Do you sometimes start the day with a flat stomach, only to feel like your waistband doesn’t fit later on in the day? Ever wondered why this happens and what you can do to stop it?
Bloating is common. About 15-30% of people experience it regularly. It comes from having difficulties digesting food. And the symptoms come from excess gas, reactions to specific foods, or food not moving through you as well as it could.
There are many reasons you might experience these symptoms. It could be from a serious condition, or from a food intolerance to a particular food. It can also result from how you eat.
First things first. If you have an uncomfortable digestive issue like IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), then make sure you see your doctor to rule out anything more serious. And if you know certain foods give you gas, then avoid them.
If you’re already doing the above, and still experience bloating, here are some great tips for dealing with it naturally.
If you overeat at a meal, then you’ll feel bigger around the mid-section. You’ll feel more pressure in your abdomen. Plus, you’re giving your digestive system a hard time. It’s better to eat until you feel almost full and not overindulge. Grab an extra snack or small meal throughout the day if you have to. Just don’t over-stuff yourself in one sitting.
Avoid Sugar Alcohols
Sugar alcohols are low-calorie sweeteners made from sugars. In an ingredients list, they end in “-ol,” and include things like sorbitol, xylitol, and erythritol. They’re found in some chewing gums and sugar-free foods. Some people experience bloating after eating foods with these ingredients. This is because since sugar alcohols don’t get absorbed, they end up sitting in the GI tract. Try avoiding them and see if that helps you.
Don’t Swallow Air
Sometimes the gas that causes pressure in your digestive system is from swallowing air. Things like carbonated drinks are the biggest culprit. You can also swallow air when you chew gum or drink through a straw, so try ditching these.
You can also swallow air when eating too quickly or while talking. Which leads me to…
Eating too fast doesn’t support good digestion. You can help the food move along by chewing it thoroughly and slowing down your eating habits. Be mindful and enjoy the time you are spending eating your meals. Savour your food so you actually remember eating it!
The feeling of stress can also cause increased bloating. Stress-reducing techniques can help improve your digestion. Try meditating or deep breathing before you eat. And read more tips on “how to eat” here.
Peppermint oil has been shown to improve bloating. It’s thought to increase transit time by relaxing the stomach muscles and increasing the flow of bile. Try drinking peppermint tea to see if that helps reduce your symptoms. If that doesn’t work then diluted peppermint essential oil topically or supplements can help. Contact your healthcare provider or book a call with Bonnie here to discuss these options.
There are a bunch of natural ways to deal with bloating.
First, avoid it by not eating things that give you gas or aggravate a digestive issue. Try not to overeat, consume sugar alcohols, or swallow air. Also, eating mindfully and reducing stress can help too. Finally, if you are experiencing bloating, enjoy a cup of peppermint tea.
If you do all of these, and still experience bloating, then you may have a food intolerance. If you have a major concern, then please see your doctor to rule out a more serious condition. If you think that food intolerance is the issue, book a call with Bonnie here to discuss.