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Why You’re Bloated & The Best Tips to Find Relief

The feeling of bloating can be so uncomfortable that sometimes it might even seem like you’re about to burst at the seams! Abdominal bloating occurs when your gastrointestinal...

The feeling of bloating can be so uncomfortable that sometimes it might even seem like you’re about to burst at the seams!

Abdominal bloating occurs when your gastrointestinal tract is filled with air or gas. The symptoms you might experience with bloating include:

  • Feeling of tightness and fullness in your abdomen
  • Distension and pain in your abdomen
  • Excessive gas
  • Abdominal rumbling

Frequent bloating can disrupt your daily life and social activities, leaving you searching for relief.

In this article, we'll explore the sneaky triggers of bloating and share some top-notch tips to help you kick that bloated feeling to the curb.

 

Reasons why you might be feeling bloated

1. Constipation

Constipation is a common culprit behind bloating, leading to uncomfortable fullness and abdominal swelling.

When your bowel movements aren’t frequent enough (the aim is to go 1-2 times daily), it causes stool to accumulate in your intestines.

This buildup can make it difficult for gas to pass through normally, trapping it in the digestive tract, and leading to that bloated feeling.

Moreover, the longer waste remains in your colon, it produces additional gas that can exacerbate bloating.

2. Gut microbiome imbalances

Imbalances in the gut microbiome, the complex community of microorganisms living in your digestive tract, can also be a significant factor in bloating. This disruption can occur due to a variety of factors like a diet heavy in processed foods, stress, or antibiotic use.

If there's a disruption in this delicate balance of microbes, it can lead to an overgrowth of gas-producing bacteria.

These bacteria ferment foods rapidly, particularly carbohydrates, creating excessive gas and bloating.

An imbalanced gut microbiome can also impair your normal digestion and absorption processes, which can make abdominal fullness and discomfort even worse.

3. Lack of digestive enzymes

When your body doesn't produce enough digestive enzymes, breaking down food becomes a challenge, which often leads to uncomfortable bloating.

These enzymes play a crucial role in digesting fats, proteins, and complex carbohydrates.

If there aren’t enough enzymes to do their job properly, these nutrients aren't fully digested and remain in the gut. As a result, they ferment and produce gas that causes bloating

4. You’re eating too quickly

Eating too quickly is an easy way to get bloated! When you eat in a hurry, you tend to gulp down not just your food but also air, which can accumulate in your digestive system and lead to a bloated feeling.

Chewing is the first essential step in your digestive process. Your saliva even contains enzymes that help to break down food before it reaches your stomach.

Also, when you don’t chew your food properly it requires more effort and time to break down. The slower digestion process allows for more fermentation by gut bacteria, increasing gas production and bloating.

5. You’re eating while stressed

When you're stressed, your body diverts blood away from the stomach and slows down digestion as part of its “fight or flight” response.

This disruption can lead to incomplete digestion and slower movement of food through the gastrointestinal tract, causing gas to build up and leading to bloating, and get this, stress can even increase your sensitivity to bloating, making you feel more uncomfortable.

6. Hormonal imbalances

Hormone imbalances, particularly fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone, can significantly contribute to bloating, since these hormones play an important role in regulating fluid retention and bowel movements.

For example, during parts of the menstrual cycle when estrogen levels are at their high point, women may experience increased water retention, leading to a bloated feeling.

Next, changes in progesterone levels can slow down the digestive tract, resulting in constipation and bloating.

 

The top ways to find relief from bloating

Increase fiber & water intake

Increasing both your fiber and water intake can help to keep your bowel movements regular, reducing constipation.

Fiber not only supports a healthier microbiome, but it stimulates colonic contractions known as peristalsis as it brushes against the walls of your colon.

Staying hydrated with 8-10 glasses of water a day also helps to keep things flowing smoothly.

Jennah Organics Colon Cleanse

If you’ve been feeling bloated and blocked up for a while, there’s no better time to try the Jennah Organics Colon Cleanse. Using gentle laxative herbs that help to naturally stimulate waste removal from your colon, Jennah Organics Colon Cleanse helps to reduce bloating, alleviate constipation, and reset your overall digestive system.

Create a calm eating environment

Eating in a serene setting helps your body relax and better focus on the task of breaking down food, reducing the risk of bloating and discomfort.

To create a peaceful eating environment, minimise potential distractions like electronic devices and loud noises. If you’re sharing a meal with someone else, try and keep the conversation lighthearted and positive.

Additionally, focus on practicing mindful eating. This involves paying close attention to the taste and texture of each bite to prevent rushed eating that can lead to bloating.

This mindful approach to eating is often a focus in traditional Ayurvedic medicine and not only soothes the digestive system but also enhances the quality of your overall eating experience.

Breath work before eating

Since stress can have such a profound impact on our digestive system, practicing some breath work to calm your nervous system down before eating can be a powerful tool to reduce bloating.

The 4-7-8 breath work technique is simple, yet effective. It involves these easy steps:

  • Inhale for 4 seconds
  • Hold your breath for 7 seconds
  • Exhale for 8 seconds
  • Repeat for at least 4 rounds

This breathing technique has been proven to activate our parasympathetic nervous system, which when activated, promotes better blood flow to the digestive tract, enabling more efficient digestive processes and reducing the likelihood of gas buildup and bloating.

Chew each bite at least 20 times

Chewing each bite of your food thoroughly, at least 20 times, not only helps to break down food into smaller pieces but also activates the digestive enzymes in your saliva.

These enzymes, primarily amylase, help to break down the starches in your food into simple sugars, even before it reaches your stomach. By chewing each bite well, you maximise the exposure of your food to these essential enzymes to kickstart the first phases of digestion effectively.

Ginger & fennel tea

Herbs can be a wonderful friend to rely on to alleviate digestive discomfort. Two of the most effective herbs to choose from include ginger and fennel.

Ginger helps to speed up the movement of food through your digestive tract, reducing the likelihood of fermentation and gas production. This special root also contains compounds called gingerols that help to relax your intestinal muscles to promote relief from trapped gas.

Fennel is known as a carminative herb with anti-spasmodic properties making it easier to pass gas that might cause bloating. It is also rich in a compound called anthenole which helps to stimulate the release of digestive enzymes.

A simple ginger & fennel tea recipe:

  • 1 teaspoon of grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fennel seeds
  • 300 ml of water

Simply add all the ingredients to a small pot and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Strain out the herbs and sip slowly after meals or first thing in the morning to promote digestion for the day.

Functional GI testing

Gastrointestinal functional testing can be a valuable tool in identifying potential imbalances in your gut microbiome that might be linked to bloating.

By analyzing stool samples, these tests can detect overgrowths of harmful bacteria or a lack of beneficial bacteria, both of which can contribute to bloating and digestive distress.

Some of these tests can also identify specific digestive issues like enzyme deficiencies that may be worsening your digestive symptoms.

Jennah Organics Hormone Balance

If your bloating is accompanied by other symptoms of hormonal imbalance like water retention, weight gain, and mood swings, Jennah Organics Hormone Balance supplement might just make the perfect addition to your daily routine.

This revolutionary supplement is packed with 6 research-backed herbs and nutrients designed to support the natural regulation of hormonal levels to alleviate symptoms of hormonal imbalance such as bloating episodes, especially those linked to menstrual cycles.

Written by Zaheera Swing - Nutritional Therapist & Herbalist

(BSc Hons Nutritional Science + NTPD)

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