When you put on your jeans first thing in the morning they fit. However, after lunch they’re starting to feel very tight, even though you didn’t eat a huge meal. If this happens to you, your stomach is probably bloated.
Experts at House Call Doctor say bloating is the feeling of increased pressure, swelling or fullness in your lower tummy. Sometimes it can even look like your waist has grown larger in size.
You may also experience burping, cramps, constipation, diarrhoea and a lot of gas.
What causes bloating?
Bloating is usually caused when the organs in your digestive system become stretched from liquid, gas or solids that settle in your gut. It can also occur when the food in your stomach moves too slowly through your digestive system.
When bloating occurs, it’s usually caused by changes in your diet. For example, if you’ve eaten a lot of rich foods, which you don’t usually eat.
Drinking fizzy beverages or eating too many salty foods can make you feel bloated. Even swallowing air by eating too fast can contribute to the problem.
If you suffer from bloating regularly, it may be a symptom of other issues such as:
- Some medicines
- Food intolerance (including gluten, wheat or milk)
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Coeliac disease
- Weight gain
How to reduce bloating
Usually bloating will subside, if you make changes to your diet.
Cutting down on salty foods, fizzy drinks and carbohydrates can help for example, as well as avoiding foods that contain garlic, lactose, wheat or rye, as well as onion or stone fruit.
If your bloating is caused by constipation, eating high-fibre foods, exercising regularly and increasing the amount of water you drink can have a good effect.
To prevent bloating and keep your digestive system working well, it is best to:
- Eat 30 grams of fibre each day
- Limit intake of fatty foods, alcohol and processed foods.
- Drink plenty of water
- Avoid overeating
- Eat slowly
- Exercise regularly
- Stop smoking.