Bloating: symptoms, causes and remedies

An article I came across suggests that bloating is becoming more and more common.  Up to a few months ago, I was a complete alien to the condition, but over the last few months I can assimilate to it.

What causes bloating?

7 Tips to prevent bloatingThere are a number of causes which can bring about bloating.  Bloating can come about as a result of eating too quickly.  It can also be as a result of over-eating or the food you are eating does not agree with your body.  (Having eaten a particular food all your life does not mean you cannot become intolerant to it). Women can also experience bloating during their menstrual cycle or as a result of fluctuating oestrogen levels during menopause.

What are the remedies?

  • avoid carbonated drinks, including fizzy water;
  • avoid drinking through a straw;
  • avoid artificial sweeteners;
  • do not chew gum, mints or boiled sweets;
  • control your salt intake to reduce water retention;
  • exercise regularly;
  • drink plenty of water.

Finally persevere;  give your body time to react to any approach you go for. Do not give up too quickly.  It may take two to three weeks for you to see results from any dietary changes.

What if symptoms persist?

If symptoms persist it’s best you consult your Doctor.  Bloating, constipation, diarrhea can all be as a result of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or other serious conditions.  If you are concerned, get yourself checked and follow doctor’s orders.

If serious conditions are ruled out, chances are that your doctor recommends a low-FODMAP diet.  Low-FODMAP is the latest trend for treating gastrointestinal disorders such as IBS.

The acronym FODMAP stands for a string of difficult words I cannot pronounce – Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols. Essentially what it means is, certain carbohydrates are not completely absorbed in the small intestine and by the time they get to the large intestine they ferment and cause gasses – resulting in bloating, and abdominal pain.

How can you live with IBS?

IBS is a chronic condition which can be managed through diet and medication.  It normally affects 20 to 30-year-olds.  However, that is not to say it cannot affect younger or older people.

You can control and manage IBS by following a low-FODMAP diet.  The Gastroenterology Journal says there is not enough evidence to prove this diet is guaranteed to work.  However, the Journal concludes that, “…  a diet low in FODMAPs effectively reduced functional gastrointestinal symptoms.”

What is a low-FODMAP diet?


One of the benefits of a low-FODMAP diet is to help alleviate IBS symptoms.  It will not eliminate the condition; IBS cannot be cured.

The diet lists a number of foods which IBS sufferers are meant to avoid completely or consume in limited amount.  On first looking at the list of foods to avoid, it may seem restrictive, but if you suffer from IBS, the diet may come as a blessing.

This article does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned about your condition, consult your doctor.

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