Very often bloating and distention is caused by a wide variety of factors and no treatment will be the same for everyone. Additionally, most people will have to trial a number of different approaches simultaneously to get maximum benefit. Adjusting your lifestyle as the first port of call can be hugely beneficial. Here are our top 6 lifestyle treatments to stop bloating.
- Relax and Chew: Digestion happens best when we are relaxed and chew our food properly. An employer of mine use to say to me if I was eating in a rush standing up doing things “sit down and eat like a real person”. It’s important to take time to enjoy food – smell and taste and enjoyment stimulate digestive enzyme flow. Gulping food down too quick, fizzy beverages or drinking too much liquid with a meal can also cause bloating.
- Space Out Your Meals: Constant snacking can disrupt the small intestines ability to clear things out. Aim for 3-4 hour gaps between meals and snacks.
- Avoid Sitting All Day: Ever been on a long plane ride and felt bloated and uncomfortable? Sitting for long periods can cause a build up of gas and interfere with bowel movement. Have breaks every hour to stretch and move your body. Many clients find walking helps.
- Poop and Fart When You Need To: A client of mine once said that she had been married for ten years and never farted in front of her partner. This would sometimes mean holding on for many hours and disappearing into the garden to pass wind! She had never realised that this was a cause of a lot of her feelings of bloating and distention. Now I am not saying to let rip in a room full of colleagues, but if you feel the need to pass wind or poop its important to listen to your body. Taking time outs to use the bathroom can be helpful to do so discretely. “Holding on” all day can cause disruptions to natural digestive movement, and can even lead to chronic constipation.
- Squat To Go: Seated toilets are a recent invention. The natural human position for pooping is the squat position. Many clients find that elevating their legs when they go to the toilet can relieve symptoms of pressure and trapped gas. You can put two bricks either side of your home toilet or buy a “squattie pottie” online.
- Avoid Tight Belts and Sucking Your Tummy In: Often when we feel bloated or distended we are inclined to suck our tummy in, but this can actually interrupt the natural passage of gas internally. Similarly tight belts and clothes can also aggravate the problem.