Severe bloating can occur for a number of reasons, and often manifests itself as a tight or full feeling in the abdomen. The most common reason is excess intestinal gas that cannot escape, but other reasons include water retention and hormonal imbalances. Most people experience bloating at some point or another, and it generally disappears pretty quickly. However, in people with severe bloating, it can often verge on being painful and happen frequently enough for it to have an adverse effect on everyday life. Read on to find out about treatments to combat severe bloating.
Change What You Eat
The food you eat can have a direct effect on the amount of gas produced in the intestine. People with severe bloating are more susceptible to this gas being trapped, and so a sensible solution is to prevent it from forming in the first place. Triggers for bloating might differ from person to person, to it would be worth keeping an eye on your diet and trying to work out what is causing the problem. Commonly-known bloating triggers that you might want to avoid or cut down on are beans, broccoli, onions, milk, and cabbage.
Change Your Eating Habits
Along with the diet itself, severe bloating can be caused by the manner of eating. For example, eating too fast will make it more likely that you will swallow air that can then have trouble escaping from the body. In addition, it does not allow the digestive enzymes in the saliva to start breaking down the food before it reaches the stomach. This can slow down the digestive process, leaving the food sitting in the body for longer than necessary, where it can stagnate and start producing gases. For this reason, it might also help to eat smaller portions more frequently instead of three big meals a day.
People who suffer from severe bloating would benefit from exercising on a regular basis. Physical activity prevents bloating because it helps blocked gas to be released and also stimulates blood flow to the digestive tract, helping it function more optimally. It is not advisable to exercise right after eating, but leaving at least half an hour before exercising should aid digestion. As a long-term preventative measure, getting a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise daily should keep severe bloating at bay. Read on the best exercises to relieve bloating.
Severe bloating is painful and can affect daily life by preventing the sufferer from being able to carry out normal activities. It is important to treat bloating for this reason, although it is normally not harmful. For many sufferers, the best way to treat bloating is through home remedies, such as the ones listed above. However, if this does not reduce or eliminate the severe bloating after a few weeks, then it is important to speak to a doctor and rule out any underlying medical conditions.
- American College of Gastroenterology. (2014). Digestive Health Tips. Retrieved November 19, 2014, from http://patients.gi.org/topics/digestive-health-tips/Mayo Clinic Staff. (2012). Women's Health. Retrieved November 19, 2014, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/womens-health/in-depth/water-retention/art-20044983
- National Health Service UK. (2014). Beat the Bloat. Retrieved November 19, 2014, from http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/digestive-health/Pages/beat-the-bloat.aspx
- National Institutes of Health. (2012). Gas - Flatulence. Retrieved November 19, 2014, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003124.htm
- Northrup, C. (2006). The Wisdom of Menopause. New York: Bantam Dell.