Do you ever feel an unexplained rumbling in your tummy? Or look down and see your stomach bloated beyond its usual size? Many people suffer from bloating and gas, which can range from a simple annoyance to a seriously bothersome medical condition. Unfortunately, there’s no easy, definitive answer. These symptoms can be caused by a wide variety of factors, ranging from lifestyle to underlying medical conditions. Let’s peel back the curtain on these digestive mysteries and look at five potential culprits for your tummy troubles.
1. Ingesting Too Many Fats
Fats are an important part of your diet for many reasons: your body needs them for vital functions like building cell walls and sustaining nerve tissue in your brain. However, ingesting too many fat-heavy foods can cause gas since it takes your body longer to break this macronutrient down compared to carbs and proteins. To determine whether this is your issue, try avoiding common sources of fat such as dairy products. Switching to fat-free milk with a2 goodness is a great place to start.
2. Excessive Carbs and Calories
Your stomach is small – only about the size of your fist – and although it can expand to accommodate greater volumes of food, eating too much will cause it to bloat. If you’re experiencing uncomfortable gas, a good response is to watch what you eat and consider laying off the carbs and calories.
3. Eating Too Fast
When you eat, you’re not just swallowing the food in your mouth, you’re also ingesting the pockets of air you gulp every time you take a bite. While this isn’t a major problem if you’re eating slowly or methodically, scarfing down your food might make you swallow too many air bubbles. This air will then pass down to your intestines, and since it takes up to 20 minutes for you to detect that you’re full, your stomach might get bloated. This condition is called aerophagia and might be the root of your intestinal struggles.
Thankfully, this issue has an easy fix: just chew your food slowly and methodically and wait for a second or two before going in for another bite.
It’s an awkward subject to discuss, but there’s no denying that constipation can be a major factor in your digestive issues. Being constipated means that your bowel movements become fewer or more irregular, allowing gas and bloating to build up in your digestive system. The good news is that constipation typically passes after a few days, so long as you’re eating a healthy diet and remaining at least somewhat active. If you notice symptoms of constipation persisting longer than that, you should check in with your doctor.
5. Medical Conditions
While diet and other temporary annoyances can be at the heart of bloating and gas, unfortunately, such intestinal issues can be signs of more serious conditions. Irritable bowel syndrome is often linked to gas and bloating, while celiac disease attacks the intestines and directly causes extreme gas after eating gluten. If you experience severe bloating or gas for a sustained period of time, you should visit your doctor to see if there are any more serious factors behind it.
Intestinal issues can be a major annoyance that can throw your life off track, so it’s important to get to the root of the issue as soon as you can. See whether any of these potential explanations apply to your situation, and react accordingly. Hopefully, your tumultuous tummy will be put to rest.
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