Stomach bloating can be more than a mild inconvenience. The symptoms, which include feeling like the belly is about to burst and painful abdominal cramps, can halt plans at the last-minute. It is well understood that eliminating gassy culprits from the diet can help to banish the bloat. Another way to keeping bloating at bay is to massage the affected area.
Massaging stimulates bowel activity
According to TV doctor Dr Oz, massaging the abdominal area helps relax the muscles that support the bladder and intestine.
He recommended trying the following exercise: “Press your fingers near your right hip. Start massaging in small circles. Move hands from right to left making an arc under your breastbone.”
As he explained, massaging stimulates bowel activity to help push out excess stool and reduce bloating.
According to the NHS, another simple self-tip is to reduce air intake.
As the NHS explained, a person can reduce their air intake by:
- Not talking and eating at the same time
- Sitting down to eat (sitting upright and not slumped over)
- Reduce the amount of fizzy drinks consumed
- Stop chewing gum and chew with the mouth closed so that they’re not taking in excess air
If the bloating persists, it may be a reaction to certain foods.
As Harvard Health explained, the key culprits are in a group known as FODMAPs (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols).
- Legumes (chickpeas, lentils, beans)
Foods or drinks with fructose or artificial sweeteners are also on the FODMAP list.
“We all have an increased amount of gas in the body after eating them, but some of us react to them more severely than others,” explained Dr. Kyle Staller, a gastroenterologist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.
If that’s the case, it helps to identify which of these foods a person reacts to and avoid them.
The NHS recommended keeping a food diary for a couple of weeks, noting everything that a person eats and drinks and when bloating troubles them the most.
“But do not get rid of food groups long-term without advice from your GP,” said the NHS.
It is also important to not rule out a more serious underlying condition.
If bloating persists and interferes with daily activities a person should consult their doctor.
According to Dr Oz, this could be a warning sign of a number of “silent” disorders such as endometriosis, peptic ulcer, liver, kidney, gallbladder, celiac, thyroid, and pelvic inflammatory diseases as well as cancers such as stomach, colon, and ovarian.
It’s also frequently linked to irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, and other gastrointestinal conditions, he said.
“If you notice that your abdomen is looking persistently and unusually inflated and/or you’re experiencing intense pain, be sure to schedule an appointment,” he added.
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