Bloating is one of the most common symptoms of IBS, particularly in women. Although it is more of a nuisance rather than the most severe aspects of the disease, it can have a negative impact on sufferers mental health and confidence. “I feel pregnant” or even “I look pregnant” are often frequent complaints.
IBS sufferers tend to share a common description of how Bloating impacts their day. The start of the day starts off with a relatively flat abdomen that gets increasingly larger throughout the day.
What causes Bloating?
Unfortunately, the cause remains unknown. It has been assumed that excess gas within the gut causes bloating. However, several techniques for measuring intra-abdominal gas volume have failed to confirm this view. It is known that certain food types such as excessive fibre which cause gas will worsen the symptoms.
What is the treatment for Bloating?
Dietary and life-style factors are perhaps the most likely to help bloating in the long term:
Take small regular meals. It may be tempting to skip meals but it is important to follow the NHS guidelines and eat a minimum of three meals per day (Breakfast, Lunch and Evening Meal). It may be beneficial to set aside 30 minutes and take your time to eat in order to “digest” your meal.
Monitor your eating. Keep a diary to monitor what foods make your symptoms worse. We strongly recommend that you also follow a Low FODMAP Diet. Our recommended app is the Monash University Low FODMAP Diet app. This should help you to identify and avoid IBS trigger foods. Research shows that up to 86% of people who follow a FODMAP diet notice a significant improvement in symptoms.
Manage Fibre consumption. It may be beneficial to follow a sensible intake of Fibre and to not exceed the recommended daily doses. Excess bran, fruit or adding fibre to your diet could induce bloating.
Avoid constipation. Bloating is often worse in severe constipation, and a regular bowel habit can help reduce it. There is a catch 22 with managing your fibre consumption so you may want to experiment to find a happy medium that works for you.
Take regular exercise. Exercise can improve bowel function. In addition to exercise sessions, movement during work time may be important. Long periods sitting at a desk may worsen bloating so try taking regular breaks to keep the body moving.
IBS Advanced Formula +. Mast cells could be playing a role in your IBS. Read more information on what Mast Cells are and why we believe our IBS Advanced Formula + could stabilise mast cells.