If you have a stomach anything like mine, you may have come to accept that feeling slightly uncomfortable is a normal part of your daily routine. Yes, our bodies should do their thing – but nobody wants to strut the streets holding a hard ball of concrete under their t-shirt. Unless that’s your thing.
Here’s the reasoning behind why our bodies react in such an inconvenient way, and what to do about it.
- What you eat
The number one reason behind bloating usually has to do with what food you’re eating. Behind every food item is a complex system, and once we get to the digestion process, things can go very wrong. FODMAPs (fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols) are types of sugars that escape the digestion process, and are used by the bacteria in your gut. For anyone with sensitivities in this area, it is usually recommended to avoid any foods high in fodmaps. Foods like wheat, dairy, legumes, fruit and cruciferous vegetables are just some examples.
- How you eat
Another issue many people forget to pay attention to is how they’re eating. More specifically, how much air is getting into their stomach in between bites. Activities like talking while eating, stress, chewing gum and even loose-fitting dentures can all contribute to increased air intake. To combat this, make sure to eat slowly in a state of relaxation. Also, consider visiting the dentist!
- Mental stressors
In addition to swallowing more air when we’re stressed, our mental health has a major impact on our digestive system. When we are mentally under pressure, our bodies react by stimulating a fight-or-fight response. As our sympathetic nervous system prepares for danger, it needs to sustain its energy, thus slowing or completely stopping digestion. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Relaxation therapy and hypnosis are just some treatments that can be taken to solve this issue.
- Food Intolerance and conditions
Lastly, if the above information comes as no shock to you, there may be a bigger issue at hand. People with Crohn’s disease, IBS/IBD, Coeliac, and other food intolerances may have bloating as one of their symptoms. If you’re unsure, it’s best to visit a doctor just in case.
Bloating be gone (hopefully).