Some people define bloating as feeling like their stomach is distended. This type of bloating may or may not be accompanied by constipation. To other people, bloating is belly protrusion that persists despite weight loss.
Some of the triggers for bloating are:
- Carbohydrate Trigger: With regard to this type of bloating, the common refrain is that people feel fine after breakfast, but the bloating starts up soon after. Within an hour of lunch, the stomach distends to the point where pants need to be unbuttoned, and it remains this way for the rest of the day. It is often only relieved upon waking up the next morning.
- Constipation: Normal intestinal gas gets trapped behind slow-moving poop and builds up as a result. The trick to eliminating this belly bloat is a very gradual increase in dietary fibre. Too much additional fibre too quickly can actually make the bloating worse, so the key is to ramp up slowly. Focus on insoluble fibre from bran, seeds, and fruit and vegetable skins rather than soluble fibre, like inulin, from processed, high-fibre cereals and snack foods. The former is much more likely to speed up the intestinal transit of poop while limiting the amount of gas produced as a by-product.
- Undiagnosed Celiac Disease: Celiac disease or an intolerance to wheat or gluten seems a likely trigger. Often, a Celiac-related bloated belly can take some time to deflate—up to a day or two after eating the trigger food. Celiac-related bloating may also be accompanied by foul-smelling flatulence and diarrhoea, though it's not unheard of to endure constipation instead. A simple blood test will tell your doctor whether further diagnostic testing is warranted.
- Acid Reflux or Dyspepsia: Also called indigestion, this type of bloating is especially bad when there is excessive acid production in the stomach.
- Excess Tummy Fat: If an otherwise thin person complains of bloating but denies constipation, discomfort, or excess flatulence, he or she may be carrying extra tummy fat. There are several reasons this can happen. Cigarette smoking can influence where fat is deposited, and it tends to favour the tummy. Chronic alcohol intake also favours fat deposition in the abdominal area—more so in men, but to a lesser degree in women, too. This has to do with an increase in the enzyme system designed to metabolize substantial alcohol intake; these enzymes are concentrated in the abdominal area and convert alcohol into storage-ready fats known as triglycerides.
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