Tap to Read ➤

How to Prevent Bloating

Leena Palande Jul 31, 2020
Bloating and gas is quite common in both adults and children. This article provides tips on how to prevent bloating with the help of simple dietary and lifestyle changes.
Bloating is a condition, wherein the abdomen feels abnormally full and tight. Though it is not a serious condition, it can create severe discomfort and can affect your work performance. Experiencing bloating and gas regularly indicates poor digestive system, wrong diet, and bad lifestyle.
Simple home remedies help eliminate the causes of this condition. For permanent relief, one might have to change his/her diet and lifestyle. The number of people affected by stomach problems is constantly increasing. It a common concern that more and more people are following sedentary lifestyle.

Causes

  • Deficiency of an Enzyme: There are certain enzymes in our body that help digest the food we eat. Shortage of an enzyme like lactase, which helps in the digestive hydrolysis of lactose present in milk (digestion of milk), can lead to bloating and gas. This condition is known as lactose intolerance or sensitivity to lactose.
  • Swallowing of Air: While eating, everyone swallows some air along with food. If you eat fast, talk too much while eating, or use a straw for drinking beverages, you are likely to swallow more air which may lead to a bloated stomach.
  • Overeating: Excessive eating (may be natural or due to some eating disorder) leads to a bloated stomach, gas, indigestion, and pain in the stomach.
  • High Consumption of Gas Inducing Foods: The consumption of foods packed with fiber may result in gas and discomfort. For example, cauliflower, cabbage, beans, peas, etc. Excessive use of carbonated beverages, spicy, processed or high salt foods can also contribute to a bloated stomach.
  • Medications: Use of certain medications like antibiotics can contribute to this condition.
  • Diseases: Certain diseases like irritable bowel syndrome, dysfunction of certain digestive system organs, development of tumors, infections, ovarian cyst, and scarcity of hormones or enzymes can lead to this condition.
  • Bad Habits: Having late-night dinners way too often, eating high fat foods or highly processed foods, going to bed soon after having a heavy meal, alcohol abuse, drug abuse (which affect the functioning of the digestive system), excessive smoking, not incorporating foods that offer proportionate amounts of all essential nutrients (wrong diet), etc., can also be the contributing factors.

Prevention Tips

  • Lack of physical activity, less fluid and fiber intake, etc., leads to constipation which may result in bloating. Therefore, to avoid constipation include fiber rich foods and lots of fluid in your diet. Also, perform exercises regularly.
Some food allergies and intolerance may lead to a bloated stomach. Therefore, identify such foods and get them confirmed by your doctor, otherwise you might end up eliminating healthy foods from your diet.
  • Eat slowly and chew the food properly before swallowing.
  • Reduce the consumption of carbonated drinks as they tend to trap gas in your stomach.
  • Reduce the intake of chewing gum as it leads to swallowing of air.
  • Reduce the intake of artificially sweetened foods and drinks.
  • Limit the intake of processed foods as they are high in sodium and low in fiber, both of which cause bloating.
  • Go Slow with beans and gas-producing vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower.
  • Eat 5-6 small meals instead of 2-3 big meals.
  • Eat foods rich in probiotics (good bacteria) to improve the digestive health. Peppermint tea, ginger, pineapple, parsley, and yogurts contain probiotics.

Relief

  • Herbal Teas: Mint tea provides relief from a bloated stomach. Even small children can be benefited by a light concoction of mint tea. Several herbal teas like fennel tea help lower the discomfort caused by gas.
  • Plenty of Water: Increasing the intake of water, lemon juice in warm water, fruit juices, or plain soups help alleviate the pain or discomfort.
  • Correct Diagnosis: After examining the symptoms, the doctor would be able to find out the exact cause of bloating. Knowing the cause helps determine the treatment, whereas removing the cause helps lower the discomfort.
  • Balanced Die: Replacing the spicy, packaged and gassy foods by natural fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins helps lower the pain and discomfort. Consuming herbal tea instead of normal tea or coffee will also help.
  • Ginger with Honey: Consuming a teaspoon of ginger juice and honey helps relieve the symptoms.
  • Asafoetida: In case of babies and kids, applying a paste of asafoetida around the navel helps relieve the gas, pain, and tightness felt in the abdomen.
  • Prescription Medications: Medicines to provide relief from a bloated stomach should be taken only after consultation with your doctor. This will help to find whether or not your routine medicines are the cause of discomfort.
  • Increasing Physical Activity: Sedentary lifestyle promotes bloated stomach. Going on a leisurely walk after lunch or dinner would prevent accumulation of gas in the stomach. Regular exercising can improve your digestive health significantly, as it helps maintain the balance of hormones and enzymes in the body, and improve blood circulation and functioning of all cells and systems.
Frequent bloating and gas can be a sign of a serious condition, which requires prompt and proper treatment. Simple changes in the diet and lifestyle can thus help improve your digestive health.
Disclaimer: This story is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.