It’s Not Baby Fat: The 411 on Bloating

Abdominal bloating is characterized by swelling or distension of the stomach, often accompanied by gas, burping, abdominal discomfort, and a feeling of fullness. If you are beyond your teenage years and still worry about fluctuating abdominal fullness, it’s more likely that you are suffering from bloating than carrying excess baby fat. The cause of your dilemma could be either of the following.

1. Eating too fast.

According to researchers at Ohio State University, you should chew softer foods 5-10 times, and more dense foods up to 30 times before swallowing. When you chomp down too quickly, you don’t chew thoroughly and cause larger food pieces to sit in your gut. You also lose track of how much you’re eating, and stuffing yourself makes your stomach feel heavy and bloated.

Keep in mind that indigestion caused by overeating can increase your risk of obesity, as well as developing ulcers and stomach cancer. To avoid these consequences, pace yourself and carve out at least 20 minutes for each meal. 20 minutes is the total time it takes the brain to register fullness, signaling that it’s time to put the knife and fork down.

2. Heavy meals before bedtime.

Lying down impairs digestion. If you go to bed with large quantities of food in your stomach, it will be harder to digest, leaving you bloated in the morning. Try having dinner at least three hours before hitting the hay. Stay on your feet for as long as possible to speed up the digestion process. If you have no other choice but to eat right before bedtime, consume smaller portions with fewer calories like fruit and yogurt. You can refuel your body with a bigger breakfast in the morning when your metabolism is at its peak.

3. Too much bubbly.

The bubbly sensation you get from drinking sodas can cause your stomach to bloat excessively. Not only that, but researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine found that 4-MeI, the dye in dark-colored sodas, is proven to elevate the risk of cancer. Diet sodas are a far worse alternative since they contain artificial sweeteners that the body can’t digest.

4. A satisfied sweet tooth.

Sweets like gum and other types of hard candy cause you to gulp excess air, leading to belching and a bloated feeling. Try to limit your consumption of sweets and opt for drinking water instead. Plain water aids in keeping your GI tract moving, which helps get rid of excess air and water in your system.

5. Celiac disease and lactose intolerance.

Some allergies and sensitivities are the leading cause of bloating. People with gluten sensitivities often deal with digestive issues and bloating, just like people who are lactose intolerant do. To remedy the situation, check with your doctor and ask to be tested for food allergies.

Could it possibly be stomach cancer?

More often than not, the causes of abdominal bloating are harmless and easily treatable with home remedies or over-the-counter medications. But feeling bloated, accompanied by recurring loss of appetite, nausea, and heartburns could be early signs of stomach cancer. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, do not hesitate to consult your doctor. In the rare case of having stomach cancer, call us at 480-666-1403 for treatment recommendations.

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