Stomach & abdominal bloating as well as gas are so common nowadays. With poor diets, high levels of stress, need for daily medications and exposure to various pollutants as contributing and exasperating factors, it is no wonder. I found a little definition for abdominal bloating: any abnormal general swelling, or increase in diameter of the abdominal area. As a symptom, the patient feels a full and tight abdomen, which may cause abdominal pain, and sometimes accompanied by increased stomach growling, or more seriously, the total lack of it. Are you suffering?
Why do we get bloated?
There are so many different factors contributing to stomach bloating with some seeming totally unrelated. Take for instance sleep issues or stress. Lack of sleep or high stress situations can make you highly likely to become bloated any time of the day or month. Ever wondered why sometimes you manage to eat certain foods with no symptoms and on other days you become really bloated? Digestive symptoms such as abdominal bloating can occur due to stress. When you are less stressed, you may be able to tolerate certain foods compared to the more stressful days.
The most common reason for stomach and abdominal bloating seems to be due to digestive problems. Many things can affect your gut’s health. A healthy gut provides us with the ability to metabolise food properly and is our body’s way of naturally eliminating waste . I am intolerant to yeast, gluten and cow’s milk and the bloating seems to be one of the side effects from eating gluten and yeast. Here’s a nice before and after pic of me below. There is about a 3-4 hour difference in images. I decided to test my intolerance and eat a piece of toast, yep, still causes me digestive problems. I became intolerant due to a number of reasons such as an extremely stressful job and a lot of antibiotics.
What can you do to reduce the symptoms of abdominal bloating?
If you are feeling wound up or particularly anxious or emotional try this little exercise that I used to do all the time. Go to a toilet cubicle, flip the seat down and sit. Place your feet on the ground properly and sit back so you feel everything around you and your secure. Now breathe deep into your belly. So often, especially when stressed we only shallow breathe into the chest but deep full belly breaths in and out of the diaphragm for as little as 5mins will really help get you focusing and calm . It all goes towards allowing you to gain some perspective back. Try doing this when you first wake – 10 deep belly breaths and again before you go to bed.
I love tea (well I am British) but I have recently started drinking a lot of coffee and it seems to cause bloating if I drink more than 1-2 cups a day. Instead I try green tea and nettle tea throughout the day and peppermint tea in the evening. It’s so beneficial in aiding digestion and reducing the bloat.
Soda or fizzy drinks of any kind contain bubbles with carbon dioxide, a gas that can be released from the liquid after it reaches your stomach. These bubbles go on to cause your stomach to bloat. Replace these carbonated drinks with room temperature liquids, water with lemon juice being one of the best alternatives.
Have Smaller Meals
Eating smaller meals throughout the day and chewy your food slowly will help reduce and eliminate abdominal bloating. Chewing your food better can have a two-fold effect. It reduces the amount of air you swallow with the food (a cause of bloating), and it also makes you eat slower, which is linked to reduced food intake and smaller portions 
Did you know that Chewing gum or drinking through a straw could also be causing you to bloat?!
Food allergies and intolerances are common causes of stomach bloating with the common offenders being lactose, fructose, wheat, gluten and egg intolerances.
Try getting tested. I found this so beneficial. It allowed me to remove the foods that were causing me the issues and work on improving my gut to be able to re-introduce them back into my lifestyle slowly and in moderation.
Manage Stress Levels
We can’t get away from stress so I am not going to tell you to just stop being stressed. There are ways we can manage our levels to help though. Meditation is something that I find to be really useful and being more present. Rather than worrying about issues, try a great little app called Insight Timer. It’s free and has thousands of guided meditations with a variety of different timescales. Alternatively, if you can, go for a walk outside and/or surround yourself by trees. Tree hugging I hear you say? There’s evidence to suggest that trees do in fact improve many health issues such as concentration levels, reaction times, depression, stress and other various forms of mental illness .
When I say exercise, I don’t mean an intense heavy weight training or HIIT session because this could cause more stress to your body when it is already inflamed. I really should be calling it movement. Performing low intensity movement like walking, swimming or yoga are all great options and they all calm the mind which in turn will help reduce your stress levels.
How do you manage abdominal bloating?
Don’t just put up with the bloat, manage it, eliminate it and live happily. Its not a normal symptom for your body to have and if you want to work on your digestive concerns so you can live a bloat free, confident life then get in touch. You don’t have to put up with the discomfort anymore. Lara at www.larajezeph.com.
Do you suffer from abdominal bloating? How do you manage your symptoms and reduce the bloat? Please share your hints and tips in the comment box below.