Why Do I Feel Bloated
Updated: Apr 15
It is surprising how many people experience bloating every day and wonder why they are going through this discomfort?
If we were in a crowded room and I asked everyone “Who often feels bloated – let’s see a show of hands” I wonder how many people would raise their hands? They may not do so because often times they are suffering silently. However, if stats are any indication I would suggest 1 in 10 people do suffer bloating most of the time.
Inquiring minds want to know - what would be the reason these folks often feel bloated. Some of the reasons can be contributed to overeating, eating too fast and eating certain foods that are rich and fatty. This type of eating can cause temporary gas in the abdomen. A good portion of oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and methane are introduced into our gut by swallowing air while eating too fast. Then the foods consumed begin fermentation in the large intestine, which results in a battle ground in the digestive system that results in the bloating.
The other reason for the bloating can be contributed to bacteria that is produced in the gut to assist in the digestion of certain foods. If people don’t have proper gut health then the food they ate has difficulty moving through their gastrointestinal track efficiently, and gas builds up in the intestines, which causes the discomfort of bloating.
How Do We Reduce Bloating?
Avoid Swallowing To Much Air: People who suffer from bloating will need to change their habit of swallowing too much air while eating. If they are guzzling carbonated beverages while chewing gum (talk about a multi tasker) then it might be an opportunity to “cease and desist” this particular habit. Instead, they should consider drinking water or if they want to drink a carbonated drink then consider a healthier alternative like flavored carbonated water while sipping through a straw, which will lessen the amount of air you swallow when drinking.
Avoid Bloat-Induced Foods Such As The Following:
• Sweetners: Certain sweeteners such as fructose that is used in many processed foods are quite difficult for people to digest.
• Whole Grains: Although whole grains are an excellent source of fiber they can cause some people to experience bloating. This could be attributed to sensitivity to grains due to the presence of gluten. In these cases I would recommend gluten-free food since they are lower in folate, thiamin, riboflavin and niacin.
• Dairy Products: Cow's milk dairy products can be a source of intestinal distress and bloating. In my humble opinion and personal experience with the discomfort of bloating and being lactose intolerant, I avoid dairy milk, certain yogurt and cheeses. I have replaced those products with coconut milk, lactose-free yogurt, aged cheese and filtered whey isolate protein powder.
• Fruit and Vegetables: Certain fruits and vegetables contain sugars and starches that may cause gassiness and bloating. Cauliflower, carrots, brussel sprouts, peaches, apricots and prunes are some culprits in bloating.
• Beans and Lentils: Due to the sugars in these foods the intestinal bacteria has to work overtime to brake these sugars down.
Let’s Consider The Following Proactive Measures:
• Introduce some form of Probiotic supplementation. Probiotics are live bacteria microorganisms, which will aid in the reduction of bloating.
• Form new eating habits that will address the cause of bloating. Eat less or completely avoid the noted foods I mentioned in this blog. Eat smaller portions and eat slower. Don’t guzzle down liquids and limit or avoid carbonated drinks and replace drinks with water.
• Exercise. There are numerous studies that have indicated exercise reduces bloating since it helps eliminate gas from our bowels. Even a 10-15 brisk walk will work wonders in your endeavor to eliminate bloating.
• Soak in a warm bath. One strategy that I know many ladies will like is to soak and relax in a warm epsom salted bath. The heat of the bath provides relief from bloating and to some degree allows the GI tract to function more effectively. An added bonus is that it can reduce stress levels after a long day. And “Yes” you can sip on a glass of wine with some scented candles that will enhance your bath inspired relaxation.
• Keep your body weight in check. Rapid weight gain has been linked to bloating for several reasons. Buildup of fat in the stomach will constrain the bowels and increase tension. Fat has inflammatory factors which causes hypersensitivity to our gut.
• Peppermint Oil. Two of the most active components in peppermint oil is Menthol and Menthrone, which are know to prevent the growth of harmful gut bacteria and is an excellent digestive aid in the reduction of bloating.
• See a Doctor. I would encourage everyone suffering my bloating to see their doctor to determine if they suffer from lactose intolerance. As I have mentioned, lactose is a sugar in dairy milk and many of us don’t produce enough enzymes to break down lactose in our system. Since we want to ensure we receive enough calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus and protein, I would recommend alternatives like coconut milk, lactose free yogurt, and certain aged cheeses.
Important Factor: Bloating may be a result of a medical condition. If you suspect the cause for your frequent bloating is a medical condition I would encourage you to schedule an appointment with your doctor to diagnose and manage your condition. Some medical causes for bloating is Inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Ultimately, knowing the reasons for bloating is “half the battle”. Once we understand the underlying causes we can change our situation. Maintaining a healthy diet and weight, promoting good bowel habits, and getting regular exercise that will definitely get us on track in reducing and hopefully eliminating bloating.
I wish you all the best in your endeavor of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Take care and God Bless.
About The Author: Steve is a Blogger, Videographer, and Personal Trainer. His content creation focuses on Generation X Societal Lifestyles, Health/Fitness and Faith.