Why Do I Feel Bloated? Causes, Symptoms & Remedies
What is Bloating?
So your stomach feels and/or looks full and it’s really uncomfortable – many of us have been there and it’s not a nice feeling. Sometimes it can just be from eating too much, but bloating can also be caused by a variety of other reasons. It is essentially the feeling of fullness and tightness in your abdomen – this feeling is usually temporary and can be caused by something as simple as drinking fizzy drinks, for example. It will usually go away after a bit of time so your stomach can go back to normal, but bloating can also sometimes indicate the presence of a serious, underlying health condition so it’s important to bear this in mind if you think there might be something more to it.
What are the Symptoms?
- Stomach feeling full or bigger
- Stomach feeling tight
- Stomach pain/discomfort
- The feeling of trapped wind
- Burping more than usual
- Farting more than usual
- Stomach rumbling/gurgling
What are the Causes?
Gas is the most common cause of bloating – specifically having too much of it in your stomach and intestines. There are many things that can lead to this build-up of gas such as swallowing air, which can happen when eating or drinking, for example. It’s also possible to swallow excess air through habits such as chewing gum and talking whilst eating. Another example is drinking fizzy drinks, which can cause bloating due to the carbonation in the drinks, but it can also be due to the artificial sweeteners that are typically part of the ingredients.
- Food Intolerances such as lactose or gluten intolerance
- Hormones i.e. around your period or menopause
Bloating can also be caused by medical conditions such as:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Coeliac Disease
- Cancer (e.g., Ovarian)
If you’re feeling really bloated and you’re looking for some quick remedies that may help to ease the discomfort, there are some things that you can try – they may not all work for you and maybe not immediately, but give them a go to see what works best:
- Take peppermint oil
- Drink chamomile tea
- Drink apple cider vinegar
- Drink warm water
- Do some exercise
- Do some stretches or try yoga
- Take medication for relieving gas
- Massage tummy
- Take a hot bath
- Go for a walk
How to Prevent Bloating
There are also steps that you can take in order to prevent or reduce bloating in the future such as:
- Exercising regularly
- Drinking water regularly
- Avoiding food intolerances
- Eating smaller portions more often
- Reducing salt intake
- Avoiding swallowing excess air (which can be caused by chewing gum, chewing with mouth open, and/or eating too fast)