It is something that affects a quarter of healthy people on a daily basis.
But bloating can have a number of different causes, some less obvious than others.
Gas can be a natural byproduct of digestion, but certain factors can cause an increase in gas production, resulting in bloating.
From using a straw to broccoli and Brussels sprouts, gastroenterologist Dr Almed Albusoda revealed to MailOnline all the things that could be giving you bloat.
Dr Almed Albusoda, Consultant Gastroenterologist at Princess Grace Hospital London, revealed to MailOnline all the things that could be causing bloat
using a straw
Think twice before reaching for a straw the next time you have a drink.
Because with each sip you first swallow air, which can lead to increased gas production, according to Dr. Albusoda, a consultant gastroenterologist at Princess Grace Hospital in London.
He said: ‘This happens when you use a drinking straw: when you take a sip of your drink, air travels into your digestive tract, causing increased gas and bloating.
“This is further aggravated by drinking soda through a straw, so stick with non-carbonated drinks and lose the straw if you’re particularly susceptible to bloating.”
Carbonated drinks can make bloating worse because the fluid already contains gas.
There are many possible side effects of taking antibiotics.
But they can also upset the natural balance of bacteria in the gut, leading to bloating.
Dr. Albusoda said this occurs due to an overgrowth of certain bacteria that can cause an increase in gas production.
He added: ‘If you’ve recently finished a course of antibiotics, there are a number of things you can do to minimize the negative effects.
“This includes taking quality probiotic supplements, eating fermented foods like kimchi, kefir, or sauerkraut, and eating fruits like bananas and watermelon that are high in prebiotics.”
Probiotics break down hard-to-digest molecules and help restore the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut, thereby reducing bloating and gas production.
Fiber-rich vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts are recommended to balance hormones and control cholesterol.
But cruciferous vegetables contain raffinose, a sugar that remains undigested until fermented by intestinal bacteria, causing gas and bloating.
Cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower, cabbage, and kale, are also high in sulfur, which can lead to excess gas.
Some people’s bodies are unable to process sulfur properly, resulting in a buildup that causes intestinal inflammation.
And too much fiber can also be hard for your body to digest, especially if you’re not drinking enough water, which helps break it down.
Dr. Albusoda added: “If you suffer from bloating after eating these foods, try swapping them out for vegetables like zucchini, green beans, carrots, spinach, or squash.”
“These are lower in fiber and therefore easier for our gut to digest.”
eat too fast
Busy lifestyles generally don’t lend themselves to mindful eating, said Dr. Albusoda.
He said: ‘You can regularly dine on the sofa while watching TV or out and about between meetings or running errands.
“And this can mean we’re distracted, in a hurry, and not chewing our food long enough.”
The faster you eat, the more air you swallow, and just like fizzy drinks, once the air passes into your intestine, it can lead to bloating and discomfort.
Dr. Albusoda added: “Try to practice mindful eating by turning off your TV, not looking at your phone during meals, sitting at a table to help with digestion, and chewing your food properly before moving on to the next bite.”
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
Your bloating could be the sign of too much bacteria in your gut.
Small intestinal bacterial outgrowth (SIBO) occurs when there is an increase in the types of bacteria in the small intestine, especially those that would normally grow elsewhere in the digestive tract.
Dr. Albusoda said that while the key symptoms of SIBO are usually abdominal pain and diarrhea, it can also cause bloating and gas.
He said: “As bacterial overgrowth begins to consume the body’s nutrients, patients may also suffer from malnutrition and unintentional weight loss.”
This is because the bacteria can prevent your body from digesting and absorbing the food you eat. This can result in a deficiency of vitamins and other nutrients.
SIBO can be caused by a number of things, including a complication after GI surgery or an underlying condition such as liver disease, celiac disease, IBD, diabetes, or gastroparesis.
The recurring condition can affect up to one in seven people, according to the NHS.
It is diagnosed by conducting investigations such as a physical examination of the abdomen, a blood test, a special breath test to check levels of hydrogen and methane (by-products of bacterial growth), or by analyzing a fecal sample.
Treatment for SIBO is usually a simple course of antibiotics or dietary changes if necessary.
Too much salt
In addition to causing high blood pressure and other health problems, eating a high-sodium diet can lead to fluid retention, making you feel bloated and bloated.
Water retention, medically known as edema, is an accumulation of extra fluid in body tissue that causes swelling.
According to the NHS, adults should not eat more than 6g of salt a day (2.4g sodium), about 1 tsp.
Dr. Albusoda advised people to be mindful of the sodium content of prepackaged foods and meals, “as they are often loaded with salt.”
She added: “Drinking more water and eating potassium-rich foods like bananas, lentils and avocado can help with water retention and bloating caused by high salt intake.”