Get rid of Stomach Bloat with this belly deflating workout.
9 Things That Are Keeping You Bloated
"Even small changes in your gut flora can lead to changes in how your intestine moves and the amount and type of gas that's produced," says registered dietitian Kate Scarlata. Antibiotics, such as painkillers or iron, can alter the microbial and metabolic patterns of your gut, which changes not only its gas content but also how fast or slow your intestine moves. "Higher methane production is linked with constipation and bloating," adds Scarlata. If you're worried that your meds are causing stomach issues, speak to your doctor about possible culprits and alternatives.
Ever felt like you had a water balloon in your stomach? You can thank FODMAPs, the small-chain carbohydrates found in foods such as wheat, onions, garlic, pears, and apples for that. "If you're sensitive to FODMAPs, they draw water into your intestine and rapidly ferment, so you're guaranteed to feel bloated when you eat them," says Scarlata. She suggests eliminating FODMAPs from your diet for a few weeks followed by a re-introduction phase, during which you methodically add them back into your diet to determine your personal triggers. As always, it's best to start a FODMAP elimination diet under the guidance of a registered dietitian.
Abnormal abdominal muscle reflexes
Add this to the list of reasons to master the two-minute plank. If your abdominal wall muscles, particularly the "antigravity" internal obliques, relax instead of contract throughout the day, you end up retaining more gas in your intestine. Weak abdominal muscles may be to blame especially for those who havevisibleabdominal bloating. Scarlata recommends working with a physical therapist or a trainer on core strength if you think this problem is increasing feelings of abdominal swollenness.
Too much fiber
While having plenty of fiber in your diet is important, some belly bulges are a result of soluble fiber—found in oatmeal or beans, for instance—that swells and draws in water. "Soluble fiber isn't broken down until it reaches the large intestine, where digestion causes gas," says registered dietitian Laura Cipullo, "whereas insoluble fiber, which isn't digested, works to increase your gastrointestinal transit time by helping food move through your body quickly." So if you've been especially bloated recently, watch your intake of oat bran, beans, peas, and fruits.
SIBO, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, can develop "from anything that alters the cleansing waves of the small intestine—IBS, motility disorders, diabetes, small intestinal diverticula, Crohn's disease, untreated celiac disease, food poisoning," lists Scarlata. In those with SIBO, bacteria from the large intestine move into the small intestine, where it doesn't belong. "These bacteria then have access to and can feed on undigested food, which creates gas and bloating," says Scarlata. To test for SIBO, you can get a blood chemistry test or an X-ray of your small intestine; it can be treated with antibiotics or drugs that increase intestinal movement.
Your mojito habit
"Downing more than three alcoholic drinks a day will not only boost belly fat but will also make you bloat, since you retain more water when you're dehydrated," says Karen Ansel, M.S., coauthor ofThe Calendar Diet.Drinking alcohol can also increase your appetite and decrease your ability to make smart food choices, but that doesn't mean it's necessary—or realistic—to eliminate it entirely. Ansel recommends choosing wine instead of beer or liquor, since studies show that wine has less of an impact on bloat
Flying on a plane
Not only do changes in air pressure cause gas to expand, but inactivity from sitting on a long flight will also increase gas volume. "Before you board your next flight, stick to low-fermentable foods—such as rice crackers and a cheese stick or a banana with peanut butter—and noncarbonated drinks," says Scarlata. "And tempting as it may be when faced with a long and frustrating delay, you'll want to stay away from the bowl of chili and beer while you wait at your gate."
We've heard it before: Diet drinks are not the solution for your waistline, as they can dull your sense of taste and lead to weight gain rather than loss. But there's more. Our bodies can't break down artificial sugar, and as the bacteria in our intestines try to do so, gas is created. "Not only do artificial sugars increase cravings, they're also chemicals that can't be absorbed and can aggravate irritable bowel syndrome," says Cipullo.
If your body, specifically your small intestine, can't absorb fructose properly, then you're likely to experience gas, diarrhea, and general abdominal pain. If you suspect this may be the case, Cipullo suggests limiting high-fructose foods, such as apples, honey, mangos, pears, and anything made with high-fructose corn syrup, to assess whether fructose could be responsible for your bloat. Fructose malabsorption, which is different from hereditary fructose intolerance, can also be diagnosed with a breath hydrogen test performed by your doctor.
Video: REDUCE BLOATING | 8 TIPS
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