Bloating is one of those things that might feel different for everyone. It could feel like your stomach is full of air and if you stick a pin in it, it would pop. It could feel like you have something stuck in your stomach, or periods of sharp or dull pain, or just a slew of everything all at once.
One of the reasons bloating might feel different for everyone is because bloating can happen for many different reasons. Different causes might be triggering different kinds of bloat.
Yet one thing’s for sure: No matter what bloating feels like to you, it isn’t fun for anyone.
Learn what might be causing your bloat, and how to find the help you need to feel better soon.
Eating too fast
One of the most common causes of bloat is scarfing down food as fast as you can. Whether you’re in a pinch for time or just starving, most of us eat much too fast. The problem is when we eat quickly, we’re not chewing our food thoroughly—which means those large pieces of food get to your stomach and chill there. When you eat quickly, you also tend to swallow more air, which can cause gas. Both of these things don’t bode well for your tummy. Try counting to 20 for each piece of food you chew. This will help slow you down.
You eat a lot of raw veggies
Good for you if your diet is full of healthy vegetables. But unfortunately, though good for you, most veggies, especially when eaten raw, cause bloat. Cruciferous vegetables, which include high-fiber veggies like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kale, are the most common culprits. If you think this might be your bloat offender, try steaming your veggies before devouring to see if that helps.
Eating and then lying down
How many times have you scarfed down dinner and then laid on the couch to watch TV? (Guilty.) Problem here: Lying down can impair digestion. You especially want to watch out for eating too close to bedtime. Lying down for that long with food in your stomach cause slow the break-down process, and you could wake up feeling worse. Try finishing up with dinner about three hours before you go to bed, if you cab.
You use artificial sweeteners
Put Sweet’N Low in your coffee? Drink diet soda that’s made with aspartame? Artificial sweeteners seem relatively harmless since they’re no or low-calorie, but they’ve been long touted to cause unpleasant stomach bloat. Try eliminating them from your diet and see how you feel (and always check nutrition labels to see if it’s added—it can sneak into all sorts of products).
Beans are a big part of your diet
Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart, the more you eat, the more…bloated you feel (that’s how that rhyme goes right?). All types of beans (kidney, pinto, black, red, etc.) are definitely good for your heart, but the carbohydrates in beans tend to be indigestible. Ease up on the burritos, and you might feel the relief you’re looking for.
You’re always chewing gum
Chewing gum or sucking on certain hard candies can cause you to swallow excessive air, leading it to get trapped in your gut and cause bloat, burping, and just overall feeling of puffiness. Try to limit your gum and candy intake; when you’re craving the sweet stuff, take a sip of water instead (which can keep everything moving in your stomach and get rid of excess air).
You might have a condition
If your bloat is consistent, and you have other symptoms accompanying it like diarrhea, constipation, and stomach pain, it might be worth getting screened for irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, one of the most common stomach conditions. See a gastroenterologist if you notice certain foods aren’t sitting with you right, and they’ll be able to help you adjust your diet. Other conditions that could cause excessive bloat include Crohn’s disease and diverticulitis.
Do you suffer from stomach bloat? Do you think one of these reasons could be to blame?