One of the most common questions about bloating and whether this bloating is part of the normal
digestive process. There are factors that can increase this feeling. There are cases where bloating may not be normal, but let’s see what bloating is and why it occurs.
This information is important for us to learn about ourselves, why this “uncomfortable situation” occurs, how to reduce bloating where possible, and how digestion works.
What is bloating?
Depending on individual, the swelling may vary. In general, bloating involves the area of the stomach and the sensation it commonly has is flatulence, a stomach “full, heavy, tight”, full of gas and physically bloated, where many uncomfortable comments can be made around it. Many people who experience this uncomfortable condition are worrying about what causes bloating more than feeling bloated.
Many women come to me and complain that they are “bloated” when in fact it is not bloating but it is a change in body composition that they cannot get used to. It could of course include water retention during menstruation or a belly fat, weight gain or even eating a lot of salty foods.
What causes bloating?
It’s not just you! Did you know that according to the NHS (National Health Service of England), people should be ventilated about 15-20 times a day? There are several causes for bloating. In the general sense or under “normal” conditions, bloating is often a temporary feeling of fullness, usually due to intestinal gas.
During digestion, the food that is broken down during chewing with the help of enzymes contained in saliva and then in stomach. The nutrients are digested by the small intestine and pass into the bloodstream. The unabsorbed food that remains in, is moving to the large intestine. Other nutrients and water are absorbed as well. The rest is stored in the rectum until it leaves the body through the movement of the intestine. Throughout this process in our body, minerals and trace elements contained in food produce gas, which extends along the entire length of the gastrointestinal tract.
This is one of the reasons why we feel flatulence. However, since some foods affect this condition, some hot drinks relieve the unpleasant sensation and help the bowel move.
Things that causes bloating and you may not know:
• Drinking carbonated beverages, such as sparkling
• Eating very fast
• The non-meticulous chewing of food
• The non-consumption of fiber
• Not consuming enough water
• Intense stress
• Eating large or oversized portions
• Taking medicines
• Eating large amounts of food before bed
Is the bloating normal?
Bloating can also be caused by health conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, food intolerance or
allergies, celiac disease, lactose intolerance, acid reflux syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome, certain
types of cancer, hernia, inflammatory bowel disease and many others.
Some questions that may make you wonder if you should visit your doctor or make an appointment
with a dietitian:
• Uncontrolled vomiting
• Uncontrolled diarrhea
• Constipation, no bowel movements for days
at a time
• Blood in the stool or vomit
• Nausea with every meal
• Painful bowel movements
• Flatulence with every meal you eat
Otherwise, if the bloating is temporary it relieves you of making such a decision. You may even ask why you have bloating after eating “healthy” foods. Well, that’s normal! Some whole foods are more likely to cause gas or bloating due to their starch, sugar or fiber content. Take a look at these common, healthy whole food choices that often cause gas and bloating.
Whole foods that cause bloating:
• Beans, legumes
• Cruciferous vegetables
• Raw cabbage
• Tea rich in fiber and flax seeds
• Fiber-rich foods in general (insoluble fiber can
relieve and soluble fiber may contribute to insulin-
• Foods rich in fat
• Sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners
If you need a little temporary relief to help bloating, here are some ideas: remove a cup of hot mint tea (if you have acid reflux, then choose ginger) that can help soothe digestion and release gas. Walk 5 or 10 minutes, lightly massage the bloated area, try to use the bath if you have to go, drink plenty of water, take 5 minutes of deep breathing to reduce stress and make sure that at your next meal, you are chewing the food properly!
Swelling after eating or bloating is part of normal digestion. Our bodies are changing from day to day
and sometimes they do something of their own, including bloating, and that’s okay! Check with yourself and ask yourself if what you are feeling or seems out of the ordinary or ask your dietitian or doctor if bloating is a daily challenge you are facing, if you do not find relief, if it is painful or affects your daily life.
Would you like to learn more about how a balanced diet plan can relieve you of frequent bloating? Book a free appointment with me and we will discuss everything in detail!