Belly bloating is uncomfortable and can be quite stressful. You’re not just left feeling fat, but you can struggle to fit into clothes, and you may even see some weight gain on the scales. You just feel so sluggish and want to curl up until it goes away.
Some women suffer from it just during their time of the month, but you may have it after every meal. In some cases, it can appear for what seems like no reason, and you’re left wondering what you can do to get rid of it.
The good news is you don’t just have to wait for your body to behave. You’re not a slave to your hormones or your bodily functions. It is possible to reduce bloating, and you can do it quickly.
Just Know You’re Not Alone
Before we get into the tips to stop bloating, it’s worth finding out more about it. Just how does it occur and what is causing it on a daily basis?
The first thing to know is that you’re not alone. We all suffer from bloating now and then. It affects 10-30% of women on a regular basis, and in some cases daily.
It’s embarrassing and sometimes painful. You have to deal with the build-up of gas in your stomach, and that gas needs to escape somehow. Just how often does it escape at the wrong time in the wrong place?
How does stomach bloating occur? The most common reason is due to the amount of carbs that you eat. More importantly, it’s from eating the wrong type of carbs. Not all of them can be broken down in the body, so the small digestive tract ends up with gas structures forming instead. You may end up keeping the gas there until you burp or pump its way out of your body.
The gas can also come from some high fibre foods you eat. The problem is the fibre is also needed by the body to keep the digestive tract working. You’re in a catch-22 situation, and that can lead to some serious frustration. It’s no wonder you want to find ways to get rid of the bloating.
Some of the most common fibre foods that cause stomach discomforts like this include beans, grains and vegetables! You can also get it from some fibre supplements or gassy drinks, like carbonated drinks.
But the food you eat isn’t the only reason you can suffer from gas and bloat.
This is one of the most common reasons. It seems silly at first but thinks about babies and the wind. They get it because they take in air from their bottles. And they need help to get that air back up.
Adults can do the same. We often eat or drink far too quickly, and we end up swallowing the air that we’re trying to breathe in. This doesn’t just quickly pass through the system. It can get caught and cause bubbles. These need to get out of the system somehow, but before they do they can lead to swelling and the need to burp.
You may not even swallow the air while you’re eating! Some people do it when they chew gum and others do it due to their anxious disposition. You may even find that you swallow air because you drink through straws rather than taking full mouthfuls!
The number of food intolerances people suffer from is growing. In fact, more people now have some intolerance to food than centuries ago. There’s no real known reason for this, but let’s not focus on that. This is all about the bloating that you get because of your intolerance.
If the body can’t handle a type of food you’ve eaten, it will turn it into something that it can get rid of. It will also inflame as a reaction while the body tackles the problem. This is very common in those who have dairy or gluten intolerances.
You may be able to have small amounts, but larger amounts lead to gassiness and swelling. You may even be left with other digestive problems, like upset stomachs and diarrhoea.
Surprisingly, sweeteners can also cause the problem of gas due to intolerance. This can be much harder to diagnose because you need to go through all the food you eat to find it. Sweetener can often be hidden within the ingredient list, and you may not even consider food a bad for your digestive system.
One of the only ways to get rid of this problem is not to eat the food that causes the problem. It’s not going to be a quick way to reduce the current bloating you have, but it can help to reduce bloating in the future.
If you have constipation, your stomach is likely to swell. You may also find that you have severe stomach cramps, as your body tries to get rid of the stools in your system. You’ll find it hard to pass any gas, which often means that your swelling and bloating sticks around for longer.
It’s difficult to get rid of constipation at times. You may need to take laxatives, which can lead to more bloating as the digestive tract takes the medication. You could also need to eat more fibre to get the digestive system working again, which again may lead to more bloating!
However, you can at least get your bowels working properly again and stop constipation causing an issue.
A Health Condition
Some of us have health conditions that lead to bloating and gas. These can be undiagnosed for years, and some of them don’t even have a cure. In fact, doctors are still unsure why some conditions occur and don’t have the answers of how to even relieve your symptoms. There are still experts researching every little bit they can to help ease symptoms and stop flare-ups.
One of the most common problems that cause bloating is Crohn’s disease. This is also known as ulcerative colitis, and one of the main symptoms is painful stomachs during flare-ups. You won’t always have it, but you will suffer from sudden and unexpected swelling and pain now and then.
Diabetes can be another medical condition that leads to swelling and gassiness. Patients have unexpected flare-ups now and then and want to know how to ease the problem as quickly as possible.
