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A distended stomach can be uncomfortable, and a tad painful, as well as unsightly; and dismiss the idea of water weight – it’s been labelled a myth by an endocrinologist.
What’s an endocrinologist?
An endocrinologist is a doctor who “specialises in glands and the hormones they make”, explained WebMD.
And they can deal with metabolism issues; Dr Michael Jenson – an endocrinologist who also researches obesity – commented on stomach bloating.
“It is a myth that bloating in the stomach is from fluid accumulation in healthy adults,” he said.
“The abdomen is not a place where fluids accumulate first. Instead, you would see it in your feet or ankles as long as you are upright.”
The first tip to avoid a bloated belly is to make sure you’re “regular” – i.e. avoid constipation.
Dr Jenson explained that too little fibre, fluids and physical exercise can lead to constipation, which can result in bloating.
A high-fibre diet consists of: whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds.
To keep hydrated, aim for two litres of water daily; an ideal exercise regime will be 30 minutes of physical activity five times per week.
Check for allergies and food intolerances
WebMD added that food allergies and intolerance might have a part to play in your bloated tummy.
Should you suspect this is the case for you, get a doctor’s confirmation; an example is lactose intolerance.
Did you know that it’s supposed to take around 30 minutes to finish off a meal? Dietician Dawn Jackson Blatner says so.
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Eating too quickly – and not chewing food properly – can cause you to swallow too much air, which leads to bloating.
Thus, it’ll help to get into the habit of being more mindful when you eat.
Cut down on fizzy drinks
“The fizz in carbonated drinks (even diet ones) can cause gas to get trapped in your belly,” explained Blatner.
Instead, she recommends drinking water you can flavour with a slice of lemon, lime or cucumber.
Blatner suggests trying peppermint tea, which may also help to reduce a bloated stomach.
WebMD points out that chewing gum can lead to swallowing air; and as previously pointed out, too much swallowed air leads to bloating.
You don’t have to give up chewing gum all together, but sucking on a piece of hard candy might be a better alternative.
Dr Jensen added that highly processed foods have a lot of salt content, which contributes to that bloated feeling.
“Get in the habit of reading food labels,” advised Jensen. Be on the lookout for salt or sodium content, as they’re used interchangeably.
When buying “processed, canned, or frozen foods”, Jensen recommends buying products that have “no more than 500mg of sodium per serving”.
She also suggests picking products that say “sodium free”, “low sodium”, or “very low sodium”.
Have you tested all of the five tips suggested above? If so, comment below which ones – if any – worked for you.
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