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What can cause bloating & discomfort and what can I do to reduce it?

There are many potential causes of bloating and discomfort, these range from medical conditions, such as coeliac disease and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, food intolerances, anxiety... to name just a few! 

As you can imagine there is something different happening in the gut in all of these different scenarios, despite presenting in similar (uncomfortable!) symptoms. Make sure to chat to your doctor or health care professional to find out what is going on for you and what the most suitable course of action is.  

My routine to reduce bloating & discomfort

The specific cause of your bloating and discomfort really determines how it should be treated, what may work for some may not help others, so make sure to first consult with your doctor or health care professional to learn the best options for you. In the meantime, some small changes that can help some people are: 

  • Slowing down the pace of eating: digestion starts in the mouth, so if you slow down and chew your food, it will allow the whole of your digestive system to do its job properly.
  • Avoid carbonated (fizzy) drinks: these types of drinks (like soft drink, soda water) are well known to cause bloating (those little bubbles of gas have to go somewhere!).

  • Limit high fat foods: fats can cause food to stay in the digestive system for longer and prevent the clearance of gases, leading to significant discomfort
     
  • Avoid eating large meals before laying down: in some people, having a full stomach and then laying down can cause the stomach contents to leak back up into the oesophagus (causing pain and discomfort). So try and allow food to digest when upright for a while before hopping into bed or laying on the couch.    

Hope these can help you in reducing some symptoms of bloating and discomfort. 

Britt. x 

References: 

Foley, A., Burgell, R., Barrett, J. S., & Gibson, P. R. (2014). Management Strategies for Abdominal Bloating and Distension. Gastroenterology & hepatology, 10(9), 561–571.