What is Stomach Bloating
Abdominal bloating occurs when the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is filled with air or gas. Most people describe bloating as feeling full, tight, or swollen in the abdomen. Your abdomen may also be swollen (distended), hard, and painful.
How You Can Avoid Stomach Bloating
Bloating is a common condition that many people suffer from and they find it difficult to pinpoint what the exact cause is.
Bloating is caused by many dietary factors and one of them is constipation. It is important to avoid constipation by having a diet that is rich in fiber, plenty of fluids, as well as adding physical activity.
Another cause of bloating can be an allergic reaction to some types of foods. And we know right now a gluten-free diet is popular, however it’s only those with celiac disease that must avoid gluten.
Otherwise, most people are more sensitive to lactose such as that found in dairy products to fructose, such as that found in fruit, as well as high-fructose corn syrup which is found in sodas and candy and sugar alcohols which are found in low-carb foods, sugar-free foods, as well as sugar-free chewing gum.
We also have galactans and fructans which are found in beans, lentils and wheat. And all of these can be broken down by the bacteria in the colon and cause a lot of gas, which will result in bloating.
Other foods that can cause gas include cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, as well as carbonated beverages including soda pop and beer, as well as eating too fast and swallowing air.
And finally some of the healthful things you can do is to eat smaller meals throughout the day, don’t eat too fast and also add probiotics to your diet. Probiotics are the good or friendly bacteria which can help us with our digestion as well as helping us support the immune system. And we have a thousand billion or a trillion bacteria in our gut that provide a very important function that’s critical to health, including digestion.
For individuals that have more questions about bloating, they should speak with a registered dietitian or another health care professional.
Presenter: Ms. Nanci Guest, Registered Dietitian, Toronto, ON
Local Practitioners: Registered Dietitian