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Feeling that your belly has expanded three sizes after eating a large meal is not the most pleasant feeling, but at least understand why The button on your jeans threatens to explode. But when you feel uncomfortably bloated for no obvious reason, it can make you want to stay home under the covers with your baggy sweatshirts.
"Swelling occurs when gas is trapped in a small section of your intestines," says Scott Huber, MD, a gastroenterologist at the Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. "For some people, such as diabetics, the stomach empties slowly, so they may feel bloated right after eating, and some people may feel bloated after having gained weight." Point out that there is a difference between, ahem, He passed gas and holding on gas. "People think they shouldn't pass gas, but that's totally normal," he says. "However, when you are swollen, the gas makes you feel that your abdominal cavity is distended."
Here are some common reasons why you may be swollen and how to get rid of it (if your swelling persists or if you experience additional symptoms such as fever or weight loss, check with your doctor, who can examine you for conditions such as celiac or inflammatory disease intestinal).
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1 Milk is not your friend.
"When I see patients who say they feel bloated, the first thing I do is get a description of the diet of what they usually eat," says Huber. He says that lactose intolerance is the most common food intolerance: when your body does not produce enough lactase enzyme, it cannot digest a dairy sugar called lactose, which causes bloating and diarrhea. If you have this condition, you are far from alone: it is estimated that 65% of humans across the globe have a limited ability to digest lactose.
How to get relief: With the wide range of milks, yogurts and plant-based ice cream these days (almonds, soy, hemp, oatmeal, cashews and bananas, to name a few), there are many lactose-free options to enjoy. Coffee or drink with a stack of Oreos. For those times when only one real ice cream ball will serve, you can try taking an over-the-counter lactase supplement, such as Lactaid.
two You are eating too fast.
Believe it or not, the speed at which you swallow the food could make your belly swell; The faster you eat, the more air you swallow, sending it to your stomach, where it will feel uncomfortable like in a party balloon.
How to get relief: "Reducing the speed of eating is a good idea for all of us," says Huber. Sitting down to eat, instead of swallowing food on the go, can help you eat more slowly, as well as leave the fork between each bite.
3 You like to chew.
"I always ask patients if they chew gum or tobacco," says Huber. "Because every time you swallow, you swallow air, which can make you feel bloated." Many gums also contain sweeteners, which can increase your swelling problems.
How to get relief: If you chew gum to breathe fresh, switch to a mouthwash or breath spray. If tobacco is your preferred option, talk to your doctor or connect online to come up with a plan to quit.
4 4 You drink a lot of bubbly drinks.
If you consume soda, whether seltzer, diet soda, champagne or a six-pack of beers, the gas in the glass can turn into gas in your stomach. What he doesn't burp reaches his intestines, where the gas makes him feel bloated.
How to get relief: Switch to delicious drinks that don't need carbonation to tickle your taste buds, such as fruit-flavored iced tea, lemonade or red wine.
5 5 Certain carbohydrates are difficult to digest.
If you've ever noticed how swollen and gaseous you feel after eating broccoli or onion, you may be sensitive to a group of short chain carbohydrates known as FODMAP (much easier to say than "fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols") . The small intestine is not excellent for absorbing these carbohydrates, so they just sit there, experience fermentation and create gases. FODMAPs cover a wide variety of foods, including dairy; fruits such as apples, cherries, peaches and plums; sweeteners such as honey, agave, xylitol and sorbitol; vegetables such as asparagus, Brussels sprouts and garlic; beans like chickpeas, lentils and soybeans; and grains like wheat and rye.
How to get relief: Talk to your doctor or nutritionist about trying a diet low in FODMAP. "The only way to know if you have intolerance is to eliminate those foods from your diet for a few weeks," says Huber. (Don't worry, there are still many foods that can eat). "Usually, I have patients try a low FODMAP diet for four weeks and then touch the base to see if there is any change."
6 6 You are constipated
If your swelling goes away after a bowel movement, there is a good chance that it is related to constipation, says Huber. The longer the feces remain in your colon, the more time there will be for bacteria to ferment their contents, creating more gases.
How to get relief: Huber attributes most of the constipation to the American diet typically low in fiber. Adding fiber-rich foods such as whole wheat bread, almonds and sweet potatoes to your diet can help. But if you need additional momentum to get things moving, Huber recommends skipping fiber-based laxatives (which can actually cause even Plus swelling); Instead, it suggests that you try an osmotic laxative such as MiraLAX, which is stronger than fiber and causes less swelling.
7 7 You are having your period.
Fluctuating hormones during your cycle can cause you to retain water in the days before your period, which can cause bloating and cramping.
How to get relief: Magnesium supplements can help with water retention during your period, just as they can reduce the amount of salt in your diet. If the swelling occurs along with other debilitating signs of premenstrual syndrome, such as headaches, fatigue and other aches and pains, talk with your gynecologist about hormonal birth control options that may help decrease symptoms.
Marisa Cohen Marisa Cohen Marisa Cohen is a contributing editor of the Hearst Health Press Room, who has covered health, nutrition, parenting and arts issues in dozens of magazines and websites over the past two decades.
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