Why do we experience bloating?

The Bridge Chronicle explores the reasons for bloating
Understanding bloating and ways to fix it
Understanding bloating and ways to fix itImage: The Bridge Chronicle

Have you ever experience feeling heavy for no particular reason? Feeling extremely full, even when you haven't eaten for a long time. Or a general sense of fullness or feeling of being stuffed. Most of us, are familiar with this feeling. Bloating as it is commonly known, is often followed by an irritated bowel, and burps. It also makes a person extremely uncomfortable.

But what should you do when you feel bloated?

Before we understand the remedies to bloating, it is important to understand the causes.

Abdominal bloating happens when the gastrointestinal tract (GI) is filled with gas or air. Bloating can be described as a feeling of being swollen, full or tightened around the abdomen. It is mostly accompanied by pain, flatulence, burping and rumbling of the stomach. Bloating may often make it difficult to breathe or even comfortable to sit and function in general.

Reason for bloating

Bloating, or the feeling of stuffiness is mainly caused by undigested food in the GI tract. This is normal for everyone as we all experience it once in a while. Bloating can also be caused by if you eat or drink fast, chew gum, smoke and if your dentures are loose as in all these cases you inhale extra air.

How does the body ease bloating

Burping and flatulence are how the extra air leaves the body. But sometimes, as this does not happen, the body feels bloated.

Ways to ease bloating
Ways to ease bloating

How can we avoid bloating?

Bloating happens for various reasons, and though we cannot completely reduce the chances of bloating, we can avoid the same. One of the main things that can help avoid bloating is weight reductions. Habits such as chewing gum, drinking carbonated drinks should also be avoided. Additionally, avoid foods such as foods like cabbage, artichokes, legumes as they cause gas. Also, if you are lactose intolerant, choose dairy-free products.

The key to avoiding bloating is eating right. Practice eating slowly. And avoid drinking through a straw, as it causes air to get sucked in.

Eat probiotic-rich foods that will build up gut-friendly bacteria. Also check for intolerance of egg, wheat or other ingredients in food.

Health issues caused by bloating

Apart from the general discomfort caused by bloating, one could experience pain and stiffness. But most of the times, bloating is eased within the same day or two. It can also cause a loss of appetite. But all of this passes when the issue of bloating is resolved.

But if bloating appears with symptoms such as diarrhoea, vomiting, weight loss. Additionally, with fever, loss of appetite, blood stools, it is important to seek help.

Home remedies to fix bloating

1. Fennel seeds: Fennel seeds are often served after meals in old restaurants. The reason behind doing so is, these seeds are known for containing compounds called estragole, anethole and fenchone. These compounds have the properties of relieving stomach spasm and reducing abdominal pain and bloating. Consuming fennel seeds when bloated can help ease the spasms in the stomach, and ease the pain. Add coarsely crush seeds to a cup of warm water and consume as tea.

2. Ginger and lemon concentrate: Though ginger is present in most foods that we consume, it is often overcooked and lose its quality of aiding digestion. However, consuming ginger with lemon juice can help aid digestion, which can further help ease the sensation of bloating.

3.Banana: Banana are known to be easy on the stomach, and a rich source of carbohydrates, fibre and potassium. The potassium in bananas can help with easing bloating caused by excessive sodium in food. The fibres in bananas also help in regularising bowel movements.

4. Coconut oil: Though previously coconut oil was considered to be harmful to health, it is now considered to be a superfood. Apart from being a nutritive supplement, coconut oil helps in preventing memory loss and improves nerve health. It also has anti-inflammatory benefits, that help in curing bloating. Adding coconut oil to your diet can help ease bloating by promoting movement in the stomach.

5. Yoghurt: Yoghurt is the kitchen superhero that has many health benefits. Especially in summers, yoghurts help in easing the heat and leaving the body with a cool feeling. It is also an excellent probiotic that aids digestion and controls the levels of acidity in the stomach.

Bloating due to excessive water intake

Summers are the time when our body demands excessive water. During the season, food intake reduces considerably because of the increased heat outside. So instead of eating, our body prefers to consume liquids that are easy to digest and lighter on the stomach. But often, an increase in liquid intake causes bloating. This happens because we drink more liquid than our body can handle.

Our kidneys are only capable of handling a certain amount of liquid. So when the limit is attained, the body is essentially waterlogged. To reduce this, it is important to not drink water.

Additionally, exercising is an excellent way to reduce the water logged in your body. Some yoga poses, such as the cobra pose are effective in easing the bloating sensation.

Bloating is an inevitable part of our lives and learning to deal with it can help us ease the feeling. Also eating the right kind of food, in the right manner can go a long way in preventing bloating. Another key to staying healthy is not overdoing it.

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