Are you suffering with bloating?
Why do I get bloating after eating?
Bloating is often caused by an excessive build-up of intestinal gas which can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Bacteria in the digestive tract generates this gas from food which has not been properly digested or absorbed.
What causes bloating?
A build-up of gas in the stomach and intestines is primarily the most common cause of bloating. Bloating can be accompanied by either mild discomfort all the way to sharp bursts of intense pain. People who experience bloating report that they feel as though something is trapped inside their stomach. You may feel that your stomach appears puffy and stretched.
So what is responsible for bloating? Unfortunately there is no single answer; however, here are some of the most popular causes of bloating.
- Swallowing too much air this can happen by talking whilst eating, chewing with your mouth open and chewing gum.
IBS – while bloating is not suffered by all those with IBS, it is a very common symptom of the condition.
- PMS – some women find that PMS is accompanied by bloating, indigestion and constipation
Coeliac disease – excessive bloating might be a sign that the intestine is reacting to the gluten in your diet- meaning you could be suffering from coeliac disease.
- Food intolerance – if you regularly feel bloated and have been feeling so for a long period of time, this could mean that you have food intolerance. This can manifest itself in three ways: Firstly, too much gas may be produced in reaction to the food. Secondly as a result of food intolerance, your bowel may not empty properly and thirdly the food may cause the gas to be trapped.
While this is by no means an exhaustive list of reasons why you may be bloated, these common causes may give you some insight into what is causing you so much pain. If you are concerned about your bloating you should get checked out by your GP.
Typical bloating symptoms include:
- Stomach feeling tight, painful or distended after eating
- A feeling of uncomfortable ‘trapped wind’ in the stomach
- Gurgling sounds in the stomach
- May experience sharp abdominal pains
How can I relieve bloating fast?
Whether you’ve been bloated daily, or you’ve found your stomach swollen before a big event or night out, there are ways you can relieve a swollen stomach. It’s reassuring to know that there are measures you can take to tackle bloating. However, feeling like you’re a balloon who is about to pop can be uncomfortable and even distressing.
Here are 5 ways you could relieve your bloating:
- Swallowing too much air – chomping your food too fast or eating on the go may cause bloating. This is due to inhaling excess air, even chewing gum gives way to taking in more air than usual.
- Drinking too much soda or fizzy drinks – It comes as no surprise that all those bubbles in carbonated drinks may expand your stomach. It’s advised to opt for still water and aim to keep hydrated with 8 glasses a day.
- Regular exercise – regularly exercising and moving around in general also helps keep your digestive tract moving along. This may eliminate constipation and contribute to alleviating bloating.
- Improve your gut health – enhancing your gut health may also help ward off bloating. Popping a good probiotic could help keep your digestive tract moving and, in turn, alleviate constipation, abdominal pain and the dreaded bloat.
- Rule out food intolerance – on the lines of gut health, food intolerance can lead to bloating. Food intolerances can cause inflammation in the gut and gut symptoms.
If you find yourself experiencing bloating on a regular basis, you should visit your GP to rule out any underlying medical conditions. Thereafter, it might be a worthwhile opportunity to take a closer look at your diet if you continue to experience recurring or prolonged bloating.
What foods cause bloating?
It is reported that there are some foods which are known to produce more gas than others. Foods that can cause bloating are:
It is important to note that as individuals our reactions to foods and drinks we consume varies a great deal. An ingredient which may cause problems for one person could be completely acceptable for another. At YorkTest, we like to refer to this as our personal ‘food fingerprint’.
Did you know that a food intolerance test† can help to eliminate the guesswork on finding what foods you are reacting to in your current diet? Our simple home test analyses your reactions to the foods outlined above, as well as 203 other food and drink ingredients, such as cow’s milk, gluten, cauliflower and apples.
What are FODMAPs foods?
The term FODMAP stands for “Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols” Certain foods are classed as FODMAPs meaning that they are poorly absorbed by the body, which may result in IBS-type symptoms such as abdominal pain and bloating.
High FODMAP foods, such as onion and garlic, are common foods which the gut finds difficult to digest. Discovering and, most importantly, understanding your own personal thresholds of a certain ingredient may ensure you make the best dietary choices in order to optimise your diet, take control of your bloating and quality of life.
Here are some examples of high FODMAP foods:
2) Brussel sprouts
3) Foods high in Fructose (fruit sugar) such as apples and corn syrup containing food.
4) Foods based on Lactose (milk sugar)
5) Foods high in Fructans which are found in numerous vegetables and also wheat
6) Foods that contain sugar alcohols- this includes artificial sweeteners and some fruits
7) Foods based on Galactans- Legumes such as beans and peas.
– Salt and sodium rich foods are well known contributors to bloating so try and avoid over-eating these foods.
– Increase the amount of potassium rich foods you eat. Common foods include sunflower seeds, almonds and mushrooms.
– Avoid carbonated drinks as they will only add to the gas in your digestive system.
– Start taking probiotics – these can help maintain digestive health and regular bowel movements by ensuring a healthy culture of bacteria is maintained in your gut.
– Eat food slower and in smaller portions – both of these will prevent you from bloating caused by over eating.
As we’ve mentioned, bloating can be a sign of a food intolerance and therefore finding out your trigger foods could be a great way to manage your bloating.
Can a food intolerance test help with bloating?
The market for food intolerance tests is heavily saturated due to an increased demand of interest in health and wellbeing. That’s why it’s important for you, the reader, to make sure you make well-informed choices when it comes to purchasing a food intolerance† test.
Here at YorkTest, we’ve been going for over 35 years and are the UK’s leading provider in food intolerance testing†. We also provide post-test support in the form of guidebooks and nutritional consultations with BANT* registered nutritional therapists to ensure you’re replacing your trigger foods with healthy and nutritious alternatives.
Our YorkTest survey and bloating
The University of York conducted a survey** to help understand the benefits of elimination diets based on the results of a food intolerance test†.
Out of 576 people who reported bloating as a primary symptom, 92% reported an improvement having removed their ‘trigger’ foods. We define these as foods which show a positive IgG reaction to antibodies in the blood.
Overall in the study, 76% of people who rigorously followed the recommended diet reported a benefit, 68% of which experienced this after 3 weeks.
Making health happen
“I can honestly say I feel pretty amazing now. I have cut out my reaction foods and limit my borderline foods as much as I can. I don’t get anywhere near as much wind and bloating. I can eat out and I feel happier in my mood”
“Words cannot describe how good I feel – my life, skin and tummy are better than ever”
“I bloat much less, and I don’t experience the same stomach cramps, provided I steer clear of my trigger foods”
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