Are you always bloated?
Here are 6 reasons why.
It’s common to experience bloating throughout the day, but sometimes, it’s uncomfortable when it doesn’t have to be. In this article, we’ll go through some basics of bloating and 6 reasons why you’re always bloated.
What is bloating?
Bloating manifests as that tight, gassy, or full feeling in the abdomen, often accompanied by visible distension, which is the expansion of the abdominal area. It’s important to know that some level of abdominal expansion throughout the day is normal, especially when our stomach is digesting food and nourishing our beneficial gut bacteria. However, when bloating becomes excessive or bothersome, it might be time to make some food or lifestyle adjustments.
The role of the gut and gas:
The journey of food through our body involves the stomach breaking it down into smaller pieces before passing it to the small intestine, where essential nutrients are absorbed. The undigested food then moves to the large intestine, home to trillions of microorganisms, including bacteria, which play a vital role in bloating and digestion.
These microorganisms thrive on certain foods called prebiotics, such as whole grains, beans, bananas, and cruciferous vegetables, producing gas in the process. On the other hand, probiotics, found in fermented foods like kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, and sourdough bread, provide live microorganisms that benefit our gut health.
Here are six reasons why you’re always bloated:
1. Excess Gas: Two primary sources are the air we swallow while eating or drinking and the gas produced by the microorganisms in our gut.
2. Difficult-to-Digest Foods: Some foods, like beans and lentils, are harder to break down and can cause discomfort, especially if we suddenly increase their consumption. Additionally, caffeine, spicy foods, fatty foods, sugar, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners may contribute to bloating.
3. Constipation: When we’re constipated, increased abdominal pressure can result, leading to more gas production as the undigested food ferments in the gut.
4. Stress and Hormones: Stress has a profound impact on our digestive system, with the gut-brain axis playing a key role. Stress can disrupt digestion, and hormonal fluctuations, such as those during menstruation, are also linked to bloating.
5. Fluid Build-Up: Excess water retention can exacerbate bloating. Slowly absorbing carbohydrates can increase water in the small intestine, and a high-salt diet can lead to water retention.
6. Health Conditions and Medications: Certain health conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome, delayed food breakdown, food intolerances, and bacterial overgrowth, are associated with bloating. Additionally, some medications may have side effects that include digestive symptoms.
If you’re curious about how to reduce excess bloating and distension, read this article.