For some people, the unpleasant sensation of bloating can be far more frequent and persistent, as bloating is caused by – and is a characteristic of – many conditions. One of these conditions is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). What is IBS and how can you relieve it to help reduce your bloat?
Bloating is a common aspect of IBS and it tends to happen more in the evenings.
Bloating with IBS is considered more likely to be caused by the erratic propulsion of contents through the bowel rather than excess wind.
There are other symptoms which may be associated with IBS, which include bowel cramps, diarrhoea, excessive wind, feeling that you haven't fully emptied your bowels, passing mucus from your bottom and occasionally experiencing an urgent need to go to the toilet.
Certain home remedies or lifestyle changes may help to relieve your IBS symptoms without the use of medication. Examples of these lifestyle changes include:
Regular physical exercise
Cutting back on caffeinated beverages that stimulate the intestines
Eating smaller meals
Minimizing stress (talk therapy may help)
Taking probiotics ("good" bacteria normally found in the intestines) to help relieve gas and bloating
Avoiding deep-fried or spicy foods
When it comes to reducing symptoms of IBS and reduce bloating, avoid the following food:
Milk and milk products like cheese or ice cream
Caffeinated drinks like coffee
Carbonated drinks like soda, especially those that contain artificial sweeteners (like sorbitol) or high-fructose corn syrup
Some fruits and vegetables
Although there are many ways to treat IBS, the exact cause of IBS is still unknown by medical experts.
Possible causes include an overly sensitive colon or immune system.
Postinfectious IBS is caused by a previous bacterial infection in the gastrointestinal tract.
The varied possible causes make IBS difficult to prevent.
If your bloating and discomfort caused from IBS persists or is getting worse, it's strongly recommended to carefully monitor your diet and speak to your GP about the appropriate steps moving forward.