Many people deal with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) that include digestive issues such as abdominal pain, diarrhoea, constipation, and also bloating. The latter can be especially uncomfortable and unflattering, making you feel self-conscious and worried about your body.
Thankfully, there are several ways to deal with IBS bloating or even prevent it. This article offers some tips and general information on IBS and bloating that will help you understand this condition better.
IBS 101 – What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS is a common condition that affects the digestive system and leads to stomach cramps, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, constipation, and also bloating. It is a chronic condition, which means it requires long-term attention. The onset of symptoms might vary in severity and duration, lasting a couple of days or even a few months.
The symptoms can be linked to various foods, stress, family history, and others.
Luckily, only a small number of people suffer from severe signs and the majority can successfully manage their symptoms by following a special diet, avoiding stress, and making some other lifestyle changes.
Why Are People with IBS Often Bloated?
People with IBS often report having a bloated stomach, especially in the evening. The situation might get quite extreme, requiring them to change into loose-fitting clothes to minimise the discomfort throughout the day.
Contrary to popular belief, the cause for IBS bloating does not necessarily seem to be excess wind, although the exact reason is not clear. The main one is believed to be erratic propulsion of contents through the bowel due to disorganised peristaltic contractions. The propulsion can cause sudden, explosive elimination of stools, or can delay any elimination, which results in bloating.
Now that you already know the answer to the question “does IBS cause bloating” (sadly yes!) you might be wondering how to deal with this symptom.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for IBS but bloating can be quite successfully managed or even prevented by avoiding common triggers and changing your diet.
What Foods Trigger IBS Bloating?
There are certain foods to avoid if you are dealing with bloating. Even though the best diet for IBS bloating might require some extra work and time, it is worth the pain as it can help you minimise the symptoms.
An important word to remember if you are dealing with IBS problems is FODMAPs, which stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. Simply put, a low FODMAP diet focuses on limiting foods rich in certain types of carbohydrates, as they are not easily absorbed by the small intestine. Such foods include most dairy products, fruits like apples and cherries, legumes, wheat and rye, as well as sweeteners.
How to Reduce IBS Bloating or Get Rid of It?
The above-mentioned FODMAP diet can serve as a good prevention for dealing with IBS problems. But if you are looking for some fixes to help IBS bloating before an important event or simply because you do not want to deal with discomfort anymore, there are also some ways that can offer quick IBS bloating relief.
The best IBS bloating treatment is avoiding constipation. Bloating often becomes worse if your bowel movements are not regular and laxatives can help you promote regular bowel habits.
If you are trying to quickly get rid of IBS bloating, try exercising (even though you might not feel up to it). This will speed up your bowel movements and also help you deal with other symptoms.
Exercising is good prevention as well, especially if you lead a sedentary lifestyle, as long periods in a seated position might worsen bloating.
Peppermint oil has long been known as a quick relief for stomach problems.
Massage peppermint oil on your belly or simply have a hot cup of peppermint tea as a quick IBS relief. Additionally, peppermint oil capsules are an affordable and natural medication for IBS bloating.
Many people dealing with IBS find great comfort in applying heat to their stomach by using a water bottle or taking a hot bath. The latter can have additional benefits as IBS bloating can also be related to stress so it is a good idea to find some peace and calm during the onset of symptoms.
Avoid chewing gum
If you are stressed out because of your bloating, never chew gum to calm yourself down. The reason behind this is that swallowing air during chewing can make bloating even worse, which is why people suffering from IBS should always eat and drink slowly and avoid chewing gum.
Even though there is no complete cure for IBS bloating, it can be prevented by implementing an appropriate diet. Moreover, following certain tips and your personal physician’s advice might at least make the bloating more bearable and therefore enable you to enjoy your everyday activities.
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