Bloating can be more than annoying — it can be painful and sometimes even coupled with uncomfortable digestive issues. While there are things you can do to prevent bloating, the tips can feel a little aimless if you don't know why you're bloating. Let's take a beat to assess the causes and culprits of bloating so you can create a better debloating approach.
Did you eat any of these foods?
These foods are inflammatory for many people and can cause gas and irritation leading to bloating and distention.
- Dairy: If you're lactose sensitive or intolerant, this one is a no-brainer. Cut it out and see how you feel.
- Beans: High FODMAP food = higher chance of gas.
- Cruciferous veggies: Who knew that healthy veggies like cauliflower and brussels sprouts — even kale! — are hard for your body to digest? They can create gas and uncomfortable bloat.
- Apples and pears: The higher the fiber, the more likely you'll be gassy and bloated. Unfortunately, these are more healthy foods that can contribute to distention.
- Gluten: You may not know you're gluten sensitive or intolerant until you've had one too many stomachaches. If you suspect something is amiss with your digestion thanks to wheat, it's time to visit the doctor.
- Soy: Yet another irritant, some people are more sensitive to soy foods and products than others, and it can agitate your GI tract.
Did you drink any of these beverages?
Keep an eye on your intake of carbonated drinks. Champagne, LaCroix, sparkling water, soda, and even kombucha can all contribute to excess gas trapped in your belly.
Do you chew gum?
Another thing that traps air is gum chewing. You end up swallowing a lot more air than you'd imagine, leading to a distended abdomen.
Do you have a big sweet tooth?
As it turns out, sugar really DOES cause a lot of problems, and one of those is bloating. Sugar can feed the bad bacteria in your microbiome (your gut), which in turn release gasses in your digestive tract. Fun times.
Are you stressed?
Believe it or not, it's not just food and drink that can cause bloating. Your emotions can trigger a physiological response in your body, causing anything from harmless bloating to serious digestive distress. There are a number of ways to treat it, but step one would be to visit your doctor.
Have you been taking antibiotics?
While effective in treating illnesses, antibiotics can wipe out both the bad and the good bacteria. This wipes out your gut flora and can create an imbalance in your body, manifesting in different ways (bloating obviously included). The good news is that the solution is simple: take some probiotics! Replenish the good bacteria with a supplement or by eating fermented, probiotic-rich foods.
Are you on your period?
This may seem like common knowledge, but perhaps you've been relatively asymptomatic this month. One of the oh-so-pleasant side effects of your cycle is — you guessed it — bloating.
Have you been dealing with other digestive issues?
Take some time to evaluate and assess your other symptoms. If bloating is more than a frequent nuisance for you, it's time to get into your GI doctor for a look at the bigger picture.