10 Reasons Why Your Belly Bloats

charles-deluvio-733215-unsplash.jpg

Photo © Charles Deluvio

Everyone has been there. You tried to put on a new dress, but you didn’t like the way it looked because you had a food baby from all the tacos you ate for dinner. You felt heavy and tired to the point that you didn't want to go out anyway. It’s not extra pounds that you gained from those tacos; it’s your stomach bloating.

Bloating is swelling or tension in the belly, and it can cause physical discomfort. Feeling bloated is not just having a food baby after overeating. It is a medical condition when too much gas gets trapped in the stomach or when different types of foods cause the body to react. Of course, we all feel unattractive when we bloat, but it can also be extremely uncomfortable. Here are ten reasons why your belly bloats and how to keep stomach bloating at bay. 
 

Carbs

Almost everyone's favourite, carbs are essential to the human body, but having too many carbs can cause water retention. Carbohydrates provide the body with fuel to function properly. While having spaghetti for dinner is always an easy go-to for weeknight meals, and doughnuts are a Sunday morning staple, it is essential to limit carb intake to prevent belly bloating. Avoid simple carbs like white bread, sodas and desserts, and try to stick to complex carbs like sweet potatoes, veggies and whole grains.

 

Salt and sugar

One of the deadliest food groups creating diabetes and many other forms of chronic diseases. Salt and sugar are found in almost every takeout meal and pre-packaged snacks. Although, salt is essential to the human body having too much can cause the body to retain water. When purchasing items for home cooked meals, make sure to read your food labels because in almost every case, prepackaged meals have too much salt for the recommended diet. 

 

Overeating

Are your eyes bigger than your stomach? Do you joke about your food baby after eating too much? Overeating is a crucial problem that plays a part in belly bloating. The stomach is about the size of a fist and eating any more than you’re supposed to will, unfortunately, make the stomach expand and bloat. To avoid this problem, drink a whole glass of water before eating and make it a point to stop eating before you feel full. The general rule of thumb is that it takes the brain a whole 20 minutes to realise the stomach is full.

 

Monthly period

Every female’s favourite part about their favourite time of the month. Women experience bloating right before or during their period because the body retains water and salt during menstrual cycles and because there are changes in the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone when the uterus sheds. It causes the abdomen to swell and the body to feel bloated. However, avoiding salty foods, drinking more water to ensure proper hydration and exercising regularly can eliminate period bloating.

 

Fibroids

Fibroids are benign growths that can reside in the uterus during childbearing years. Because fibroids cause the cervix to swell, it may press on the bowels, which can lead to excess gas. Fibroids are the most common tumours in the female reproductive system, but 99 per cent of them are not associated with cancer. However, if you notice your uterus expanding and you are not expecting, it is important to see a doctor.

 

Dairy

Three in four people are intolerant to dairy. As people age, it becomes harder for their body to digest milk because people start to lose their enzyme that breaks down dairy, which results in bloating. Luckily, if you’re a total dairy fanatic, medications are available to aid the body in digesting dairy.

 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

IBS is a chronic condition in most women that affects the large intestine. While this disorder causes bloating, it also causes cramping, abdominal pain, gas, diarrhoea and constipation. These symptoms can be maintained by living a healthy lifestyle, eating a healthy diet and managing stress properly.

 

Eating Too Fast

Do you remember when your mother used to tell you to slow down when you eat? This could be because when people eat too fast, they don’t chew their food entirely, and they experience air swallowing. Unfortunately, air swallowing leads to bloating. So, listen to Mom and slow down when you eat. It should take at least 30 minutes to properly finish a meal. Plus, this also helps with not eating as much food.

 

Drinking Carbonated Drinks

The bubbles in sodas, Champagne and beer are filled with gas and can get trapped in the stomach, which causes people to feel bloated. On top of having gas-filled bubbles, carbonated drinks are also full of sugar, which leads to water retention and even more bloating.

 

Dehydration

Your body, might need more water. It sounds counteractive, right? Bloating is often caused by water retention. However, an electrolyte imbalance could be the cause of that. Drinking more water will flush out those extra fluids, which is making you feel heavy and bloated.
 
If you fix all of these problems and are still experiencing bloating, see a doctor because it could be due to a serious medical condition. However, bloating is a prevalent side effect to your daily diet and how food is digested. Luckily, it is easily fixed. Also try eating fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi or kombucha at least once a day to put belly bloating at bay.