What Causes Occasional Bloating?

What Causes Occasional Bloating?

That tight, uncomfortable feeling you get in your stomach when you’re bloated is never fun. Luckily, occasional bloating is pretty common, and there are plenty of solutions out there to help you find relief. Here’s what you should know about occasional bloating, including why it happens and how a probiotic like Align Probiotic Bloating Relief + Food Digestion can help soothe occasional bloating.*

What Causes Occasional Bloating?

If your abdominal region sometimes feels tight and full after certain meals or other activities, you may be experiencing occasional bloating.

Occasional bloating is often due to a buildup of gas in your stomach or other parts of your digestive system, though the tight and full feeling in your abdomen can also sometimes be due to liquid retention. These issues can leave your bloated stomach feeling full and uncomfortable, and it might even lead to a temporarily distended stomach that you can see and feel.

But what causes bloating in the first place?

Certain foods in your diet

Everyone has some gas in their system at any given time. It can be introduced to your system through swallowing, chewing, or drinking carbonated beverages. However, your regular digestive system also produces some gas on its own. Tiny bacteria and other microbes in your gut (which we call the gut microbiome) break down some of the food that you eat. These microbes produce gas as a byproduct. 1

Certain foods, like cauliflower, cabbage, and beans, may produce more gas than others because they ferment while in your digestive system. 2 Additionally, food intolerances can also contribute to bloating. For example, some people are lactose intolerant, which means that their digestive system cannot properly digest dairy products. As a result, they might see occasional bloating. 3

Eating too much sodium is another potential culprit. Sodium, the mineral found in table salt, can cause you to retain liquid, making bloating worse. 4

Drinking carbonated drinks

Carbonated drinks like soda, sparkling water, and beer may be fun to drink, but they are also a big culprit for excess gas. Carbonated drinks owe their fizziness to a gas called carbon dioxide. Unfortunately, all of that gas from carbonated drinks going into your digestive system, can lead to excess gas and bloating for some people.

Swallowing air

Finally, you might find yourself occasionally bloated if you swallow lots of air that is introduced into your digestive system. For example, if you eat too quickly or chew gum, you might be swallowing excess air into your stomach where it can cause that bloated feeling.

3 Home Remedies for Occasional Bloating

Occasional stomach bloating often gets better on its own, especially if you’re burping or passing gas to let that excess gas escape. However, you may also find relief from occasional bloating with the right lifestyle changes.

Change up your diet and eating habits.

Because a bloated stomach is often linked to certain foods, taking a closer look at your diet is one of the first places you can start to home in on occasional bloating. Limit your intake of foods and drinks that are often linked to excess gas, like dairy or raw cruciferous vegetables. Keeping a food journal may help you better identify if specific foods are causing your occasional bloating. Decreasing the amount of carbonated beverages you drink may also be helpful since those bubbly drinks introduce so much gas into your system.

Additionally, it’s worth talking to a doctor or medical professional if you suspect that you’re dealing with a food intolerance like lactose intolerance that is contributing to your excessive intestinal gas.

Keep moving.

Physical activity is crucial for a healthy gut, especially when it comes to occasional bloating. Regular exercise can keep your gut happy since it encourages blood flow to the muscles in your stomach and intestines to help with the digestion process. Some studies have even suggested that low-impact exercises like short walks after eating a meal may help manage excess gas and abdominal discomfort. 5 Find ways to increase your physical activity to help relieve gas, like walking, doing yoga, or lifting weights. The most important thing is to increase your activity as often as possible, no matter what your choice of exercise is.

Give yourself a belly massage.

If you’re feeling especially uncomfortable, you might benefit from a stomach massage.6 Try working your hands in small, firm circles in clockwise motions around your abdomen to help move things along.

Probiotics and Bloating

Your gut microbiome can be a big contributor to excess gas. You may be able to help soothe your occasional bloating by taking a probiotic supplement daily to add good bacteria to your gut microbiome.

There are many different strains of bacteria that can be found in your stomach, and certain strains of these bacteria can support your gut health. Probiotics can be thought of as the “good bacteria” that can offer health benefits. Taking supplements that contain probiotics can help introduce more of these beneficial bacteria to your gut.

There are many probiotic strains that offer different health benefits. Picking the best probiotic for you comes down to what health benefit you are looking to receive. It’s also equally as important to take the probiotic you choose daily, to ensure you’re adding healthy bacteria to your gut every day. It’s important to know that when you start a probiotic some gas and bloating is often common as your body adjusts to the additional good bacteria, those symptoms should be temporary and subside as you start to see the benefits of your probiotic.

If you experience occasional bloating, try Align Probiotic. Align Probiotic Bloating Relief + Food Digestion has good bacteria to help relieve occasional bloating*, Vitamin B12 to promote the breakdown of food into cellular energy*, and a proprietary blend of 5 complementary digestive enzymes.

3 Tips to Improve Overall Gut Health

Eat plenty of fiber.

Dietary fiber is one of the most important pieces of the dietary puzzle when it comes to boosting your gut health. Your digestive system doesn’t break down fiber in the same way that it does other foods — instead, fiber moves through your system, helping keep it healthy. In fact, eating enough dietary fiber can help keep you regular but can also be a contributor to bloating, if that fiber is fermented. 7

The current Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendation varies by gender and age but on average suggests that people eat around 28 grams of fiber per day. 8 If you aren’t eating enough fiber right now, slowly increase your intake by adding plant-based foods like whole grains, fruits, and starchy vegetables until you reach the recommended intake.

Drink plenty of water.

A healthy diet is about more than just food. You should also be drinking enough water if you want to support your overall gut health. Water plays many important roles in your body, including keeping your digestive system healthy. Drinking enough water can even help keep you regular since it keeps your stools softer and easier to pass. 9 Aim to drink plenty of water to stay adequately hydrated and add on more if you’re going to be working out or are in a hot or dry environment.

Find healthy ways to manage your stress.

Fun fact: Your gut and your brain are linked! As a result, there’s evidence that high levels of stress may be associated with poorer gut health.10 Feeling stressed out can sometimes feel inevitable, but finding ways to manage it is crucial for your gut and your overall health. If you think that you may be experiencing high levels of stress that are interfering with your gut health, look for healthy outlets for relief. For example, trying mindfulness meditation exercises, increasing your physical activity, making time for hobbies you enjoy, and spending time with loved ones can all help you better manage your stress levels.


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