Bloating is the condition of your belly feeling swollen after eating . “Bloating ” is not the same as water retention , but the two terms are often used interchangeably. There is nothing fun about bloating ; many times , it comes with unbearable pain.
Below are a few ways to reduce or eliminate bloating
1. Avoid Foods Known to Cause Gas
One way to manage flatulence and belching is to eat fewer of the well-known gassy foods. Common culprits include: certain fruits, like apples and pears; specific vegetables, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and onions; whole grains like bran; and dairy products, including milk, cheese, and ice cream. These items contain fiber, sugars, and starches that don’t digest or absorb easily, eventually causing intestinal gas.
Foods containing sorbitol, a naturally occurring sugar found in fruit, are on some people’s gassy foods list. Other people are bothered by carbonated soft drinks and fruit drinks. If you discover that these foods are causing you excess gas, eliminate them from your diet or eat them in small portions. When it comes to foods to avoid, moderation is key, says Stephen Bickston, MD, professor of internal medicine and director of the inflammatory bowel disease program at the Center for Digestive Health at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.
Keep in mind that almost any food or combination of foods can cause gas. “Certain foods don’t get along well in certain people,” says Donald Novey, MD, an integrative medicine physician in Poulsbo, Washington. “Some people find they are gassy if they eat fruits with proteins, or if they eat starches and proteins together. It’s personal and requires a little experimentation to find out what the culprits are.” Dr. Novey suggests keeping a food diary and noting when you feel gassy. “If you find you’re gassy after eating a certain food, eliminate it from your diet and see if it helps,” he says.
Cooking may help break down some of the offending ingredients, Dr. Bickston says. “But the style of cooking can also decrease healthy chemicals found in vegetables. Boiling seems to break down chlorophyll and other desirable ingredients.” Look for recipes that call for steaming, as that seems to be a better cooking method for gassy foods.
2. Drink Before Meals
If you drink liquids with your meals, you lose stomach acids and can’t break down food as well, Novey says. Try drinking about 30 minutes before a meal to help your stomach digest better.
3. Eat and Drink Slowly
When you eat or drink fast, you can swallow a lot of air, which can cause gas, says Bickston. The simple solution? Slow down when you eat. If you have dentures, check with your dentist to be sure they fit properly so you’re not gasping air while eating.
4. Take Over-the-Counter Digestive Aids
Digestive enzymes are available as over-the-counter supplements. “I recommend going to the health food store and getting a digestive enzyme,” says Novey. “You can take one or two. You will know very rapidly — within a few weeks — if it makes a difference.” But antacids won’t do much for excessive gas, says Bickston.
Another over-the-counter digestive aid, Beano, contains an enzyme that breaks down the complex carbohydrates in beans and many vegetables into more easily digestible sugars. Take two to three Beano tablets or one Beano Meltaway (a dissolving tablet) before each meal. Note that Beano won’t help if excessive gas is caused by fiber or lactose.
5. Try Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal may help reduce and treat excess gas and bloating. Unlike the charcoal you find in your grill or fireplace, activated charcoal undergoes a special treatment that makes it safe for human consumption. Once you take activated charcoal (via liquid or pill), it attaches to fluid in your gut, potentially reducing gas and bloating and creating firmer stools.
6. Don’t Fill Up on Air
Habits like smoking, chewing gum, and drinking through a straw may cause your stomach to fill with air, leading to gas.
7. Avoid Artificial Sweeteners
Sorbitol and related sugar alcohols used in many sugar-free versions of foods can also aggravate gas. “Sorbitol is often the first ingredient in any brand of sugar-free gum I’ve found at local grocery stores,” says Bickston. “One to two sticks is akin to eating a prune.” But the sugar substitutes that are found at a typical coffee stand or in popular soft drinks are not the kind that cause gas. The various packet sweeteners — yellow (sucralose), pink (saccharine), and blue (aspartame) — are not associated with gas or laxative effects.
Please read and share your thoughts..