Tips to Prevent and Reduce Bloating
Ever Wake Up Wondering Who Shrunk Your Jeans?
What is Bloating and What Causes It?
Medically speaking, bloating is defined as abnormal swelling or an abnormal change in the diameter of the stomach over a short period of time. Not medically speaking, bloating is that annoying feeling you gut in your stomach after you eat certain foods, when you are constipated, or when a woman is going through her menstraul cycle.
Bloating can be caused by many things, such as your diet, your health and even your water and salt intake. Those with conditions such as Crohn's disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, intolerance to lactose, and food allergies are pre-disposed to bloating symptoms.
Other causes of bloat include polycystic ovary syndrome, ovarian cysts, Celiac Disease, visceral fats, foods that cause gas, certain medications, certain vitamins, gastric distension, gastric dumping syndrome, and diverticulosis.
Oh and women are more prone to bloating then men. So basically, we are all at risk of this bloating feeling that makes us want to jump out of our jeans and into our sweatpants - now lets learn how to tackle the bloat!
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Mix Up the Way You Hydrate
Drinking too much can cause bloating and drinking not enough can cause bloating, so how can you win when it comes to bloating because of your water intake?
Start chewing your water!
No, I'm not talking about chewing an 8 ounce glass of water. I am referring to foods with a high water content - a good source of water that many people don't take into account.
Foods high in water content include apples, watermelon, carrots, canteloupe, cucumbers, celery, and peppers. In general, fruits and vegetables typically have a high water content.
By mixing up your water intake by sipping on H2O throughout the day and munching on fruits and veggies in between, you can reduce the bloating caused by drinking too much or too little.
Don't Fear the Bloat! Defeat the Bloat!
Do you suffer from that awful bloating feeling?
Cut Back on the Booze but Have a Second Cup of Joe
Foods and beverages are the bilggest offender when it comes to bloating. Ironically, they also happen to be the easiest cure.
One drink that has been found to increase bloating is alcohol. One drink that has been found to decrease bloating is coffee.
Alcohol is a common cause of bloating because it dehydrates the body, and coffee works to decrease bloat because of the caffeine content that helps give the digestive track a nudge, moving things in the right direction!
By eliminating one drink of alcohol a day, or even a week, you can help decrease your chances of feeling bloated. Better yet, replace that drink with a cup of coffee!
How to Reduce Bloating
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Don't Eat In Bed, and Don't Eat Before You Go to Bed
We all know that is bad to eat in bed, but did you know that eating right before you go to bed is also bad?
Doctors recommend that you stop eating two hours before you go to bed in order to allow the last thing you ate to digest properly.
However, if you happen to be someone that experiences frequent bloating, four hours is a better timeline to try to stick to if you want to eliminate nighttime bloating.
TIP (and exception to the rule): As someone with GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disorder), I suffer from bloating very often. One of my doctors recommended that I eat an apple before I go to bed every night. It worked like a charm!
I don't eat the apple literally right before bed. I typically wait until an hour or so before so it can digest. The fiber, water and other nutrients in the apple have not only helped my bloating, but also my frequent heartburn!
Who knew that an apple a day actually CAN keep some doctors away?
Eliminating Bloating Doesn't Mean You Must Eliminate Your Favorite Foods
Ditch the Mints and the Gum
If you are someone who frequently feels bloated and you happen to be someone who chews a lot of gum, you could be causing the bloating feeling all on your own for no reason at all!
Excessive chewing can cause air bubbles which eventually reach your digestive track. When air bubbles reach the digestive track, they cause one or more of the following things: gas, bloating, and/or belching.
By cutting back or eliminating gum altogether, you can decrease your risk of feeling bloated.
If you plan on switching your gum habit to a mint habit however, I recommend thinking twice. Many people wouldn't think of this, but the muscles of the mouth are actually active while a person sucks on a mint. This is the same reason air bubbles occur when chewing gum.
So don't switch gum for mints, and don't switch mints for gum! If you can't stop, just cut back!
Seven Secrets to Eliminate Belly Bloating
Homeopathic Treatments for Bloating
There are several homeopathic treatments for bloating that can be made or done easily at home. From drinking tea to incorporating various herbs into your diet, these treatments are effective yet simple.
Herbs and Spices Used to Treat Bloating:
Teas that have been found helpful at reducing stomach bloating include peppermint tea, linden tea, teas that contain cinnamon and black teas.
Tea and herbs aren't the only homeopathic treatments for bloating. Yoga has also been found to be a successful fighter against bloating due to the slow, progressive stretches done throughout the different postures. The last homeopathic treatment for bloating I will mention is heat. By applying a warm compress to the affected area, you can lessen the discomfort that comes from being bloated.
Get Off the Couch and Get Active
Many of us lead sedentary lives due to long work hours in cramped offices. Even those who don't have jobs that require us to sit all day find it hard to get the energy to exercise after a long day.
The truth is, most people are not as active as they should be, and an increase in exercise has numerous benefits.
Studies have shown however that even a small increase in exercise can help people who suffer from stomach bloating. You don't need to get out and run five miles every day. By incorporating small amounts of exercise each day, you can help minimize the effects of bloat.
One of the many benefits of exercise is that it boosts the metabolism. Not only does this help reduce visceral fat, another cause of bloat, but it helps food move through the body properly, taking air bubbles that cause bloat with it. When your metabolism is working effectively, your digestive tract is also working well, eliminating or reducing bloat.
© 2014 Kathleen Odenthal