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Let's talk about bloating.

I was asked about bloating this week on BBC Radio Leeds and due to time pressures of live radio, I couldn’t delve deeper into this subject, so I thought I would expand further on this subject (pardon the pun).

Bloating is that uncomfortable full feeling that just makes us want to lie down and hope it will pass, sometimes literally, very soon. It can make your stomach swell and for some people, it can be very painful. Studies have found that up to one-third of the general population can experience bloating and this rises up to 90% for those people who have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

Bloating can be associated with some health problems, but for many, it is usually as a result of the foods we are eating or food intolerances.

So, how do you beat the bloat?

  • Take your time when you are eating and savour your food by chewing slowly. If this doesn’t work, try eating smaller portions too.

  • Keep a food diary, noting everything you have eaten and then writing down any symptoms you are experiencing that day. You may see a pattern emerging, which could mean that you have a food intolerance or allergy.

  • Try including more probiotic foods in your diet, such as live yogurt or kefir

  • Eat some mint leaves or drink some mint tea

  • Avoid fizzy drinks, fatty foods and certain sweeteners containing sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, xylitol and mannitol

  • Drink more water

  • Go for a walk after your meal. In fact, try exercising more in general.

If bloating still persists, then go and see your GP to rule out any serious medical conditions associated with persistent bloating or sudden, worsening symptoms.

It is important to think about the foods we are eating and the impact they have on how we feel, both physically and mentally. Eat right for you and feel better for it.

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