That Time Of Month
It could be a hormonal response. If it’s that time of the month or just before it, you may find that your body is getting ready for it. The body around that area starts to inflame, and you may find that your digestive system just doesn’t seem to work properly.
This often comes along with some pain and cramping. It’s completely normal, but that doesn’t mean it’s comfortable.
Your body will often retain water around this time of the month. This leads to that puffiness. The best thing to do is let your body get rid of it alone because it definitely will do within a day or so!
So, now you know what causes your bloating, it’s time to find ways to cure it. We have a list of natural and medical ways to overcome your bloating.
Your Step by Step Guide to Getting Rid of Bloating
Step 1: Drink Something!
Sometimes just having a glass of water or two will be enough to help cleanse your system. You can flush out the gas. There are two ways that it can come, but when you drink water, you stand a chance of flushing it downwards and through your digestive tract. This can help to remove all of the gas separately.
Water will also help to stop the fluid retention you feel during that time of the month. You should aim for at least 8 glasses a day. More could help you get your body back in shape. You remove the toxins and help your kidneys flush them out.
There are also some teas and juices that you could opt for. We’ll move onto this when discussing the home remedies.
Step 2: Improve Your Digestive System
The next step is to focus on the food that you eat. Stop eating the foods that cause your bloating and focus on a healthy and—more importantly—balanced diet.
So the fibre in the vegetables is causing a problem…it’s time to cut down on them and start eating other foods more. So the pasta is causing stomach swelling. It’s time to cut it out and switch for foods that don’t make you uncomfortable.
The simple question you need to answer is why you’re doing it to yourself? You know that the bloating is caused by a specific food. It’s really time that you put your health first more than the taste you get when eating the food. Just because pasta is easy to make doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy for your body to take!
You will still need fibre, though. If you think constipation is causing your bloating, it’s time to help your bowels. Eat more vegetables and drink plenty of water. Soften those stool to help them pass through your system.
If you need to, then take some laxatives to help you this time. From now on, focus on drinking and eating more of the right things to avoid constipation happening again.
It’s also worth avoiding food that has a lot of sodium. This type of food will lead to dehydration, and the body will start to hold onto as much water as possible. Your body may also react to inflammation and pain.
If you believe you’re taking in air, look for how that could happen. Stop drinking through straws and avoid chewing gum, for example.
Step 3: Get A Diagnosis
If you think your bloating could be caused by a health condition, you’ll need to see a doctor. This will help you get a confirmation of your problem, even if it means getting confirmation that you have a food intolerance.
The benefit of this is that you can get medication that may be able to help. The medication will be strong enough to aid your digestive system and get your bowels working again.
If you regularly get constipated, and vegetables and water don’t help, you can also see a doctor to get medication for that.
Step 4: Look Out For Over The Counter Medication
You’ll always want to find out more about the over the counter medications available. These tend to be cheaper, and you’ll be able to try different ones to find the ones that work for you.
The benefit is you’ll have the chance to read all the ingredients. You can check side effects before you get them, so you’re not disappointed to find out you can’t take them in the end.
You also have herbal stores available for over the counter products. Look out for those that have natural fibre sources for constipation or those that offer alternatives for some of your favourite foods so you can avoid intolerance or allergy problems.
Step 5: Try Home Remedies
While over the counter medications can be good for your bloating, they may not be the best for your overall health. There’s the problem of not knowing all the chemicals used in the medication. How do you know what it’s doing to your heart, your brain, and other organs?
Home remedies are natural, and they are so much cheaper. You can use ingredients that you likely already have in the cupboards. If you need to buy something, it’s not going to be as expensive as medications and trips to the doctor.
Some home remedies have helped women deal with that time of the month, bloating from constipation and even the pain felt due to Crohn’s disease and other medical conditions.
Here are just a few home remedies to try before you start buying any medication.
Home Remedies for Bloating
Start Eating Fruit With Skin
Your body still needs fibre, even if this can be the reason for some bloating. You need around 25g of fibre a day for a healthy gut.
There’s no need to opt for vegetables to get this fibre. Start eating more fruit. Yes, there is a bit more natural sugar to fruit, but it isn’t going to be as high as sweets and chocolate. In fact, fruit is also packed with vitamins and minerals that your body desperately needs.
Opt for fruit with the skin left on. Stop peeling your apples and don’t remove the skin from the grapes. Not only is removing skin more time to consume, but it takes a lot of the fibre goodness out of the fruit.
