A swollen belly is often uncomfortable, and this is often the result of bloating. Usually caused by excess gas production or a disturbance of the muscles in your digestive system, it can cause increased pressure and discomfort. 

I some cases, the effect can be extreme causing an enlarged stomach, making it look larger than it is. Not the same as water retention, bloating involves excessive amounts of solid, liquids and gas in your digestive system. 

Here are 7 ways to reduce or eliminate bloating.

1 – Make your meals smaller

Eating too much and too quickly can leave you feeling bloated. If you are eating larger meals and feel uncomfortable afterwards, the first action should be to reduce the amount of food in each meal. 

If you are still hungry or feel like you can not consume your daily calories without larger meals, try adding 1 or 2 more meals into your day – this gives your digestive system time to process what you have eaten. 

Another tip is to chew your food lower and better – reducing the amount of air you consume with the food and also making you eat slower, giving time for the body to digest before the next mouthful.

2 – Rule of allergies and intolerances

Food allergies may also be a cause of bloating, when eating foods that you are intolerant to can cause excess gas and bloating. 

A few common foods to consider testing avoiding are:

  • Lactose 
  • Fructose
  • Eggs
  • Wheat
  • Gluten

3 – Don’t eat foods that cause gas

There are foods out there which will make some people produce higher amounts of gas. Beans and lentils, as well as other whole grains are the culprit here. Eat less of these foods, or test out a few days without these. 

Fatty foods can also slow down your digestion and emptying of the stomach. This can be beneficial to satiety, but can be a problem for people with a tendency to bloating.

4 – Beware of Sugar Alcohols

Sugar alcohols are commonly used in sugar free foods and gums. They act as sweeteners and are generally considered to be a safe alternative to sugar itself. 

The downside to these is that they may cause digestive issues, as they tend to reach bacteria in the large intestine, which digests them and produces gas.

Try avoiding sugar alcohols like xylitol, sorbitol and mannitol. The sugar alcohol erythritol may be better tolerated than the others, but it can also cause digestive issues in large doses.

5 – Take a digestive supplement

You are able to by over the counter products which will help counter acting bloating and digestion. These supplements will include enzymes that can help break down digestible carbohydrates.

6 – Take a probiotic

Similar to a supplement, probiotics can help to work against the bacteria in your digestive system. Depending on the individual, you should take a stronger or different mix of probiotic. 

Probiotic supplements can have numerous benefits, making them definitely worth testing out if you are prone to bloating.

7 – Consult your doctor to rule out any chronic issues

If you have a serious and persistent problem even after trying out any of the above to weed out issues, you should aim to get an appointment with your doctor. 

With the possibility of some chronic disorders or a serious medical condition, diagnosing the issue you reduce pain and further complications.