Bloating 101: How to Beat a Bulging Belly

Bloating is a common, day-to-day battle that can leave you wondering what triggered your bulging belly. The answers may be hidden in what you’re eating. Start the fight against bloating today by identifying the common culprits, and what you can do to keep your belly flat and pain-free.

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Over-the-counter diuretics may be an alternate solution for you if can’t seem to beat bloating through dietary changes. Detoxifying supplements that contain the active ingredient simethicone will dissolve gas quickly to prevent the development of larger bubbles from forming in the intestinal tract. Look for simethicone listed on the ingredient labels of over-the-counter aids. 

Jumpstarting your physical activity can also give your digestive system a boost. Rigorous cardiovascular exercise, such as running or aerobics, activates the sweat glands that release fluids that the body could be retaining. Even just a 15-20 minute stroll around the neighborhood after dinner can help with digestion. Additionally, a workout is a huge stress-reliever; exercise can ease day-to-day pressures and prevent stress-eating.

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Massage is a helpful way to keep bloating at bay. Massaging the abdominal area helps relax the muscles that support the bladder and intestine. Press your fingers near your right hip.  Start massaging in small circles. Move hands from right to left making an arc under your breastbone. Massaging stimulates bowel activity to help push out excess stool and reduce bloating.

See your doctor if you find that bloating is interfering with your daily activities. It could be attributed to many “silent” disorders such as endometriosis, peptic ulcer, liver, kidney, gallbladder, celiac, thyroid, and pelvic inflammatory diseases as well as cancers such as stomach, colon, and ovarian. It’s also frequently linked to irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, and other gastrointestinal conditions. If you notice that your abdomen is looking persistently and unusually inflated and/or you’re experiencing intense pain, be sure to schedule an appointment.