Bloating is a common issue that results in a buildup of gas in the stomach and can affect anyone at any age. Although it doesn’t impact the digestive system, bloating can make a person feel quite uneasy.
Typical signs of bloating include,
- Abdominal distension
- Pain and discomfort in the abdomen
- Excessive belching and flatulence
- Grumbling and rumbling in the stomach
After consuming a large meal or foods that make the digestive system produce more gas, like beans or carbonated drinks, one can experience bloating symptoms. However, bloating can occasionally happen without being overfed or ingesting foods that produce gas.
Causes of bloating
Certain factors contribute to the painful gastrointestinal condition that results in bloating besides an individual’s diet. In some cases, the cause of bloating may be an underlying medical condition. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, few individuals often swallow a lot of air, which can result in bloating. A similar issue affects people who wear ill-fitting dentures.
Having a digestive disorder like Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel syndrome may also cause a person to feel bloated. Bloating problems in women that are related to the premenstrual syndrome are also possible. The stuffing feeling due to bloating can also be a result of constipation. Moreover, too many gut bacteria might cause abdominal distention and gas.
What a person eats could also contribute to the excessive gas production that causes bloating. Some carbohydrates, such as those in meals like beans, broccoli and cabbage, are difficult for the digestive system to break down. Therefore, when these carbohydrates enter the large intestine, certain bacteria break them down and release hydrogen and carbon dioxide gases.
While taking foods that cause food intolerance in some individuals, such as lactose intolerance, they may feel bloating.
Does water help debloat?
How is it that drinking more water might help with bloating when bloating occurs after drinking water? Just a few factors will determine it.
If the body is retaining a lot of water, drinking more water might lower the risk of bloating. Our bodies have a tendency to hold onto more water while trying to counteract the effects of dehydration, having an electrolyte imbalance, or going through a menstrual cycle.
Sometimes, this hinders digestion and causes a bloated stomach. Increased water intake is a way to reduce fluid retention. The science behind this is that the more water one consumes, the better the body will be able to rid itself of any excess sodium and fluids.
If one wants to experiment with a different type of water to help the body get rid of bloating, consider drinking coconut water. Studies show that coconut water is even more efficient at reducing bloating due to its high potassium and electrolyte content, which aids in the regular maintenance of fluid levels in the body.
A person may even pass more urine as a result of its diuretic effects. This reduces water retention in the body. Eating foods like watermelon, tomatoes, grapefruit and cucumbers, which are high in water content, is another choice for consideration. These foods help improve the efficiency of the digestive system. Since a high percentage of water is present inside the fruit, these foods allow the body to absorb water slowly.
Effective ways to debloat
The human body requires adequate water for various functions of the body. Bloating is a result of dehydration, which also causes constipation. Even though it may seem paradoxical to drink more water, our body releases the excess fluids when it receives the hydration it requires. Make sure to consume at least eight glasses of water every day. However, water requirement varies with the body composition of every individual.
Fibre is a crucial component of a healthy diet, not just for the digestive system. Moreover, it can aid in controlling cholesterol and weight. However, some individuals do experience gas and bloating while increasing their fibre intake.
Rather than consuming a lot of fibre at once, let the body get used to more of it gradually.
It may be useful to remember that soluble fibre-containing meals (including fruit, oats, beans and peas, nuts and seeds) tend to cause more gas than insoluble fibre-containing foods (roughage, including whole grains and veggies) until the digestive system becomes normal.
Less salt intake
Limiting the intake of salt in the diet is the best approach to prevent bloating. The majority of the salt we consume comes from packaged and prepared foods.
Eat foods in their original state to limit salt intake and painful bloating. These foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, meats and poultry without extra sauces, and basic healthy grains like oatmeal. Limit bread, cold cuts, canned soup, cheese and fast meals, as well as salty snacks.
The best long-term way to reduce bloating is to incorporate regular exercise into the routine, although stretching the abdominal muscles might provide more immediate relief. Lie on the back and gradually bring each knee closer to the chest, applying pressure to the abdomen. This pressure on the abdomen aids in digestion.
Dietary sugars or artificial sweeteners might also result in bloating and gas. These problems are resolved by drinking water, which also relieves constipation.
Some people may experience bloating due to the sugar alcohols. Bloating and gas pain can also occur when air is swallowed during chewing. To freshen their breath instead, people can use peppermint or ginger mints.
Limit consumption of alcohol
Alcohol may impede digestion and increase water retention. Alcohol can cause the body to become dehydrated over time and will initially increase the amount of urination required. When a person is dehydrated, the body instructs to hold onto water, which causes the bloating feeling in the abdomen. Abstaining from post-meal cocktails will help. Ultimately, an individual is better off sticking with plain water rather than alcohol to minimise stomach bloating.
Along with aiding digestion, fibrous foods also help flush away salt, which causes bloating. These are foods like potassium-rich bananas and water-rich fruits like watermelon. Papaya is rich in vital digestive enzymes that help break down protein and speed up digestion, making a person feel less full. Choosing the right food is essential to prevent and manage bloating.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that are found in the digestive tract. They have a long list of health advantages, from boosting weight loss to improved immune function.
Also, some studies indicate that consuming more probiotics through food or supplements may help to enhance digestive health and reduce bloating.
Certain probiotics may help individuals with IBS reduce bloating and stomach distension.
One can increase the consumption of probiotics by including more fermented foods and beverages in the diet, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, miso and kombucha, in addition to taking supplements. Yoghurt, tempeh and kefir are some other foods that contain probiotics.
Bloating is a natural occurrence. Mostly, the condition is nothing to worry about, but if an individual suddenly starts suffering unusual symptoms without any dietary changes, it might be necessary to see a doctor. A person may prevent bloating by including foods that are good for the gut in the diet, staying hydrated and paying attention to the health of the body.
What relieves bloating fast?
Quick relief from bloating will require adhering to the following habits.
1. Consume small, frequent meals and eat slowly
2. Drink liquids that are at room temperature
3. Increase physical activity
4. Get up immediately after eating and
5. Going for a walk also relieves bloating.
Can water flush out bloating?
Drinking water may assist in minimising bloating by flushing the body of extra sodium. Another suggestion is to make sure to hydrate well before eating. This also reduces overeating.
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