If you’ve ever experienced a bad bout of bloating you know just how terrible it can be.
In addition to making your belly looking bigger than it usually is, bloating can be extremely uncomfortable and even leave you feeling sick. Because of the pain and discomfort, an unexpected bloat can be one of the most frustrating experiences — especially when you have no idea what caused it.
While underlying conditions might lead to bloating, it can happen to everyone from time to time. Even for people who rarely have digestive issues, bloating can rear its ugly head. And once it happens to you, the best remedy is usually — and annoyingly — time.
If you have been experiencing painful bloating after you eat, prevention might be the best route to take, rather than trying to solve the symptoms once they’ve already arisen. If you know what might be causing you to bloat, you can try to avoid it altogether. Keep reading for a list of possible causes, and see if whether avoiding them helps reduce your bloating.
Reasons You Might Experience Bloating
- Eating too much fibre: As healthy as they are, beans have high amounts of fiber, making them a culprit for causing bloating when consumed in large quantities. Similarly, lentils, fruits and whole grains also contribute to the problem.
- Eating too much fat: “The body digests fats slowly because they take longer than most other foods to pass through the digestive tract,” Medical News Today reports. This delay can cause bloating, especially when large amounts of fat are eaten at once.
- Drinking Carbonated Drinks: Carbonated drinks are fizzy because they contain gas. Too much gas in the digestive tract, and you’ve got a surefire recipe for bloating. In addition to making you bloat, gas can also cause cramps, making things even worse. If you’re experiencing bad bloating, stick to still water until it passes.
- Eating too Fast: Eating quickly isn’t just no-go etiquette-wise, it can actually leave you feeling bloated. The reason behind why fast eaters might get bloated more often boils down to the fact that more air is swallowed when you do so. Chewing your food more, and putting down your fork in between bites will help you slow down if this might be the cause of your problem.
- Chewing Gum Throughout the Day: In the same way that you swallow air while eating too fast, chewing gum also sends air into the digestive tract. In addition to the air, chewing gum causes enzymes to be released which can make matters worse. “Chewing gum makes your body think that food is coming in. It starts to produce the enzymes necessary to break it down,” The Active Times reports. “But when there is no food to process, bloating occurs because now you have too much stomach acid in your belly.”
- Intolerances or Allergies: You might think you’d already know if this were the case, but many people develop different allergies and intolerances throughout their life. If you find yourself feeling bloated after eating the same types of foods time and time again, it might be time to start searching for a common thread. Dairy and wheat are both common offenders in causing bloating for those who are intolerant. If you suspect this is the case, try avoiding these foods and see an allergist if you think it could be severe.