Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint what’s causing that awful bloated feeling. Did you eat too much? Is it excess gas? Are you retaining water? If you’re a woman, is it because you are premenstrual? The good news is that there are some common steps you can take to address the problem of bloating, regardless of the specific cause. Each of the following recommendations will help your body to function the way that it’s supposed to function, and therefore keep you from blowing up like an oversized balloon. As you will see, some of the recommendations are quick and easy, while some of them will require a bit more effort. The bottom line is that by taking better care of yourself, you will help your body feel and look its best.
NOTE: There are many medical conditions that can cause a person to feel bloated. If you’re experiencing ongoing or persistent symptoms of bloating, it’s essential that you see your physician for a full diagnostic work-up.
2 Don’t Chew Gum
1. Intestinal gas can be produced by bacteria interacting with certain foods. Those bacteria seem to love artificial sweeteners that end in -ol (such as sorbitol)—sweeteners that are found in many sugar-free chewing gums.
2. Intestinal gas can also come from swallowed air, and air gets swallowed when we chew gum.
So err on the side of caution and stop chewing gum.
3 Eat Smaller Meals
6 Rule Out Food Allergies or Sensitivities
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Could the cause of your bloating be a specific class of food? Many people today are talking about gluten sensitivities and lactose intolerance problems, but it’s essential to identify such a problem in a scientific way, rather than randomly ruling out a class of foods and possibly setting yourself up for nutritional deficiencies. First, you need to speak with your doctor, who may recommend diagnostic tests. He or she may also recommend the use of an elimination diet, followed by a challenge phase in which you slowly reintroduce the food back into your diet.
7 Try a Probiotic
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If you feel that your bloating appears to be food- and gas-related, talk to your doctor about trying a probiotic. Many people have heard of probiotics only through commercials for yogurts that contain added probiotics. These “friendly” bacteria appear to work by optimizing the bacterial balance within the digestive tract, thus reducing symptoms of gas and bloating. Although research support for their effectiveness has been mixed, in part due to the fact that there are a wide variety of strains, side effects appear to be minimal or non-existent. Yogurt may not be the best option due to all of the added sugar, but you can get your probiotics in through the use of a supplement or by eating fermented foods.
8 Move Your Body
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Our bodies evolved based on an active lifestyle, but nowadays most of us have very sedentary lifestyles. If you are feeling bloated, it means that your body is retaining something, e.g., retaining fluid or gas. Exercise is one of the ways that our body sheds things. Through the movement of exercise, fluid is flushed through our systems, and gas is encouraged to make its way through our digestive systems. So go for a walk, a jog, or whatever form of physical activity that you enjoy. If you are stuck at your desk working, you could walk to the water cooler or do some simple twists; the whole point is just to get things moving.
9 Drink Lots of Water
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