Body & Fitness

Why do I feel bloated?

Shrinking waistband syndrome” is an all too-common condition. Lots of us suffer from this problem, where clothes are comfortable in the morning but mysteriously feel tight later in the day.

Chances are you probably put it down to scoffing too much food. But there can be a variety of reasons for a swelling stomach.

Bloating is often caused by irritable bowel syndrome.

If you have this, you’re also likely to experience cramps. other digestive and intestinal conditions can cause bloating and should be checked out.

Persistent bloating can sometimes be a sign of ovarian or colon cancer, so if it’s an ongoing problem, you must go and see your doctor.

However, there are also some harmless causes, which can be easily remedied.

Chewing gum

When you chew gum you swallow more air, and this in turn can increase the risk of bloating. Sugar-free gum can make this worse, as it contains ingredients which are fermented by bacteria in the gut and may cause bloating.

Eating quickly also triggers bloating as you’re more likely to swallow extra air.

Your hormones

Women’s fluctuating hormones can trigger bloating – and not just because your body retains more fluid. Increased levels of the progesterone hormone causes muscles in the abdomen to relax. It also relaxes muscles in the bowel, meaning it’s less efficient at moving waste through the body and can lead to constipation and bloating.

Going on a diet

If you’re eating a lot of healthy food you may sometimes find you’re bigger around the middle. This can be due to these foods fermenting in the gut. Introduce them to your diet gradually so your body has time to adjust.

High-protein diets often lead to a swollen abdomen, because they can include very little fibre. It’s important to eat a balanced diet, including ample fibre.

Being on antibiotics

This medication can disrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut, depleting good bacteria that helps to stimulate the digestive process. As a result, you can end up with too much bad bacteria, making you more sensitive to foods that ferment in the gut. Bloating and gas can be the outcome.Taking probiotics can help to restore the balance between good and bad bacteria.

**Health watch

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