Do you ever feel like you are continually belching or even farting? Is it normal to feel bloated and full of gas? What can you do to prevent feeling like that? Here are a few ideas about why this happens and what you can do to feel better.
What Causes Bloating?
Several factors contribute to the feeling of being bloated, especially in women. These causes include:
- Hormones: especially during menopause and pregnancy, there might be an increase in bloating due to hormonal changes
- Diet: certain foods are going to cause gas in anyone. Foods like beans, onions, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, brussels sprouts, most legumes (beans), apples, oranges, peaches, plums, pears, mangoes, watermelon, and most dried fruits like apricots or prunes.
- Food Intolerances: Many foods cause allergic responses or intolerances in people who might not even realize that they are sensitive to those foods. Up to 20% of all people may be suffering from food intolerances. The most common foods that people are intolerant to include dairy products (lactose intolerance), gluten (can be an intolerance or a more severe allergy), caffeine, salicylates (aspirin or other medicines containing salicylates), “amines,” including histamine (found in aged, fermented, and other foods such as cheeses, alcohol or beers, cured meats, vinegar, and some other foods)
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Celiac Disease, Diabetes, Chrone’s Disease, Lactose Intolerance, and Ulcerative Colitis
- Drinking too many carbonated beverages, including beer.
- Foods containing Sorbitol or Fructose
What Can I Do About It?
By watching your intake of things that cause bloating and gas, you can conquer this potentially embarrassing problem! It’s easy to learn how to get rid of bloating with a little education.
- If you think you might have food allergies, ask your doctor about having testing done to determine what those allergies are. Make a note of foods you might be sensitive to after eating or drinking them. The most common food intolerances are dairy (lactose) and wheat (gluten).
- Take over the counter remedies, such as pills made for lactose intolerance and simethicone – a medication that helps break down gas in the stomach and colon if you are bloated.
- Chew each bite of your food thoroughly, avoid talking while eating, wolfing down meals, and talking while eating cause flatulence and bloating later.
- Stop drinking fizzy drinks like carbonated sodas and beer.
- Stop drinking through a straw.
- Stop chewing gum
Choose Foods That Are Easy To Digest
By choosing a diet that contains lots of foods that are not usually known to cause bloating or gas, you will be far less likely to have a problem with bloating. What foods are known to be easier on the gut, as far as this goes? Try a few of these items:
- Lean protein, like meat, poultry, or fish
- Vegetables such as tomatoes, lettuce, zucchini, and okra
- Fruits such as cherries, berries, cantaloupes, and grapes
- Avocados and olives
- Gluten-free grains, such as rice and gluten-free bread
Passing gas is perfectly normal and healthy, but if you are embarrassed by excessive bloating, belching, and farting, it’s something that you can control with a little bit of investigation of the cause and by nipping the cause of your excess gas in the bud. Carrying products like “Beano” that you can take as you are eating the gas-causing foods will cut back on excessive bloating later on in the day.