Bloating is a horrible feeling – when you are bloated, you feel as though you are full up and you can also feel sluggish and a little nauseous.
Your stomach can also feel larger than usual and you may have a general feeling of discomfort. Bloating can be caused by a whole range of things – your diet, the things you drink, constipation or how quickly you eat. A bloated tummy may also mean that you are retaining fluid, which can cause you to feel heavy and uncomfortable.
There are some foods that are known to cause bloating and flatulence and so if you think your diet may be to blame for your bloating, it may be worth steering clear of certain foods, including beans of all kinds, broccoli, sprouts, cauliflower, some spicy foods, onions and garlic. Replacing these foods with foods that are high in fibre is an excellent way to stop you feeling so bloated.
As strange as it sounds, swallowing too much air can make you feel bloated. Although it may seem a little bit odd that you can actually swallow too much air, there are plenty of habits that can cause you to swallow air, causing your tummy to swell up.
Talking whilst eating, chewing gum, eating whilst moving and using a straw can cause you to swallow more air than necessary when eating or drinking and so it’s a good idea to try to break these habits.
Fizzy drinks can also make you feel bloated, especially if you use them to fill up on throughout the day. Drinks with artificial sweeteners can also cause a bloating feeling, as they can have a laxative effect, causing you to feel uncomfortable.
If you have a problem with bloating, your best bet is to drink at least 8 glasses of plain water a day as this will help to prevent you from becoming constipated and will keep your system flushed and free of toxins. If you want to pep your water up a bit, serve it with some ice and a slice of lime or lemon.
Pre-menstrual syndrome and the onset of the menopause can cause fluid retention and bloating which will not disappear, no matter how well you eat and how much water you drink.
IBS can also cause you to feel bloated, although this does tend to improve if your diet improves. Food intolerances are also known to cause bloating, although they are difficult to diagnose and they do have a multitude of symptoms including nausea, sickness and headaches. If you think you have a food intolerance which is responsible for your bloating, see your doctor
If you continue to feel bloated even with a healthy diet with plenty of fibre-rich foods, plenty of water every day and regular exercise, it may be worth seeing your doctor just to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
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