It’s also worth avoiding juicing too much. Removing the pulp from the fruit means you remove the fibre. You’re just drinking the sugar! When you blend up the fruit you still keep the fibre, so having green smoothies could be a great way to help reduce bloating and feel good about your diet.
Eat More Potassium
Look for food that has more potassium in it. Bananas, mangos, spinach, and tomatoes are great examples of high potassium foods.
The benefit of potassium is that it flushes out any excess fluid in your body. That water you’re retaining just because it’s that time of the month will disappear rather quickly. You’ll get rid of that fat feeling.
Potassium is just good for removing any excess liquid for any reason. It’s time to look out for foods that have more of this mineral for when you need to reduce bloating quickly.
Get More Water In Your Diet
Water in your diet is a great way to reduce that bloated feeling. You’ll feel satisfied but not overfull after a meal.
You don’t just have to do this by drinking more glasses of water. Look out for foods that are full of liquid and water. This can include celery, watermelon, citrus fruits, and much more.
These watery foods are also good for cleansing the whole system. You’ll remove toxins and help your kidneys work better. At the same time, they have fewer calories, so you’re not going to gain as much weight while enjoying them.
Bloating can lead to a feeling of fatigue. By getting more watery foods, you’ll improve blood flow and feel like you have much more energy to get through a day.
Drink More Tea
This isn’t the black tea variety! You want to get more herbal tea into your system. There are two main types that are worth trying: peppermint or ginger tea.
Peppermint is highly effective against gas problems. It can also help to soothe stomach upsets and help to fight off headaches and other ill feelings. If you’re suffering from Crohn’s disease, it may be able to help settle the discomfort that you feel for seemingly no reason.
You see, peppermint has an antispasmodic property in it. The muscles will be relaxed. It’s the muscles tensing that cause the pain, and of course, you can’t work on relaxing them when you are in pain. This is why many people find that pain disappears after sleeping because they give their muscles a chance to relax and stop their spasms.
Ginger has also been linked to helping to soothe bloating and gas problems. It’s also great for those who feel queasy, which can lead to some inflammation. Another benefit of ginger is some of the antioxidants, which help to soothe the digestive tract and flush out some of the toxins that cause inflammation and bloating.
The ingredient can help to dislodge some of the gassy structures in the digestive tract, so you’re left with a free-flowing system.
Both of these treatments are great for those who are pregnant or suffer from other ailments.
You can get peppermint tea bags from most grocery stores now. They are great for quick and affordable fixes. Allow the water to seep all the peppermint, which can take around 15 minutes. Don’t add anything to it, especially sweetener.
For ginger, you can use some hot water and grate fresh gingerroot into the water. This can be strong to taste, so try some honey and lemon in the mix to take the bite off it. Add the ginger just after the water has boiled and given it about 10 minutes to seep really into the water. You can drink this just before or after food to help prevent bloating from occurring.
Drink Lemon Water
One of the most beneficial drinks you could have on a daily basis is lemon water. It’s simple to make: you just have to add slices of lemon to a jug of water and use it throughout the day.
Lemon is cleansing and will help to get rid of the toxins in the body. It is also full of vitamins and minerals that will boost the immune system and reduce inflammation in the body. Of course, you’re adding all this with water, which naturally helps to flush out the gas and molecules in the digestive tract to help soothe the bloating and pain in your body.
The good news is you don’t need to buy fresh lemons for this to work. If you have lemon juice in the house, add a few tablespoons of that to your water and you’ll get the same benefits.
Slow Down Your Eating
Finally, make it a habit of sitting down and eating slowly. Those who eat quickly are likely to swallow a lot of air. It’s time to enjoy your meals.
If you eat quickly, you’re also more likely to overeat. You don’t give your body a chance to tell your brain that you’re full. This leads to that stuffed and bloated feeling that leaves you feeling sluggish and fed up with yourself. You also run the risk of gaining weight because you’re eating far more than your body needs.
Those who eat on the go need to limit this as much as possible. By eating as you walk, you’ll look for motion-friendly meals and drinks. This means you’re more likely to drink from straws and possibly chew with your mouth open to get as much food in as possible.
Drink straight from a cup. Sit down and talk to someone while you eat. Be conscious of listening while you chew and swallow, so you don’t intake any extra air. You’ll also slow down what you have, so you only eat as much as your body needs.
It’s time to reduce the bloating occurring and take care of it when it does happen. It is possible through home remedies and following the above step by step guide.