Quick Fixes For Bloating
Whether you’re sitting massaging your tummy, trying to drink copious amounts of water, or putting on trousers with an elasticated waistband in the hopes of a little extra comfort, dealing with bloating isn’t ideal. It can leave you feeling uncomfortable, gassy, and often, in pain.
Luckily, there are some quick fixes that you can do to ease the bloating and pain you’re experiencing fairly fast and get back to feeling more comfortable and confident in your own skin!
So, let’s take a look at exactly what you can do when you feel like a bowling ball has shacked up in your tummy…
The First Protocol: Identify The Reason for Bloating
The very first thing you need to do when dealing with bloat is identify the reason that you’re experiencing it. Obviously, the answer might not always be super clear or there may be several factors influencing it. However, if you can try to identify the reason for bloat, you can feel more informed about your body and in some cases, be able to stop the bloating before it even occurs.
So, let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons you might be experiencing bloating…
Is It Cycle-Related Bloating?
Many of us deal with bloating and other physical symptoms related to our menstrual cycles, especially those that suffer from PMS (premenstrual syndrome) a couple of weeks before their period, which equates to around 90% of women.
Whilst you can take a look at more in-depth explanations of how people change throughout their cycle, the short answer to why bloating happens before your period is that there are so many hormonal fluctuations during your cycle and specifically in the weeks leading up to and during menstruation.
As estrogen rises and progesterone lowers just before and during your period, you’re much more likely to experience fluid retention.
Is It IBS?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a gastrointestinal condition that causes discomfort, pain, irregular bowel movements and other GI issues such as bloating.
The cause of IBS is unknown, but it’s a common condition that you might want to look into if you’re experiencing constant or regularly occurring bloating (especially if accompanied by other symptoms of IBS).
Is It An Intolerance?
Have you noticed that you get bloated after consuming certain things? You might have an intolerance (or potentially even an allergy) to something that you’re consuming regularly.
One of the best ways to figure out if you could be dealing with intolerance is to do a food diary - record everything you eat and how your body reacts/how you feel.
This way, if you notice that you start to bloat after drinking your daily latte every day, you might have a slight dairy or milk intolerance and you might want to try asking for oat milk instead!
You may also want to do an intolerance and allergy test to get quicker, more accurate results.
6 Quick Fixes For Bloating
If you’ve been able to pinpoint the reason that you’re bloating, then this is great news and it means you might be able to stop the bloating by tackling the issue. However, when it comes to hormonal bloating or unknown bouts of bloating, there isn’t much that you can do about the root cause of it. Instead, you have to work to reduce the severity of the bloating!
So, here are 6 ways you can beat the bloat…
Eat foods that banish the bloat, not add to it
If you’ve ever eaten soy sauce and woken up with a particularly puffy face the next day, you know how easily certain foods can make you bloat.
So, it’s important to eat the type of foods that help your body work optimally and reduce your consumption of bloat-inducing foods!
Focus on getting potassium-rich foods, protein, and healthy fats and ditch the sugar, dairy, overly salty foods, and any other products that you know make you bloat.
Eating in alignment with your cycle is also always a good idea - it can not only boost energy and productivity levels throughout the month, but can also help to reduce PMS symptoms such as bloating too!
Move your body
Doing exercise regularly helps to support mental and physical health, so should be prioritised anyway. However, when you’re bloating, exercise is even more of a godsend!
Moving your body doesn’t just help get your circulation working, but it also supports the movement of gas in the digestive tract that’s keeping you bloated!
If you’re feeling bloated due to your period or PMS, the last thing you might want to do is hit the gym. So, try light exercise instead! Doing light exercise still helps to reduce bloating and can add an extra burst of energy into your day - why not try yin yoga to get into a flow state or take a nice walk outside?
Just make sure you’re moving your body in a way that feels good for you: after all, exercise is not a one-size-fits-all.
Skip your morning coffee and evening glass of wine
If you’re experiencing bloating, one of the best things you can do is stop consuming caffeine and alcohol. These substances are only going to dehydrate you and further aggravate the digestive system. So, switch them for a tea or glass of water, just for now!
If you’re someone that normally consumes caffeine or/and alcohol, try to ditch them both or at least reduce the amount you’re consuming whilst you’re dealing with bloating, especially if it’s cycle-related bloating!
Both caffeine and alcohol both make physical symptoms associated with PMS worse, so try to go without and you’ll be feeling much better in no time.
Add natural diuretics to your diet
Diuretics promote you to urinate and when you pee more, you’re going to retain less water and therefore your bloating will ease.
Obviously, at the same time, you also need to be consuming an adequate amount of water daily to support kidney function and stay hydrated.
So, add some natural diuretics to your diet such as ginger, asparagus, or juniper.
Practice self-massage on the abdomen and other bloated areas
You don’t need to head to a spa or get a lymphatic massage from the best practitioner in your town to benefit from a massage - you can stimulate your lymphatic system, reduce constipation and gas, and relieve bloating by massaging yourself.
So, lay down, grab some massage oil, and gently give your abdomen (or anywhere that is particularly bloated) a massage in slow, sweeping motions. Just make sure you’re not applying too much pressure!
You’ll likely notice that you feel lighter and less bloated very quickly!
Supplement with magnesium
Making sure that you’re consuming the right amount of macro and micronutrients every day can help you to reduce bloating in the long run by helping your body perform optimally!
However, in particular, magnesium can help to reduce bloating (especially when it comes to PMS-related bloating, as those with a magnesium deficiency are more likely to experience these symptoms). Magnesium helps by helping reduce inflammation and the likelihood of constipation and gas.
Research has shown that taking vitamin B6 alongside magnesium can be even more powerful for reducing PMS-related symptoms. So, make sure you’re supplementing right!
Dealing with bloat isn’t fun, but there are remedies to easing the bloat and helping yourself feel lighter and happier. So, next time the bloat hits, you know what to do!
That being said, if bloating is a constant issue that you’re dealing with, put your health first and seek medical advice from a professional.
Ps, be kind to your body when you’re bloated - it’s still beautiful!