Updated from 13 January, 2015. Bloating is a issue which I have personally faced and seeing it with my friends and family. Mr. P bloats up a lot! Anything and he bloats and then it becomes gas in the tummy. Rice, fried foods, even untimely munching bloats him up. And, this is a problem with everyone today whose lifestyle does not follow a routine. Eating at correct times in sufficient quantities is a good way to start fighting gastric problems. Anyways, let us get back to the post and see what five reasons could be causing your bloating.
My colleague always used to complain about chocolate. She used to hate it, not because of diet reasons which she was obviously conscious of!! But, because after eating chocolate, her tummy used to come out.
Have you ever noticed your tummy bulges after having meals or anything in particular? I have never noticed when it precisely happens to me but it does happen. I think it helps to keep track of what we are eating (a food journal) to overcome these issues. What do you say??
Leaving that aside, I wanted to discuss what all could cause bloating in the body!! The reasons can range from in-taking too much of salt causing water retention to irritable bowel syndrome to even hormonal issues!! Though salt is the biggest reason why you can be bloated, there are quite a lot of other reasons too.
Simple Habits which can cause Bloating
Bloating is basically when there is too much air or water in the body! So, if you gulp your food down, talk too much during eating, drink too much water during meals, stressing out too much, eating a lot of carbohydrates, preferring sugar substitutes as opposed to sugar (which specifically have sorbitol), chewing gum, missing meals when your stomach is expecting food, drinking a lot of carbonated drinks and drinking with the straw, phew!!
And, of course, some medicines can cause you to feel acidic or bloated. Similar thing when you are taking too much of stress or smoke heavily or even drink in more moderate amounts! So, all these things make you BLOATED!
What Foods are you eating may cause your Bloating
Well, beans might be really healthy but they are very gas-sy as well so limit their intake. Spicy or acidic or fried foods also affect your digestive system. In fact, high fibre diets and eating large meals or crash dieting, all cause bloating. Oh yes, how could I forget processed food or high-in-salt foods. Excess dependence on sugar free products also increases bloating because of sorbitol. When in-taking fiber, make sure you take insoluble fibre as opposed to soluble fibre which gets broken down only in large intestine and produces gas. Check out for more information on soluble and insoluble fibre.
Soluble fiber is what you find in oats, barley, nuts, seeds, beans and lentils to take a few examples. Insoluble fiber is found in wheat brand, whole grain and vegetables. Some vegetables have both soluble and insoluble fiber. The trick is to balance both of them since your body needs both.
Food Intolerance and Allergies may cause Bloating
May be your body does not deal well with lactose or to gluten! In which case, you should avoid dairy products or whole wheat products as well. Some people have intolerance to egg yolks as they are high in sulphur content. So, avoid foods which create discomfort for you.
Bloating during PMS or Menstural Cycle
Hormonal changes during the onset of menstural cycle or around that time can cause you to bloat.
Regarding menstural cramps: The hormone called prostaglandin. It causes the muscles in your bowels to contract. This is why you can have loose stools, diarrhea, and stomach pain when you get your period. (Source)
Bloating and menstural cramps are different. The fluid retention is due to the higher levels of estrogen.
During the menstrual cycle there is a major fluctuation of hormones, namely estrogen and progesterone, and this causes fluid retention, swelling and the uncomfortable feeling of bloating. Women actually gain pounds of water during this time due to the ability of estrogen to cause fluid to be retained. (Source)
So, next time you are making a meal for yourself, make sure you include a good amount of protein. And, limit carbohydrates and salt. And, not much of processed food either!! That should take care of all your bloating. And, when you are pms-ing, make sure you eat healthy and go for regular walks to keep body exercising which will make sure that you do not get a unhealthy bout of bloating.
So, what do you say? Have you ever experience a tummy bulge after a meal or a snack? How do you deal with it? Share what you think in the comments below.