A bloated stomach can really impact your life. For many women an aching and swollen stomach is an everyday reality. Whether it results in a visibly swollen stomach, or just causes pain or discomfort, bloating is caused by the gases produced when we eat or drink. Gas is produced in the colon and ideally moves through the body before being emitted or absorbed. However, for some, the gas doesn't have a smooth progression through the body, which is where issues arise.
Treating bloating is like choosing your own adventure. No two guts are identical - what causes you to inflate like a balloon may not affect others. There are a number of reasons why people experience bloating, but if you're constantly suffering from abdominal bloating, don't attempt to self-diagnose. Instead, seek advice from an accredited practising dietician who specialises in allergies and intolerances, a doctor or other healthcare professional, to uncover the cause. It might be caused by irritable bowel syndrome, or pathological causes such as coeliac disease.
When there is no medical cause behind the bloating, some simple tips can relieve the problem or even stop it occurring in the first place.
Maintain a regular diet - A consistent pattern of eating can reduce people's experiences of bloating.
Forgo alcohol, fat and caffeine - Fat and caffeine are the two biggest triggers for bloating. Alcohol is also a real gut irritant
Limit the sugar in your diet - Especially sugars from fruits and fruit juices. They form more gas when they ferment and cause bloating.
Try yoga - Certain poses can help with digestion and improve bloating.
Stress less - Take time to chill out and sort out what's causing you stress - it can disrupt the muscular contractions that move gas through your stomach.
Try a herbal remedy - Iberogast is a mixture of nine different herbs that has been scientifically trialled, and can be used to help manage bloating
Go for a walk or a run - Even though you'll feel like lying on the couch, simple exercise can help move the gases through your system and ease the pain.