the nerves in your digestion system which can also cause bloating.
A common factor to consider when figuring out how to get rid of bloating is if you have any food intolerances. Even if you have not received a diagnosis of a condition like IBS or food intolerance, when you have ongoing symptoms of irritation, something you are eating could be at the root.
Bloating is often caused by and is a sign of intolerances, which can lead to IBS and a host of other disorders. Consider whether you might be intolerant to lactose, the sugar found in milk, or fructose, the sugar in things like honey, fruit, and some processed products. Other food intolerances like gluten are frequent contributors to gas and bloating. Speak with your doctor if you think you have a food intolerance to figure out the dietary plan right for you.
How to Get Rid of Bloating
Take a Walk
One of our first tips on how to get rid of bloating is to stand up and take a walk. Moving around and engaging in physical activity can help get your bowel function back on track and enable your body to rid itself of gas and waste. Even a short jaunt in your neighborhood can help ease discomfort caused by gas and reduce your bloating.
Another great way for how to get rid of bloating is to try peppermint in capsule form. Peppermint is an effective treatment for IBS and other gut issues and can help heal a faulty digestive tract, reducing gas and bloating.
Peppermint calms a tense intestinal tract, which makes it easier for your body to rid itself of gas and waste. Use this method with care if you have any pre-existing conditions that would require you to watch your peppermint consumption. You may not wish to take peppermint capsules if you struggle with heartburn as this could make matters worse.
Do an Abdominal Massage
An abdominal massage can be an effective method for how to get rid of bloating, spurring on better bowel function and releasing unwanted gas and stool from your body. To do an abdominal massage, put your hands in a position right above your right hip bone, rubbing the area circularly and upwards towards the right side of your ribcage.
Next, rub across your upper belly towards the left ribcage and gradually massage downward towards your left hipbone. You can repeat this massage as needed.
Take a Soothing Bath
A warm, soothing bath is a great approach for how to get rid of bloating. The hot water can ease the pain of an irritated stomach and calm you down. As your body relaxes, this may aid the digestive tract to run more smoothly and lessen your bloating.
Watch Your Fiber Intake
If you struggle with constipation, an ideal solution for how to get rid of bloating is to elevate your fiber intake gradually. Most people do not eat sufficient fiber content in their daily diet, so this is a necessary change to make.
You need to be careful when increasing your fiber intake, as too much fiber can cause irritation, leading to more bloating and gas. You should not eat over 70 grams of fiber every day. Consult with your doctor if you have questions. The best way to adjust your fiber content is by gradually eating more in a month, enabling your digestive system to get used to higher quantities.
Drink More Water
An important way for how to get rid of bloating is to drink more water. Avoid drinks with carbonation that increase the gas buildup in your stomach or beverages with artificial sweeteners that reap the same effect.
Instead, replace these items with water. Drinking more water is not only beneficial for your overall health but can help reduce your gas and increase proper bowel function, easing your bloating.
It is so important to stay active if you are trying to regulate your gas and bowel function. When learning how to get rid of bloating, make sure you are exercising regularly while drinking sufficient water at the same time so you do not become dehydrated. Exercise will help get your bowels moving and work gas through your system, reducing your overall bloating.
Adjust Your Eating Habits
Pay attention to your eating habits when learning how to get rid of bloating. One of the easiest ways to get bloated is by eating a meal that is too large. Instead, try eating small, frequent meals throughout the day. This will be easier on your digestive system, allowing it to process food better and reduce any bloating you might experience.
Take a Probiotic
If you have bacteria overgrowth causing your bloating, consider taking a probiotic to balance your levels out. A probiotic will enable you to get your bowel bacteria back on track, reducing your gas and bloating.
Eliminate Allergenic Foods
If you have food intolerances, you may need to eliminate these allergenic foods to learn how to get rid of bloating. Keep a food diary to see what foods cause your symptoms to increase or decrease, enabling you to pinpoint the sources of your distress.
For instance, if you are lactose or gluten intolerant, you may need to make some significant dietary adjustments to see relief from your bloating and other symptoms. Speak with your doctor so you can determine the eating plan that is best for you.
Consider Your Supplement Regimen
When figuring out how to get rid of bloating, look at your supplement regimen. Certain supplements like iron can increase gut irritation and constipation, causing more bloating. However, a supplement like potassium can help ease bloating by leveling out the sodium quantities in your body.
Speak with Your Doctor
If your bloating does not ease up with some lifestyle and dietary adjustments, it is wise to speak with your doctor to see if there are any other issues at play. Sometimes, bloating is caused by medical conditions that require a distinct diagnosis to treat properly. For example, conditions like Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and colitis may lead to bloating. Once you have pinpointed the source of your distress, you and your doctor can work out an effective plan to treat the issue.
In rare circumstances, bloating may signal a more serious issue like liver disease, heart failure, kidney issues, and even certain kinds of cancer. If you experience bloating that does not abate for days or weeks at a time, book an appointment with your physician. You should also seek the advice of your doctor if your bloating is accompanied by other symptoms like weight loss, a fever, appetite issues, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or blood in your stool.
Much of the time, the answer for how to get rid of bloating is as simple as some lifestyle and dietary alterations. Keep note of your physical activity, food intake, and meal habits to see if any adjustments need to be made to regulate bowel function. Speak with your doctor if your symptoms do not let up to see if there are any other conditions causing your distress.