Do you suffer with bloating? Does it sometimes come on quite suddenly and then other times it just kind of creeps up on you. And sometimes it’s really painful too? It feels like you just can’t shift “it”. And it can feel like you’ve eaten too much even if you haven’t. It’s so uncomfortable and then you end up not being able to do stuff you had planned. Feeling bloated all the time can make you feel miserable, embarrassed and interfere with things, including your sex life.
But What Do We Mean When We Say We feel Bloated?
Everyone’s interpretation of it can vary, like we can feel bloated after having a big meal. Like we’ve got trapped wind. We can say we’re bloated when we’ve got puffy skin, that’s all marshmallowy. Or our tummy can actually look bigger and stick out.
Bloating isn’t the same as fluid retention – when skin can look marshmallowy or for example, a swollen tummy in liver disease known as ascites (“a-sigh-teas”), which is fluid build-up in the abdominal cavity.
What Can Bring On Symptoms?
Here’s some possible causes:
- Over-eating and feeling full
- Exercise, especially endurance exercise, can bring on gut issues, including bloating
- Certain foods, such as cabbage and beans
- Some sports supplements (and some of their ingredients)
- Gulping down your food
- Fizzy drinks
- Chewing gum
- If you’re a woman – time of the month – some women find they get bloated around their period
- Bloating can be a symptom in several medical conditions, including:
What Can You Do About It?
Some ideas for you:
- See a doctor for advice if you can’t get rid of it yourself
- Wear looser clothing
- Try peppermint oil
- Chew food well and eat with your mouth shut (and no talking when you’re eating!..so you don’t gulp down air)
- Don’t eat on the go
- You could try gradually increasing your fibre intake – UK recommendations currently 30g per day for adults (and make sure you drink enough)
- Try light exercise, such as going for a walk to “deflate”
- Have a “better out than in” mentality (with manners though!), because it can be painful trying to hold onto it
- People’s interpretation of feeling “bloated” can mean different things
- Occasional bloating is normal
- Avoid over-eating (this will also save you some extra calories too)
- If you have IBS, you can be more sensitive to bloating and pain
- Have a “Better out than in” mentality – go for a walk or other light exercise to deflate
- Have a good “eating behaviour”, such as chewing food well, sitting upright when eating
- Bloating can be a symptom of several medical conditions – speak with a doctor (and describe exactly what you mean by “bloated”, so they can better understand you and give you the right help and support)
By the way, you can join my free Facebook group, IBS & Exercise Nutrition Insiders, here.
*** If you find you’re suffering with bloating all the time; if it gets worse; if you experience other symptoms as well such as fever, pain, or blood in your poop; then please see your doctor to get checked out ***
If you want more info and need help with tackling your bloating, then get in touch.
N.B. It is crucial to get your food and fluid intake right if you want to control your IBS symptoms and if you want train harder, go faster and recover quicker from training sessions and competitions. Dietary requirements are highly individualised and there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach. Working with an Accredited Sports Dietitian to develop a bespoke plan based on your unique requirements will help to ensure the most appropriate strategy and best results are achieved.
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