The commonality of bloating can make it seem that bloating is inevitable and that there’s nothing you can do to stop it. But that just isn’t true. So what causes bloating? It may surprise you to find out that many of your common everyday habits attribute to this uncomfortable distention of your midsection. It might also surprise you that it’s not all that difficult to avoid or fight off.
What Causes Bloating?
Men, women and children all experience bloating. No one is immune to the uncomfortable sensation that is stomach bloat. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t put in the effort to discover the main contributor of your bloating pains. Once you know what’s causing your discomfort you’ll be in a better position to avoid the triggers and stop your bloating once and for all. Here are the most common causes of bloating.
1. Eating Too Quickly
The number one reason that eating too quickly often leads to a bloated stomach is that you are literally swallowing air causing gas to become trapped within your stomach. Another important factor that can be attributed to fast eating and stomach bloating is thanks to the fact that the digestion process begins the minute that you place a bite of food into your mouth. When you eat too quickly you don’t break food down enough through crewing which means that your stomach has to work harder to break it down causing an excess of enzymes within your stomach walls that can lead to excess gas build up. The more gas your stomach traps, the more bloated you will become.
2. Chewing Gum
For the same reasons that you should slow down when you eat, you should also give serious consideration to skipping the chewing gum. Although it is often used as a way to cut calories and fend off hunger, chewing gum also causes you to swallow air which leads to gas and bloating. The sugar alcohols in most gums can also cause gas and bloating within the stomach, and even sugar-free gums often contain sorbitol which can also cause uncomfortable bloating.
3. Drinking Through A Straw
Once again that pesky problem of swallowing air and letting unwanted gas bubbles into your stomach rears its ugly head. When you drink through a straw the first half of whatever you’re sipping is always air. The next time that you order your favorite iced coffee from your local overpriced specialty shop or indulge in a healthy smoothie or protein shake skip the straw, even if it does make your beverage a bit more photogenic. It’s also a good idea to go ahead and forgo those water bottles with the straw built right in. You might find them convenient and fun but your stomach is begging you to commit to a wide mouthed bottle instead.
4. Stressing Over Everything
Stress can wreak havoc on most systems in your body, and the digestive system is no exception. Cortisol (the stress hormone) aggravate your digestive system and cause pain and irritation to your stomach and bowels. On top of that, being stressed out can also cause you to rush through your meals, skip meals, eat too much and swallow air during times of extreme anxiety. All of these scenarios can lead to uncomfortable stomach gas and bloating that may only exacerbate your stress.
5. Eating Too Much Fiber
You’ve probably heard that fiber can help fill you up and make losing weight easier, but it can also cause uncomfortable bloating and stomach pain if you eat too much. Many people do not eat the recommended amount of fiber in their diets, so when they amp up their intake too quickly it can lead to significant gastrointestinal problems. To avoid these digestive problems it’s a good idea to gradually increase your fiber intake over time allowing your body to slowly become accustomed to the dietary change. Another way to lower the risk of stomach bloating is to make sure your fiber is coming from whole food sources rather than processed foods with added fiber, as they tend to be harder for your body to digest.
How To Stop Bloating
If you already have a bloated stomach then tips on how to avoid causing the bloat in the future aren’t going to help you with your current gastrointestinal issues. But there are a few things that you can do to relieve the current built up gas in your stomach to reduce the effects of bloating. For instance drinking a bit more water than you usually do on a daily basis is a great way to decrease stomach bloating. Check out more of our helpful suggestions on how to ease your digestive troubles so that you can eliminate your pain and get on with your day.
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