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  • Stomach Bloating

    Abdominal bloating is a common symptom that many people experience. It occurs when there is an excessive buildup of air or gas in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The feeling of fullness, tightness, or swelling in the abdomen is often accompanied by other discomforts such as distention, hardness, and pain.

    There can be several causes of abdominal bloating, including:

    1. Swallowing air: This can happen when eating or drinking too quickly, chewing gum, or drinking carbonated beverages.

    2. Gas production: Certain foods and beverages, such as beans, lentils, cabbage, onions, carbonated drinks, and artificial sweeteners, can produce excessive gas in the digestive system.

    3. Digestive disorders: Conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), celiac disease, and lactose intolerance can cause bloating as a symptom.

    4. Constipation: When stool builds up in the colon, it can cause bloating and discomfort.

    5. Gastrointestinal obstruction: A blockage in the GI tract, caused by conditions like tumors, strictures, or adhesions, can lead to bloating.

    6. Hormonal changes: Some women may experience bloating and water retention as part of their menstrual cycle.

    It's important to note that persistent or severe bloating, especially when accompanied by other symptoms like weight loss, blood in the stool, or severe abdominal pain, should be evaluated by a healthcare professional. They can help determine the underlying cause and provide appropriate treatment or recommendations.

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    <p><a href="https://www.healthchoicesfirst.com/practitioner-type/registered-dietician">&nbsp;Registered Dietitian</a>, discusses common causes of stomach bloating.</p>

     Registered Dietitian, discusses common causes of stomach bloating.

  • How You Can Avoid Stomach Bloating

    It is true that bloating can be caused by various factors, including constipation and food allergies. Let's explore these causes in more detail:

    1. Constipation: When stool builds up in the colon, it can cause bloating and discomfort. A diet low in fiber, inadequate fluid intake, lack of physical activity, and certain medications can contribute to constipation. To avoid constipation and alleviate bloating, it is recommended to:

      • Include fiber-rich foods in your diet, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts.
      • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, particularly water.
      • Engage in regular physical activity, as exercise can help stimulate bowel movements.
    2. Food Allergies or Intolerances: Some people may experience bloating due to an allergic reaction or intolerance to certain foods. One common example is celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder triggered by gluten consumption. People with celiac disease must strictly avoid gluten-containing foods, such as wheat, barley, and rye, to prevent symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

      Apart from celiac disease, there are other food intolerances and sensitivities that can cause bloating in susceptible individuals. Common culprits include lactose (found in dairy products), fructose (found in certain fruits and sweeteners), and artificial sweeteners like sorbitol and xylitol. Identifying and eliminating trigger foods through an elimination diet or working with a healthcare professional, such as a nutritionist or allergist, can help determine if food intolerances are contributing to bloating.

    While a gluten-free diet has gained popularity, it is important to note that it is necessary only for individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. For others, there is no need to eliminate gluten from their diet unless advised by a healthcare professional.

    It is worth mentioning that bloating can have various other causes, such as excessive gas production, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastrointestinal disorders, and hormonal changes. If bloating persists or is accompanied by severe symptoms, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and appropriate management.

     

    Otherwise, most people are more sensitive to lactose such as that found in dairy products to fructose, such as that found in fruit, as well as high-fructose corn syrup which is found in sodas and candy and sugar alcohols which are found in low-carb foods, sugar-free foods, as well as sugar-free chewing gum. 

    We also have galactans and fructans which are found in beans, lentils and wheat. And all of these can be broken down by the bacteria in the colon and cause a lot of gas, which will result in bloating.  Often seeing a local family physician or a physiotherapist in conjunction with a registered dietitian and athletic therapist is a great option to take control of this condition. Smart Food Now and exercise is also optominal for overall health.    

    Other foods that can cause gas include cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, as well as carbonated beverages including soda pop and beer, as well as eating too fast and swallowing air. Local Registered Dietician 

    And finally some of the healthful things you can do is to eat smaller meals throughout the day, don’t eat too fast and also add probiotics to your diet. Probiotics are the good or friendly bacteria which can help us with our digestion as well as helping us support the immune system. And we have a thousand billion or a trillion bacteria in our gut that provide a very important function that’s critical to health, including digestion.

    For individuals that have more questions about bloating, they should speak with a registered dietitian or another health care professional. Now Health Network Local Practitioners: Registered Dietitian

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