I feel so uncomfortable! How do I stop bloating after eating?
Bloating is when your tummy or abdomen feels full and tight. It causes your belly to look larger than usual, and you may also feel tenderness or pain. Unfortunately women seem to experience it twice as often as men and it is often accompanied by belching, abdominal discomfort and flatulence. Simple changes to lifestyle can stop bloating and remove problems with eating.
Reasons for Bloating:
It may be caused by excessive swallowing of air when you gulp down meals, drinking carbonated or fizzy beverages, sipping through a straw, chewing gum or smoking cigarettes.
But much more often it happens because gas has been produced in response to the foods you have eaten. That big plate of chips, the extra slice of pizza or the rich dessert can cause you to feel and look as though you have a baby down there!
Rather than reaching for an antacid there are ways to solve your tummy woes without the use of any manufactured medication or pills. The problem with taking antacids is that they produce other unwanted side effects.
5 Ways to Stop Bloating:
from easiest to requiring more effort.
1. CHEW YOUR FOOD – When you gulp down food, you are sending down undigested lumpy food to your stomach. Also you are missing a critical key to digestion. When you chew, the enzyme amylase present in saliva starts the breakdown of carbohydrates and sugars. Chewing slowly to mash up the food to a paste like texture gives the enzyme time to work on it.
2. NO LIQUIDS WITH FOOD – If you eat food regularly with liquids of any kind eg wine, soda, even water, you are effectively diluting all your stomach acid. This will prevent proper digestion and break down of food in the stomach. All that undigested food passes into the intestine where it ferments and produces wind / gas. You should aim for nothing beyond 1 cup of water a total 10 minutes before a meal and 2 hours after.
3. AVOID CERTAIN FOODS – Food allergies and intolerances can lead to bloating.
- Sugars, especially those found in dairy products (lactose), can be poorly digested in some people. If undigested they pass into the large bowel where they ferment and produce gas and wind leading to bloating and flatulence.
- If you suffer from lactose intolerance, try replacing dairy products with lactose free milk and yoghurt. Choose hard cheese (lower lactose content than soft cheese) and avoid creamy, cheesy sauces and desserts such as ice cream and custards.
- As well you may be intolerant or allergic to certain foods and the most likely culprit is wheat. Muesli, brans, breads and pastas as well as nuts and seeds may also be a problem. Try reducing or eliminating them for a trial of four to five days and see if it improves your wind, cramping pain or bloating. Then bring them back into your diet one by one to see if any or all bring on the bloating.
- Too much fruit may also cause bloating. Some fruits contain more fructose than others, especially watermelon and apples. Try not to eat too many pieces of fruit at one sitting. All types of melons seem to be a real problem and should be eaten on their own.
- Salt can make you bloat and so if you eat a lot of salt, even unintentionally, you might feel bloated more often.
4. EATING TOO MUCH FOOD – have you thought about the fact that you may just be eating too much? Take care with portion sizes. Do not over cater, cook for your needs and use a smaller-sized plate.
It is also a good idea to watch the little things over the day. Constant snacking will increase food intake over the course of the day and before you know it you are eating large quantities of food.
5. DEEP BREATHING AND EXERCISE – bloating occurs when the lymph system is unable to cope and move the food proteins and fat molecules through the system. Lymph must be pumped by the movement of our muscles. As the biggest pump is the diaphragm, deep breathing can unblock the lymph system and allow food to be moved from the stomach to the intestines. For the same reason a brisk walk can unblock the lymphatic system and help move the pressure from trapped gas.
THE ROLE OF CANDIDA
This seems to be a major cause of why a person will feel full and bloated all the time. Yeast exists in over 90% of the population. It is always involved in digestive problems (it helps to ferment food and in the process, it naturally produces carbon dioxide, which causes flatulence). The key is to begin reducing the overgrowth from your body as soon as possible. If you suffer from any brain fog or mental fatigue or a craving for sugars in addition to your bloated feeling then you definitely have chronic candida and must take action!
Understanding the factors above can make a big difference but there are other important important things you can do to stop bloating and flatulence.
From the Wellness Guide on Bloating and Flatulence I share one missing link to help your stomach deal with food – that is natural digestive enzymes.
Natural digestive enzymes help break down the food, particularly carbohydrates, and determine whether the food you ate will be processed smoothly or whether it will just stay in your stomach and colon.
Why do most of us need a digestive enzyme supplement?
Most of the processed foods we consume don’t contain natural digestive enzymes. A piece of fruit for example has its own enzymes that will break it down in your stomach without any extra effort from your part. But chug a can of Coke or munch on a piece of processed cheese and you will find no trace of natural digestive enzymes in these modern day eats.
Over time eating too many carbohydrates, especially processed ones, takes its toll on our system and on our reserves of active enzymes. That’s when whatever we eat starts to really give us trouble.
If you have experienced bloating or flatulence more than usual, I suggest taking high quality digestive enzymes for two weeks or more and notice any difference in how you feel after you eat. I have a feeling that after you test-run this little experiment, you might start popping digestive enzymes just as regularly you do your daily multivitamin.
However in some cases, bloating that continues for days or weeks may indicate a health issue that needs medical attention. It is advisable to speak to a doctor about ongoing bloating that does not go away over time.
In summary, bloating and flatulence may seem to be a small or occasional problem but it can really affect your life and is a sign that your digestion is not working well. Most of the time, bloating is due to minor issues that lifestyle changes can resolve. Making these simple changes to stop bloating means that your health and wellbeing will improve in ways of which you aren’t even aware.