HEALTH

7 Things That Might Be Causing Your Bloating

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06/06/2017 1:36 AM AEST | Updated 06/06/2017 1:36 AM AEST

For many people the feeling of being bloated is a part of daily life and not something that just happens when you’ve really overindulged.

Classic bloating symptoms normally including your tummy being stretched, puffy and uncomfortable, and can be a result of built-up wind, swallowing air, being constipated, having food tolerance or having IBS, according to the NHS.

But whatever the reason, no one wants to feel like they are several months pregnant just because they ate lunch, so try thinking about these seven things that could be causing your problem.

1. You are not drinking enough water.

It might feel non-sensical to fill your body with more fluid when it already feels fit to burst, but the NHS says that not drinking regular fluids can contribute to constipation and a build up of gas in your digestive tract, meaning you get a bloated abdomen.

But don’t think that drinking fizzy drinks will help the problem. Because they are full of bubbles, they add to the amount of gas present in your body. So stick to good old H2O. 

2. You have been sitting down all day.

We all know that our office jobs are killing our bodies - with everything from cake culture making us fat to dodgy chairs killing our posture - but sitting down is also making us all bloated.

Spending a long time sat on your backside can cause your abdomen to compress, which slows down digestion. This can lead to issues such as bloating, heartburn and constipation. Additionally when we’re sat down, our bowel functions less efficiently than when we’re stood up.

3. You are having your period. 

As if the cramps weren’t enough to deal with at that time of the month, ladies there might be another unpleasant side effect to your monthly cycle.

After several Instagram fitness bloggers shared photos of their PMS-related bloat, Dr Helen Webberley, GP for Oxford Online Pharmacy, told HuffPost UK: “It is perfectly normal to experience swelling as part of the menstrual cycle... as levels of oestrogen and progesterone increase they can cause fluid retention.”

4. You have started eating more fibre.

Unless you actually are gluten intolerant, it is important to remember that gluten (and carbohydrates, such as bread) are not the enemy and definitely not the cause of bloating in most people.

However dietician Lucy Jones did tell HuffPost UK that if people have a low fibre intake and then suddenly up the quantities they are eating, there can be a period of adjustment that will see some bloating, but this won’t last. 

5. You are lactose intolerant.

Similarly to gluten, if you are not lactose intolerant, there is no scientific benefit to taking it out of your diet and in fact you could be missing out on essential vitamins and nutrients.

But up to 15% of the population in the UK is thought to be intolerant to lactose, a sugar found in dairy products, which causes stomach cramps, bloating and nausea. So maybe ditch the latte and see if it helps matters.

6. You keep chewing gum.

In a similar way to drinking fizzy drinks, chewing gum means you could be swallowing more air than you should be.

The NHS suggests not eating and talking at the same time, taking your time while eating and stopping chewing gum. And if you have to chew gum, then make sure you chew with your mouth closed so that you’re not taking in excess air.

7. You could have coeliac disease. 

This is the least likely explanation, but coeliac disease – a digestive condition where the small intestine becomes inflamed and unable to absorb nutrients - does affect 1 in every 100 people in the UK so if you think you might be suffering visit your GP.

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