Bloating is a symptom that affects people everywhere. If you’re eating healthy and taking care of your body, you may be wondering why bloating is still a common occurrence. No matter your lifestyle, experiencing the negative side effects of bloating and gas can be frustrating and painful. To get rid of your discomfort and pain, read on and learn about the causes of bloating and how to prevent it.
Causes of Bloating
Bloating and gas are generally caused when there are problems in your digestive tract. Undigested food, concentrated sugars, or miscommunication with the brain can all lead the digestive system and the bacteria within it to react negatively.
Alcohol causes bloating and gas for two reasons. The first is that many types of alcohol, such as beer, have a lot of carbohydrate calories. Essentially, consuming too many drinks is equivalent to having a large liquid meal.
The second reason alcohol causes bloating is due to the damage that occurs in the lining of the stomach. Because of the alcohol content, there can be a breakdown in the protective lining of the stomach, leading to inflammation. Beyond tummy inflammation and gas, this breakdown can also lead to heartburn, stomach pain, and ulcers.
Many alcoholic beverages are also mixed with sodas and seltzers, which can cause air to get trapped in your stomach, making you gassy.
High sodium is known to trigger water retention in the body, causing your stomach to swell. Most people consume much more sodium than the recommended amount due to fast food, frozen food, and processed meals. The sodium inherent in store and restaurant bought sustenance can add up to over 3,500 mg of sodium each day, more than twice the recommended amount. In addition, excess sodium can also raise your blood pressure, increase the risk of hypertension, and cause diabetes.
Artificial sweeteners are among the worst culprits of bloating. Not only do they cause water retention and a breakdown in the protective lining of the stomach and intestines, but they also feed the candida bacteria living in your digestive tract.
Fructose and other natural and artificial sugars are difficult for many people to digest. Their stomach and intestines struggle with sorbitol and xylitol, which eventually end their journey in the large intestine. There, these sugars sit and ferment until they are finally broken down by the beneficial bacteria in that area. Until they break down though, the fermentation process causes a lot of bloating and gas pain.
Remedies for Bloating
Sometimes, to treat bloating, you’ll need to visit a doctor to determine how seriously excess gas affects you. If it is just a mild experience—though a frustrating daily occurrence—you can start a bloating prevention regimen.
Water accomplishes two things as it fights bloating. First, it helps to flush out the excess sodium, toxins, and sugars, so your digestive tract has less to handle. Second, it makes transporting food through your intestines easier.
As your digestive system functions, it contracts to create pressure that pushes food through your intestines. To aid the contracting muscles and move food smoothly through the digestive system, water and other body fluids lubricate the pathways. Foods like watermelon, cucumber, and carrots contain a lot of water that will help with digestion.
Fiber, potassium, magnesium, and omega-3 all play a vital role in digestion. These nutrients prevent water retention, contain antioxidant flavonoids that are effective against inflammation, and relieve or prevent constipation. Foods like papaya, bananas, fish, and avocados are some of the best when it comes to relieving bloating.
Once you’ve implemented these tips and incorporated them into your life, you’ll be able to protect your stomach and your waistline from bloating and gas. Try these techniques today and experience less bloating, gas, and constipation.