Stomach bloating describes what happens when too much gas clogs up a person’s gastrointestinal tract. The result tends to be an uncomfortable bout of tummy swelling. Common wisdom says to cut out gassy foods known to trigger the condition. An everyday drink can also help to alleviate symptoms.
According to Dr Oz, when a person’s belly feels on the brink of bursting, downing a glass of water may offer a quick fix.
As he explained: “Good old H2O restores the sodium balance in the body and normalises your digestive tract.”
Restoring the balance of water is essential to combatting bloating.
As medical website LiveStrong pointed out, sodium causes a person’s body to retain water, which can make their body seem bloated.
“This occurs through a process initiated by your sodium intake and relieved by the work of your kidneys,” explained the health body.
To counter and avert the risks of bloating, it is important to keep hydrated, according to Dr Oz.
“Drink the daily recommendation of eight 8-oz glasses of water to rid the body of harmful toxins,” he advised.
If the bloating persists, it may signify a food sensitivity.
As the NHS reported, a sensitivity to wheat in particular is increasingly common.
“Probably a third of patients in my allergy clinic complain of digestive symptoms such as bloating, diarrhoea, vomiting and stomach pain after eating bread,” said Isabel Skypala PhD, specialist allergy dietitian at the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust.
If a person has bloating or other minor symptoms after eating bread, Dr Skypala recommended trying an elimination diet. “This is where you completely cut out wheat from your diet for four weeks, then gradually bring it back in to see if symptoms reappear,” she said.
Dr Skypala added: “When you bring wheat-based foods back in, I recommend trying Weetabix or pasta first for a few days before starting on bread. It’s better to start with wheat in a more pure form, as bread has so many other ingredients.”
According to the NHS, foods that contain wheat include:
- Cakes and pastries
- Hydrolysed vegetable protein (HVP)
- Soy sauce
According to Dr Skypala, there are a number of wheat-free substitutes on the market now. She advised opting for gluten-free bread and other types of grains, such as quinoa, corn and rice.
She added: “Just make sure you substitute other equally nutritious foods for the wheat-based ones you’re cutting out.”
Keeping a food diary is an effective way to determine whether a person has a food sensitivity, noted the NHS.
The health body recommended jotting down foods that trigger the bloat to help identify the worst culprits.