For me, bloating has been one of the most frustrating parts of IBS. It has also been the one that I experience most often.
While I guess it’s an improvement on the almost daily nausea I had a few years ago, it’s still uncomfortable and disruptive.
When I’m bloated, I’m pretty much always focused on the midsection of my body because I just feel it all the time. It also makes it harder to do some things that I love, like going for a run or buttoning my pants.
Fortunately, there are so many things you can do to banish bloating. And the better you know your body, the easier and faster you will be able to respond to this issue.
Here are 9 great ways to banish bloating to make living with IBS a little more comfortable.
9 Ways to Banish Bloating
This post contains affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. See my Disclosure Policy for more information.
1. Drink warm beverages.
Warm beverages support digestion by helping foods flow more easily through the body.
Try drinking hot tea throughout the day. And one of my favorite warm beverages is my morning tonic. It can be an acquired taste, but it’s so helpful when you’re feeling gassy or bloated.
I try to drink it every morning and throughout the day, if necessary. I even keep a small bottle of apple cider vinegar in my desk drawer, just in case.
2. Get moving!
When you’re bloated, exercise may be the last thing you want to do. But it’s one of the easiest ways to beat the bloat.
Cardio can be especially helpful with bloating. Running, swimming, biking, or aerobics are all great options.
If you’re really struggling with the idea of moving while feeling bloated, try something gentle. A walk or yoga for digestion can do wonders.
3. Use digestive bitters.
Bitter flavors have gone out of style in our diet, but they’re amazing when it comes to digestion.
Bitters signal to the body that digestion is starting, and they get the digestive juices flowing. They also stimulate the flow of bile, which aids in the digestion of fats.
I love Urban Moonshine’s digestive bitters. I often add a dropperful to my water bottle when I’m feeling bloated or nauseous, and they help quickly.
4. Stay hydrated.
This may seem counterintuitive, as we often associate bloating with water retention. But when we don’t drink enough water, the body begins to retain fluid, leading to feelings of distention.
Dry drinking at least half your body weight in ounces of water each day. Not only will it prevent your body from retaining water, staying hydrated also supports the movement of food through the digestive system.
5. Examine your stress.
The central nervous system and digestive system are linked. So when you experience mental and emotional stress, your intestines may also become irritated. Among other gastrointestinal issues, this can lead to bloating.
Earlier this year, I was constantly uncomfortably bloated over a period of a few months. It was bad enough that I went to see my doctor.
He offered a lot of helpful solutions, but none of them did the trick. I finally recognized a huge source of stress in my life that I had previously not acknowledged. Once I started managing it, the bloating disappeared.
Stress is a natural and daily part of living in our world. Learning how to manage it through methods like mindfulness, journaling, meditation, exercise, and others can be enormously helpful for bloating and for other issues.
6. Consider what you’re eating…
Some foods are more likely to cause bloating. Common causes of bloating include:
- Legumes, like beans and lentils
- Cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli
- Fatty foods
Just because these foods cause bloating for some people doesn’t mean that you have to cut them out. When eating them, just be mindful of how you feel in the days following to see if they’re having any effect on your digestion.
7. …and chew it well.
A huge source of bloating is food that has not been chewed enough. Large pieces of food sit longer in your digestive tract, leading to a feeling of distention.
When eating, take your time and focusing only on eating your food. Take small bites and chew them well before swallowing.
8. Cook your veggies.
Vegetables that are high in soluble fiber cause digestive problems for some people. Soluble fiber is highly fermentable. When the bacteria in the gut are breaking soluble fiber down, they produce gases, which can cause uncomfortable bloating.
One way to help your body more easily digest vegetables is to cook them by steaming, roasting, or sauteeing. Cooking the vegetables breaks down the fibers they contain, lessening their impact on the digestive system.
9. Limit carbonated and alcoholic beverages.
Carbonated beverages are – surprise! – filled with carbon dioxide that travels to your intestines and makes you bloated.
Since alcohol can cause diarrhea, which makes you lose a lot of water, your body will counteract it by retaining water.
Alcohol is often high in sugar or combined with sugary mixers. And consuming too much sugar leads to gas and bloating.
Limiting or cutting out carbonated and alcoholic beverages can have a big impact on bloating issues.
While bloating is no fun, there are so many ways to beat it! Here’s a quick overview:
- Drink warm beverages.
- Get moving!
- Use digestive bitters.
- Stay hydrated.
- Examine your stress.
- Consider what you’re eating…
- …and chew it well.
- Cook your veggies.
- Limit carbonated and alcoholic beverages.
What do you do when you’re feeling bloated?