Abdominal bloating is a common condition that occurs when there is an excessive amount of air or gas in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. It can cause discomfort and a feeling of fullness or tightness in the abdomen. The abdomen may appear visibly swollen or distended, and in some cases, it can be accompanied by pain.
Bloating can have various causes, including:
Swallowing air: This can happen when you eat or drink quickly, chew gum, or drink carbonated beverages.
Dietary factors: Certain foods and beverages can contribute to bloating, such as beans, lentils, cabbage, onions, carbonated drinks, and dairy products in individuals who are lactose intolerant.
Digestive disorders: Conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can cause bloating as a symptom.
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO): This occurs when there is an abnormal increase in the number of bacteria in the small intestine, leading to bloating and other digestive symptoms.
Intestinal obstruction: In some cases, a physical blockage in the intestines can cause bloating, accompanied by severe pain, nausea, and vomiting. This requires immediate medical attention.
Hormonal changes: Some women experience bloating and abdominal discomfort as a result of hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle.
To alleviate bloating, you can try the following:
Avoid gas-producing foods: Limit your intake of foods that are known to cause gas, such as beans, lentils, broccoli, cabbage, onions, carbonated drinks, and chewing gum.
Eat and drink slowly: By eating and drinking slowly, you can minimize the amount of air you swallow.
Be mindful of food intolerances: If you suspect certain foods or ingredients are causing bloating, try eliminating them from your diet to see if the symptoms improve. Common culprits include lactose (in dairy products) and gluten (in wheat and other grains).
Exercise regularly: Physical activity can help stimulate digestion and relieve bloating.
Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help prevent constipation, which can contribute to bloating.
Consider probiotics: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help maintain a healthy balance in the gut and may alleviate symptoms of bloating in some individuals.
If your bloating is persistent, severe, or accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it's important to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment. They can help identify the underlying cause of your bloating and recommend targeted interventions.
Loading the player...How You Can Avoid Stomach Bloating <p><a href="https://smartfood-now.com/local/local-registered-dietician">Registered Dietitian</a><a href="https://www.healthchoicesfirst.com/practitioner-type/registered-dietician">,</a> discusses common causes of stomach bloating.</p>
How You Can Avoid Stomach Bloating
Bloating can be caused by various factors, including dietary choices. Constipation is one such factor that can contribute to bloating. When stool moves slowly through the digestive system, it can lead to increased gas production and bloating.
To avoid constipation and reduce bloating, incorporating a high-fiber diet is essential. Fiber adds bulk to the stool, making it easier to pass through the intestines. Good sources of dietary fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. Aim for a daily intake of 25 to 30 grams of fiber for women and 38 grams for men.
In addition to a fiber-rich diet, it's important to drink plenty of fluids. Fluids help soften the stool, making it easier to pass. Water is the best choice, but you can also include herbal teas or natural fruit juices. Avoid excessive consumption of caffeinated and alcoholic beverages as they can have a dehydrating effect.
Physical activity can also help stimulate bowel movements and prevent constipation. Regular exercise, such as walking, jogging, or cycling, promotes healthy digestion and improves overall bowel function.
While dietary factors and constipation can contribute to bloating, it's important to note that other factors such as food intolerances, gastrointestinal disorders, hormonal changes, or even swallowing excess air can also play a role. If you're experiencing persistent or severe bloating, it's recommended to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and personalized advice.
Another cause of bloating can be an allergic reaction to some types of foods. And we know right now a gluten-free diet is popular, however it’s only those with celiac disease that must avoid gluten. Local Nutritionist
Otherwise, most people are more sensitive to lactose such as that found in dairy products to fructose, such as that found in fruit, as well as high-fructose corn syrup which is found in sodas and candy and sugar alcohols which are found in low-carb foods, sugar-free foods, as well as sugar-free chewing gum.
We also have galactans and fructans which are found in beans, lentils and wheat. And all of these can be broken down by the bacteria in the colon and cause a lot of gas, which will result in bloating. Often seeing a local family physician or a physiotherapist in conjunction with a registered dietitian and athletic therapist is a great option to take control of this condition.
Other foods that can cause gas include cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, as well as carbonated beverages including soda pop and beer, as well as eating too fast and swallowing air. Local Registered Dietician
And finally some of the healthful things you can do is to eat smaller meals throughout the day, don’t eat too fast and also add probiotics to your diet. Probiotics are the good or friendly bacteria which can help us with our digestion as well as helping us support the immune system. And we have a thousand billion or a trillion bacteria in our gut that provide a very important function that’s critical to health, including digestion.
For individuals that have more questions about bloating, they should speak with a registered dietitian or another health care professional.
Presenter: Registered Dietitian