Ever feel bloated after eating? No sooner have you finished your meal and settled down to rest than you’ve suddenly got tight trousers and a bulging stomach. Worse, you may experience cramps, gas, belching, and more.
“Why am I always bloated?” you wonder. If this is you, you’re not alone. Bloating after eating is all too familiar. Usually, it’s to do with your eating habits. Below we’ll explain what bloating is, why it occurs after eating, and what you can do to stop it.
What is Bloating?
Bloating is nothing more than the feeling of a full stomach. Eat too much, and you’ll feel a little bloated. However, people aren’t usually referring to gorging themselves on their favourite foods but an increase in intestinal gas.
Commonly, bloating is accompanied by flatulence and belching as the body tries to expel the excess gases. Occasional bloating is normal. But, if you’re routinely experiencing bloating, especially after certain foods, you should speak to a medical professional (and finish this article).
Why Am I Bloated After Eating?
In a nutshell: it’s the food! Certain foods are more likely to cause bloating and other digestive issues than others – although it varies from person to person. Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins can all cause bloating. However, the primary cause of your bloating is likely to be different from others.
Other causes of bloating include:
- High fibre intake. Eating too much fibre can trigger bloating in some people. While foods like whole grains, beans, and legumes are branded healthier (and that’s true), they are a common culprit in bloating.
- Carbonated drinks. Consuming too much gas (carbon dioxide) from carbonated beverages (think soda or fizzy water) will rapidly cause bloating. Stick to plain water if this is the case.
- Fast eating. Fast eaters have a tendency to swallow air alongside their food. Known as aerophagia, it leads to gas retention in the stomach, causing bloating.
Causes of Bloating
Bloating is a sensation, not a disease. Most people find the underlying cause benign and fixable with minor life changes. However, in others, it requires identifying a food trigger with a sensitivity test.
Causes of bloating include:
- Dietary Choices: Consumption of gas-producing foods such as beans, lentils, broccoli, cabbage, onions, and carbonated drinks.
- Overeating: Consuming large meals or eating too quickly can cause the stomach to stretch and feel uncomfortable.
- Food Intolerances: Some people lack certain enzymes to break down specific foods, like lactose in dairy products, which leads to gas and bloating.
- Gut Disorders: Conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) can cause bloating.
- Constipation: A build-up of stool in the colon can produce excess gas and discomfort.
- Swallowed Air: Habits like drinking through straws, chewing gum, or talking while eating can cause one to swallow excess air, leading to bloating.
How to Stop Feeling Bloated After Eating
Fed up with feeling bloated? Don’t let it ruin your meals; try these simple tips to help relieve and prevent bloating after eating:
- Take a Short Walk: Gentle movement can help stimulate digestion and release trapped gas.
- Sip Herbal Tea: Peppermint and ginger tea can aid digestion and reduce bloating sensations.
- Avoid Gas-Producing Foods: Reduce intake of foods like beans, lentils, broccoli, cabbage, onions, and carbonated drinks.
- Eat Slowly: Eating too quickly can cause you to swallow more air, leading to bloating. Take the time to chew your food thoroughly.
- Limit Carbonated Beverages: The bubbles in sodas and sparkling waters can lead to excess gas in the digestive system.
- Over-the-Counter Remedies: Consider antacids or gas-relief medications if you frequently experience bloating after eating.
- Probiotics: These can help balance the gut bacteria and may reduce bloating, especially if the bloating is related to a gut imbalance.
- Eat Smaller Meals: Consuming smaller, more frequent meals can be easier on your digestive system.
If you’ve tried these tips and nothing seems to work, consider another cause: food intolerances. Food intolerances, allergies, and sensitivities (e.g., lactose intolerance or Coeliac disease) commonly trigger feelings of bloating, in addition to other digestive and systemic symptoms.
To detect these unknown allergies and sensitivities, you should perform an ELISA test that detects raised IgE and IgG4 antibodies for specific foods. It’s a reliable method for identifying food allergies and sensitivities. Then, once you’ve received your results, you can perform an elimination diet to see if the food is a trigger. That involves removing the suspected foods from your diet. Leave it for several days. And then, reintroduce the foods to see if bloating (and other symptoms) reoccurs. If they do, eliminate these foods from your diet permanently.
Bloating can ruin your mealtimes. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it also disrupts any activities you’ve got planned. If you’ve tried the advised tips and are getting nowhere, try our Allergy & Intolerance Test Plus. It’s specifically designed to test for food allergies and sensitivities. The test will identify 38 food and environmental allergies and 79 food intolerances. Send your sample using our kit, and you’ll receive your results in 7 days.
Buy your Allergy & Intolerance Test Plus today! Don’t keep feeling bloated after eating – take action!