Easy Ways to Live Well: Steph McGovern discusses bloating
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Bloating is perfectly normal and occurs for most, particularly after an indulgent meal or foods which do not agree with your digestive system. Some foods are more difficult for your body to digest than others. If your bloating is persistent you should go to see a GP. One of the most worrisome causes is ovarian cancer, which is one of the most common types of cancer in women.
According to the NHS, cutting down on foods known to cause wind and bloating may help to alleviate bloating.
If your tummy often feels bloated, it could be due to:
- Excess farting
- Swallowing air (from talking while eating etc)
- Food intolerance
- Coeliac disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome.
There are also some supplements which you may be able to take to reduce any bloating.
These include magnesium and probiotics, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
It says that magnesium supplements can help to neutralise stomach acid and relax the intestinal muscles.
It adds: “Magnesium has a natural laxative effect, which can be helpful from time to time but can be habit-forming if you use it too often.”
The health site also says probiotics can help supplement or rebalance your gut bacteria.
It states: “Some will help you digest your food better in the first place, and others may actually help absorb excess gasses.
“You may have to take them consistently for a few days or weeks to really notice a difference.”
Probiotics are live microorganisms promoted with claims that they provide health benefits when consumed, generally by improving or restoring the gut flora.
As well as vitamins and more common minerals, a healthy diet includes many other nutrients.
Sometimes constipation can cause bloating. The NHS says that if you get constipation, take steps to prevent it by adding more fibre to your diet, drinking lots of fluids and exercising regularly.
“Even a 20 to 30 minute brisk walk four times a week can improve your bowel function,” it adds.
Without fluid, the fibre cannot do its job and you can get constipation.
The NHS notes: “It’s important to keep drinking, especially water. It encourages the passage of waste through your digestive system and helps soften poo.”
Indeed, it says it is a good idea to try to eat more fibre or roughage, as most people in the UK do not get enough.
You should also be aware of “gut triggers” as some people find particular foods cause them problems.
Acidic foods, such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, salad dressings and fizzy drinks, can trigger heartburn.
There are also instances when you should see a doctor. The health body says that if your bloating symptoms persist, consult your GP to rule out a more serious condition.
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