Bloating is something everyone deals with from time to time, but it’s not a feeling that anyone welcomes. The good news is, you can sometimes prevent bloating or find relief faster if you know what’s causing it and how to effectively manage the symptoms.
What is Bloating?
We all know the feeling of bloating - your stomach feels like a heavy balloon, it’s difficult to get comfortable, and you just want to lie down.
It’s easy to assume that many times when we’re bloated, it’s because we ate too much and now our stomach is too full. However, that’s not usually the case with bloating.
Bloating actually occurs in the intestines. As they complete the process of digesting food and absorbing nutrients, they expand. When it’s time to get rid of whatever’s left as waste, they bring water to help move things along.
This is the cause of occasional, temporary bloating. Let’s get into what may be causing bloating that happens more often or sticks around longer than normal.
Possible Causes of Bloating
Outside of the normal digestion process, there are a lot of things that could cause bloating.
Eating too fast - Often leads to overeating and brings air into the intestines.
Chewing gum - Causes you to swallow air, which brings gas into the intestines.
Eating certain foods - Foods that are high in fat slow down the digestive process. High-sodium foods cause you to retain water. Eating fiber either through food or with a supplement like Naked Fiber is helpful for bloating, but you may experience more gas and bloating if you suddenly increase your fiber intake. Certain sugar substitutes are another common culprit.
Travel - The air pressure on an airplane and staying seated for a long period of time could cause bloating. Dehydration and being off “schedule” may also cause issues.
Hormonal shifts - Women often experience temporary bloating during certain times in their menstrual cycle.
Health Conditions Associated with Bloating
Certain health conditions and medications are known to contribute to bloating too. Here are a few.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Food intolerance - such as lactose intolerance or Celiac disease (gluten intolerance)
- Crohn’s disease
- Gastroparesis caused by diabetes or another condition
- Pancreatic insufficiency
Certain medications could contribute to bloating as well.
When to Talk With Your Health Provider About Bloating
The first step in addressing a bloating issue is to talk with your doctor, dietitian, or another provider, especially if you suspect something more serious is going on. They know your personal health history and can help piece together what might be causing the issue.
Then, you can work through some solutions together.
Can I Try Any Natural Remedies to Manage Bloating?
Here are some ways you can support a healthy gut, get things “moving” naturally, and manage bloating.
Ingredients to Promote Digestion
Ingredients like lemon, apple cider vinegar, peppermint, and cayenne pepper could help to promote digestion and prevent bloating. You can add some of these to your water, drink peppermint tea, or try our wellness energy shot, Naked Fire Shot.
Movement not only gets the blood flowing, but it also helps with fluid retention in the intestines. Try going for an easy walk after meals, or periodically throughout the day. Sometimes, simply elevating the legs can help too.
Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly. This can help prevent overeating and to bring less air into the digestive system. Also, be mindful of any possible food sensitivities. Some people find it helpful to keep a food journal to pinpoint any issues.
Reduce FODMAP Intake
FODMAPs are fermentable short-chain carbohydrates. Some people find this type of carbohydrate more difficult to digest. Some FODMAPs include certain fruits and vegetables, dairy, legumes, wheat, some sweeteners, and some nuts and seeds.
The best way to reduce FODMAP intake is to work through an elimination diet with a registered dietitian.
Certain supplements can support a healthy gut and reduce your risk for bloating. Probiotics are the most popular gut health supplement, but sometimes they’re not enough on their own. Naked Gut contains probiotics, prebiotics, and other ingredients for gut function like glutamine and inulin.
Collagen may help to strengthen the intestinal wall, preventing harmful bacteria that disrupt gut homeostasis from entering. Keeping the balance of bacteria in the gut favorable may prevent bloating.
It sounds counterintuitive, but drinking more water can help with fluid retention. If your bloating is caused by constipation or irregularity, staying hydrated can keep digestion moving.
Lifestyle Factors That May Affect Bloating
Sometimes, bloating is the result of certain lifestyle factors or changes. Anything that disrupts the routine or overall health of your gut could cause discomfort. Here are some that you
Sleep - Some studies suggest that sleep deprivation can disrupt the gut microbiome, which may contribute to bloating.
Stress - The hormonal response to stress often results in slower digestion, and therefore bloating. Manage stress with breathing exercises, exercise, journaling, or professional help if needed. Some supplements like Naked Greens contain ingredients to support stress relief too.
Exercise - Lack of exercise could contribute to decreased motility and water retention.
Smoking and alcohol - Both irritate the digestive tract and disrupt gut health. Smoking also brings more air into the intestines.
A lot of factors go into what causes bloating and how to defeat it. If you’re struggling to find relief, take a look at your lifestyle, nutrition and the other factors discussed in this article. Also, don’t hesitate to seek help from your health provider if your experience with bloating seems more serious or if natural remedies don’t seem to help.