There are no words to express the uncomfortable sensations of a bloated stomach. You feel inflated from the inside out like a giant bubble or air bag. You struggle to put on your clothes and the zip of your jeans refuses to do up. This horrible bloating of your stomach can occur at any time of the day or night and is often as a result of eating or drinking too much or perhaps of eating the wrong types of things and it can be caused through intestinal gas or fluid retention. Either way, it’s uncomfortable to experience and so unsightly you feel embarrassed. You can’t even wear the clothes that you might want to, so instead you opt for the covered up version.
For women, it can be difficult to keep the balance between minerals such as potassium and sodium and when and if this balance becomes altered, sometimes your kidneys instinctively hold onto water just so that the sodium in your body can be diluted. This action results in that bloated extension of your stomach. Not surprisingly, hormones also have a part to play in this as fluid retention is fairly common during the premenstrual cycle and of course, in pregnancy. If you start experiencing bloating and it is not related to your pre-menstrual cycle, then it is often through over eating. Fortunately there are remedies that can help bloating but it can take some time to ascertain the cause so it is a case of trial and error on a personal perspective.
It is important that you drink more water as this can really help you to alleviate that bloated feeling. It might seem strange to drink more water, especially when you feel bloated through fluid retention but if you don’t, your body releases a hormone that works to limit the amount of urine that you pass. If you eat a lot of salt, then this is one change that is important to make. Some people are a little more sensitive to sodium intake than others but salt can definitely cause fluid retention.
If you regularly drink a lot of alcohol, then it’s time to reduce it because eventually, the consumption of alcohol will cause your body to become dehydrated. Foods such as asparagus, cucumbers and fennel are natural diuretics and therefore, it’s better to increase these foods throughout the week. You can also use parsley and coriander to help as a diuretic.
If you like fruit juice, increase the amount of cranberry juice that you consume as this can really help to reduce those bloated symptoms but tea- chamomile, and green and black tea are also safe to drink and extremely useful to help reduce the fluid in your body. Dandelion leaf can be used too but it’s easy to purchase tincture of dandelion leaf from reputable health shops. Never over-do these diuretics however, as natural as they are, they can cause you to lose the fluid from your bloodstream eliminating valuable minerals in the process.
It’s good to eat a sensible diet and to avoid starving yourself as this can actually trigger off the bloating feelings either through gas or for fluid retention. IF you are on a diet, avoid the yo-yo types where you go into starvation mode and then find yourself eating loads as a result because your stomach will find it hard to cope. Eat plenty of seeds, grains and vegetables and always remember to chew your food thoroughly so that your stomach has less to do in respect of digestion.
When your stomach is tender, the last thing that you will wish to do is to exercise but actually exercise can be really useful to help ease the symptoms. You can also try acupuncture to help stimulate your body’s natural fluid control or even try homeopathy. Stress can also be a trigger – especially if your bloating is really a side-effect of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). In the first instance, it can be useful to keep a journal of when your symptoms occur to identify if a pattern occurs, you can then use this information to help prevent it from happening again.