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How to Reduce Bloating

Kalpana Kumari
Often, bloating is an indication of a digestive ailment. This story contains some very simple tips to help you reduce and avoid the symptoms of bloating.
Bloating is defined as the abnormal swelling of the abdominal region, which causes tightness in the area of the stomach, and makes the person feel full. Bloating may not always be painful, but it does cause a certain amount of discomfort. Home remedies work wonders to alleviate the symptoms of bloating, as are discussed in this article. But first, let us begin to understand the causes behind it.
What Causes Bloating?
There are three predominant factors that cause bloating -
  • Water retention
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Hormonal changes
Excessive water retention is usually the result of an increased intake of salt. It also indicates low levels of water consumption.
When you drink an inadequate amount of water, your body is tricked into feeling that it needs to store water. As a result, the body switches over to the 'starvation mode', and stores water in its cells for future use. This is what makes your body feel bloated. At times, bloating could be a symptom of celiac disease as well.
It is very important that the cause of bloating is properly detected. Those suffering from it usually prefer to treat it at home by making changes in their diet and lifestyle. However, for persistent symptoms, it is necessary to visit a physician for diagnosis and treatment.
Getting Rid of Bloating
Drink plenty of water. The increased water intake will facilitate the movement of food down the gut, improve bowel movement, and allow the body to release excess water from its cells.
Salt aids water retention. Cut down the intake of salt-laden food, especially salty, processed snacks and fast food.
Bloating is also caused by intestinal gas. Avoid food items that cause flatulence. This means you need to strike out beans and pulses, broccoli, cabbage, prunes, and apples from your diet, as long as the symptoms of bloating linger.
Think probiotic, and increase the intake of low-fat, unsweetened yogurt. It is rich in 'friendly' bacteria, which brings relief from symptoms of IBS. Additionally, yogurt reduces the accumulation of gas in the intestine, over a period, when eaten regularly.
Prioritize eating food which is high in soluble fiber. These include bran cereal and oatmeal. Among fruits, choose from strawberries, blueberries, along with dried apricots and plums. Of course, ensure that you don't go overboard with consuming fiber-rich food, as it can lead to bloating in the long run.
Go for fruits and veggies that have a high water content. These would be watermelons, oranges, grapefruit, and pineapples, with cucumber, lettuce, and spinach among the vegetables.
Be physically active. Exercise, walk, run, play, do whatever but make your body move. This is the most effective way to reduce stomach bloating and improve digestive health.
Even stress has been zeroed in as a causative factor of bloating. Therefore, try to lead a stress-free life. Take to yoga, meditation or indulge in any activity that lets you relieve stress.
Lactose intolerance is another cause of bloating. Stay away from dairy products, if you are lactose intolerant. Speak to your doctor to find out more about this condition.
A Few Dos and Don'ts
  • Avoid eating hard candies, chewing gums, and drinking fluids with a straw.
  • ¬†Use acupressure to reduce bloating. Hold your little finger on either sides of the nail bed for five minutes. It is highly effective in preventing the occurrence of bloating.
  • #Taking vitamin B6 daily can help. It acts as a natural diuretic, which helps the body to flush out excess water.
  • Avoid swallowing a lot of air while eating. Also, do not slurp your drinks. This way, pockets of air do not enter your digestive tract, and you are not bothered by the problem of flatulence.
  • Stop consuming carbonated drinks. They tend to add to the amount of gas in your body.
Prevention, they say, is certainly better than cure. So, you may need a complete lifestyle overhaul to combat the problem of bloating. Eat food high in fiber, and those that are easy to digest. Consume plenty of non-carbonated fluids, preferably water.
And if you suffer from persistent bloating, keep away from food items that cause it. Try some of the home remedies mentioned here, to gain relief from this condition.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this story is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.