7 Common Causes Of Bloating And Possible Solutions
In this article, we’ll discuss some common causes of bloating in detail and, in the end, provide some solutions – both natural and medicinal.
Bloating feels different to different people, but one thing that is common for everyone is the feeling of discomfort. It is generally defined as a feeling of being larger or fuller than usual, to an extent that it gets uncomfortable. This can be due to a wide variety of reasons, which may or may not be linked to an underlying disease.
Bloating can be due to the accumulation of water, undigested food, swelling, or gaseous pressure. Feeling bloated rarely indicates a serious problem and one naturally feels better with time. Yet, one is bound to get curious about the cause of the puffy, awkward feeling they experience.
While the particular reason for an incidence of bloating is quite difficult to identify, some common circumstances have been associated with bloating. Hence, to clear your doubts on the matter, we have curated a list of some reasons that make you feel bloated all the time.
Causes Of Bloating
1. You Eat Too Close To Bedtime
It is often said that eating too close to bedtime causes weight gain. This is not entirely true, as the way you gain weight is by consuming more calories than you burn. Yet, a heavy dinner just before you sleep can lead to you feeling bloated as if you have gained weight overnight.
This is because your digestive system does not function optimally when you lie down. When you sleep with a full stomach, the food is not broken down as fast as it would otherwise. This causes you to feel heavily bloated when you wake up.
To avoid this common bedtime food mistake, have your dinner at least 3-4 hours before you go off to sleep. Try to move around for a bit before you finally hit the sack. If you absolutely have to eat something before bed, keep it light so that it can be easily digested.
2. You Drink Too Much Soda
Soda beverages like champagne might feel bubbly to drink, just like carbonated drinks have a similar effect inside your tummy. The bubbles from the drink expand in your gut, giving rise to a bulgy bloated belly. The tiny bubbles responsible for the bubbly sensation in your mouth are actually the reason behind your swollen stomach.
To avoid such instances, all you have to do is avoid the soda. Try to shift to healthier alternatives, like water with lemon or cucumber as a flavored drink. You can use black tea or coffee for a much-needed caffeine boost. If you are already feeling bloated, try sipping on peppermint tea to soothe the discomfort.
But, if you can just not let go of the soda, reduce the carbonation in the drinks by leaving the drink open for a few hours before you drink it, and then putting in ice cubes. This will help reduce the fizz in your drinks and also the bloated feeling you tend to feel after you drink it.
3. You Are Frequently Drinking Through A Straw
Most of the popular drinks you find in restaurants seem to taste better when sipped on using a straw. However, even though straws are convenient, they are not actually the best practice to follow.
When you drink using the straw, you end up sucking on the air present in its upper portion, no matter how slowly you sip. This air gets ingested into your digestive tract which later leads to you feeling bloated. To avoid feeling like an inflated balloon, you should always sip your drinks from the rim of the glass.
4. You Often Chew Gum Or Suck On Candy
Chewing gum constantly is not a good habit, as you would be aware, and feeling bloated afterward is an added downside to it. While gum and candy might help lose face fat, or even quit smoking, they actually make you swallow a lot of excess air in the process. This can cause belching and a bloated feeling, which can be avoided if one opts to sip water at regular intervals instead. Water keeps your gastrointestinal tract active and also helps get rid of pre-existing air and water bloating from your body.
5. You Are Stressed
This might come as a surprise, but being under tremendous stress and work pressure is one of the most common causes of bloating. Fight or flight symptoms you experience during stress (such as a racing heart) cause a diversion in the blood flow, directing it away from the gastrointestinal tract, thereby impairing digestion. Another indicator of stress is heavy breathing which makes you swallow more air than usual, ultimately causing bloating.
In case such instances occur, change your breathing pattern to something more comfortable. Try to exhale for a longer duration than you inhale. This helps lessen the stress response, stimulating a calm and composed state of mind.
6. You Are Constipated
While constipation is another factor that can be responsible for the bloating you experience. This is often a result of changes in your circadian rhythm that mess up the hormonal levels in the body, causing difficulties during digestion. To prevent this from happening one should consume adequate fiber content with their diet.
Fiber helps stop the bloat from forming and is needed by the bacteria to maintain a healthy microbiome. This healthy microbiome is vital for a proper functioning gastrointestinal tract. The presence of soluble fiber in the colon absorbs water and adds bulk to the stool. If you are not able to get the necessary amounts of fiber from your diet, you can also consider the prospect of supplements.
7. You Eat Too Fast
Eating too fast is one of the causes of bloating.
The dynamic world around us has led to a state of constant hurry. As a result, we often tend to gobble up our food without chewing it properly. In the process, we end up swallowing a lot of gas-producing air that swells up our belly. There are also larger pieces of food in the stomach now that will take more time to digest. You also tend to eat more which makes your stomach feel puffy and full. To avoid this, set up a proper time to sit and finish your meals.
Medications To Prevent Bloating
It is not possible to entirely eliminate the possibility of getting bloated. However, we have listed some medications and remedies which can considerably minimize the probability:
1. Natural remedies
- Peppermint tea
- Chamomile tea
2. Over-the-counter (OTC) Medications
- Lactase enzyme (Lactaid or Dairy Ease)
- Activated charcoal
Causes Of Bloating: Conclusion
There could be many reasons that you end up feeling bloated, and while we might not be able to pinpoint the exact reason, it is highly likely to be one of those mentioned here. However, self-diagnosis and treatment are not the best practice, and it is hence advisable to consult a doctor if you frequently feel bloated for prolonged durations.
September 8, 2020 Sam Bell