How to deal with chronic stomach bloating problems?
The most common reasons of stomach bloating are constipation, flatulence (gas), unhealthy eating pattern, intolerances to certain foods, hormonal imbalance causing water retention, menses and frequent consumption of carbonated drinks.
Let’s elaborate on each cause of stomach bloating
Constipation: This is caused by lack of dietary fibre, low-carb diets, dehydration, too much dairy, medications, lack or exercise or movement, lack of routine and stress can also play a big role. Chronic constipation can lead to gas and stomach bloating. An average person has 5lbs of waste in their colon at any given time, when constipated can store even more which leads the toxins to be reabsorbed in the colon and can cause diseases. Dietary interventions that can help reduce constipation include consuming whole grains such as dalia, red rice poha, rajgira, legumes and fruits and veggies rich in fibre like dark green leafy vegetables, apples, pear and papaya. Try Red Rice Poha from the Tata Sampann range as it high in fibre and source of iron. It is made from a nutritionally rich red rice paddy, sourced from select areas in South India.
Drinking plenty of water and other fluids is also extremely beneficial. Starting the day with lemon water and consuming vegetable smoothies is a great addition to your routine. Some lifestyle measures to deal with constipation include, slowing down the morning ritual, having a routine, setting a sleep schedule along with some yoga and stretches. You can also experiment massaging stomach with two fingers clockwise in concentric circles. Use castor or coconut oil and peppermint oil to induce relaxation. And lastly can try the Indian toilet style or use a stool to raise your feet on it to get a similar position you would with Indian toilet style.
Flatulence:This can be caused due to constipation and intolerance to certain foods. Remedial measures include looking for triggers by keeping a food journal, dropping dairy to check lactose intolerance, checking gluten sensitivity, avoiding large gaps in meals, and adding probiotics (beneficial bacteria) to your diet. Garlic can also help to reduce gas.
Low stomach acid: This can cause poor digestive juices and enzymes causing indigestion, stomach bloating and gas. Stomach acid may decrease with age or stress. Adding digestive bitters such fennel(saunf) water before meals can help. Sipping on them slowly 15 minutes prior to meals would be a good idea.
Carbonated drinks: Replace these with coconut water, buttermilk with pink salt and jeera, lime water, water infused with mint, or fruit slices and plain drinking water and indulge in carbonated drinks occasionally.
Water retention: The lesser water you drink, the more you feel bloated because the water is not flushed out! A good water intake for men is around 3.7 litres and women is 2.7 litres. And yes, this can go up depending on climate, physical activity and diet!
Consuming High Glycemic Index (GI) and high sodium foods– This can also cause bloating and sluggishness in the long run. Hence the need to detox the body arises. The wise thing to do would be to consume low GI foods daily and reward yourself with high GI foods occasionally!
Menses: Excessive water retention during periods can be avoided by consuming adequate water, right quantity and quality of protein and fats in the diet. Also, hormonal imbalance can cause the body to hold on to more water. Adding omega 3, GLA and B6 supplements would also be beneficial to tackle bloating during this time of the month.
Depending on the cause, take the right action to deal with the symptoms of bloating. If your problem persists, consult a doctor to help ease the bloating and the distress caused by it.
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