Easy Ways to Live Well: Steph McGovern discusses bloating



Stomach bloating is typically the result of a build-up of gas in the gastrointestinal tract. The GI tract is a series of hollow organs joined in a long, twisting tube from the mouth to the anus. This channel breaks down food as it is transported through the body, helping the body to absorb nutrients and flush out excess matter. However, certain foods are known to aggravate this system and can lead to both a swollen belly and painful symptoms. This is when a certain diet is advised to help remedy your stomach bloating.

Digestive issues are often linked to food intolerances or allergies which are often near-impossible to simply detect on your own.

Health experts often recommend a low-FODMAP diet to help combat stomach bloating symptoms and issues.

By introducing a low-FODMAP way of eating, one can then slowly add back different food groups one by one to ascertain which group is the worst offender.

One study found a low-FODMAP diet helped up to 86 percent of patients with IBS-related bloating issues.

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Stomach bloating: Best diet

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Stomach bloating: Best diet

In the study, which was published in the National Library of Health, the efficacy of a low-FODMAP diet to treat irritable bowel syndrome was investigated.

“Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic gastrointestinal (GI) disorder characterized by symptoms of abdominal pain, bloating, and altered bowel habit such as constipation, diarrhoea, or both,” began the study.

It added: “It is the most common GI condition seen by general practitioners and accounts for up to 50 percent of patients seen in gastroenterology clinics.

“FODMAPs are a group of carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and subsequently fermented in the small or large intestine.

“These poorly absorbed short-chain carbohydrates include fructose and lactose (in patients who malabsorb these with impaired enzyme activity or transport mechanisms), fructans, galacto-oligosaccharides, and polyols or sugar alcohols.

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“There are two main mechanisms responsible for the induction of symptoms in patients with IBS by FODMAPs.

“First, FODMAPs are poorly absorbed by the small intestine and are osmotically active, leading to net secretion of fluid into the small intestine.

“Second, FODMAPs are rapidly fermented by the colonic microbiota, leading to colonic distention from gas production, with associated pain and bloating.”

The study concluded that following a low-FODMAP diet help to improve overall gastrointestinal symptoms as well as individual symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, abdominal distention, and flatulence following the diet.

Stomach bloating: Water

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Stomach bloating: Water

FODMAP stands for “fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols”.

They are short-chain carbs that are resistant to digestion.

Instead of being absorbed into your bloodstream, they reach the far end of your intestine where most of your gut bacteria reside.

A list of examples of foods and drinks to eat on a low FODMAP diet are certain vegetables and fruits, lactose-free dairy, hard cheeses, meat, fish, chicken, eggs, rice, oats, quinoa, non-dairy milk, and small servings of nuts and seeds.

A list of examples of certain foods and drinks to avoid on a low FODMAP diet are some vegetables and fruits, beans, lentils, wheat, dairy products with lactose, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners.

Another simple method to help reduce your bloating is ensuring you are drinking enough water.

If you are bloated and your stomach feels like it’s about to pop, downing water may be the best quick fix, said Dr Mehmet Oz.

He continued: “Good old H2O restores the sodium balance in the body and normalizes your digestive tract.

“Be sure to keep hydrated.

“Drink the daily recommendation of eight glasses of water to rid the body of harmful toxins.”