On days or nights when you just can’t get gas out of your system, here are nine ways to keep bloating symptoms at bay.
In this article:
Common Bloat Symptoms and Effective Ways to Prevent Them
What Is Bloating?
Abdominal bloating is when the gastrointestinal tract (GI) gets filled with air or gas. This occurs when the body produces too much gas or swallows too much air.
While a distended belly or bloated stomach pain won’t lead to fatal complications, it can make one experience the following signs and symptoms:
- Abdominal pain
- Appetite loss
- Excessive burping
- Chest tightness
- Rapid shallow breathing
9 Ways to Prevent Bloat Symptoms and Get Rid of a Distended Stomach
1. Portion Food Consumption
Perhaps the simplest way to prevent your stomach from bloating is to portion the amount of food you eat. Experiment with diet plans to see what best suits you and to check how much food you can handle.
For example, some are more comfortable eating small, frequent meals. Meanwhile, others prefer to consume one big meal and then fast for the remainder of the day.
2. Chew Slowly
Chewing fast forces the body to swallow air and eat more food, both of which can give you a bloated stomach.
To reduce the risk of painful bloating, try chewing each mouthful of food at least 25-30 times before swallowing. If you’re eating hard foods, such as beef, pork, or nuts, ramp it up to 30-40 chews per mouthful.
3. Stop Chewing Gum
You might not notice it, but you swallow air when you chew gum. Munching on something for a very long time allows air to enter the GI tract.
Also, the artificial sweeteners in most commercial gums can give you gas.
4. Drink Less Soda
Soda contains high levels of carbon dioxide. Just two to three full glasses of soda can already fill your GI with this gas and make you feel bloated.
If you don’t handle bloating well, it’s best to stay away from fizzy, carbonated drinks. Stick to water and natural fruit juices.
5. Regulate Your Fiber Consumption
Fiber is an important carbohydrate in plant-based foods. It offers benefits, such as regulating blood sugar levels, easing constipation, and eliminating excess waste and toxins.
While including fiber in your diet plan is important, you shouldn’t do so haphazardly because eating too much also has side effects. Keep in mind that the body cannot digest fiber and that this carbohydrate may give you gas.
What you can do is to test how much fiber you can handle in one day. Modify your diet accordingly by experimenting with these high-fiber foods:
- Brussels sprouts
- Whole-grain oats
Note: If you’re not comfortable experimenting with high-fiber foods, opt to consult with a medical professional.
RELATED: Get A Good Gut Feeling
6. Beware of Allergies and Food Intolerances
Food allergies and intolerances commonly stimulate excess gas production, so make sure you stay away from them as much as possible.
To find out what foods work best for you, do trial and error and allergy testing.
Some common food allergies and intolerances are:
- Eggs: Patients allergic to eggs may experience digestive issues, such as nausea, vomiting, gas, and bloating upon consuming eggs. Watch out for other symptoms like nasal congestion, wheezing, and skin inflammation.
- Fructose: Fructose intolerance causes irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and bloating. If you cannot consume fructose, avoid candies, sodas, canned fruits, and juice drinks. These are very high in natural fructose and fructose syrup.
- Lactose: Lactose is the primary carbohydrate found in food products, such as milk, cheese, breakfast cereal, and bread, among others. Lactose intolerance can cause several of issues with your digestion, including bloating.
- Gluten: Gluten is a type of protein found in barley, wheat, and other grains. Intolerance can cause digestive complications, such as bloating and gas accumulation.
7. Relax and Avoid Stressful Situations
The digestive system temporarily shuts down when one is stressed so the body can focus all its energy toward averting the crisis at hand.
Stress may lead to issues, such as abdominal pain, cramps, and even gastric torsion. In worse cases, patients may confuse gastrointestinal pain for heart complications, especially if they’re under severe stress.
Try practicing breathing techniques to help you stay calm in stressful situations:
- Count Breathing: Count breathing is ideal for beginners who have trouble focusing and meditating. The goal is to count all your breaths without getting distracted. Do so until you calm down. If your mind starts wandering, start back from the first count.
- Zen Breathing: The goal here is to focus all your energy and attention on one of the three zen points that activate when breathing: your nostrils, chest, or belly.
- Tension Release: Lie down with your arms extended to the sides and palms facing the ceiling. Scan your entire body for any pains or aches, focus your energy on that spot, and then take a deep breath. This is a modified version of zen breathing.
8. Drink Peppermint Oil Tea
Recent studies suggest that peppermint oil can help relieve IBS symptoms, such as bloating, abdominal pain, and cramps. What you can do is to mix the peppermint oil in some warm water and then sip on it whenever you feel tight or constipated.
9. Consult with a Medical Professional
If pains persist and you’re having trouble with the treatment of bloat symptoms on your own, opt to consult with a reliable medical professional. He/She can examine your medical history, physical condition, and even bowel movements to find the correct treatment procedure.
Bloating or the accumulation of gas in your gastrointestinal tract can cause abdominal pain, chest tightness, and breathing difficulties, among others. Doing the above lifestyle and diet changes may help ease the discomfort.
Still, it’s best to see a specialist to treat or prevent bloat symptoms from reoccurring.
To know more about digestive wellness, check out Total Gut Balance by Dr. Ghannoum.
How do you cope with common bloat symptoms? Share your own remedies and treatments with us in the comments section below!