Bloating: tips against flatulence and too much air in the stomach

A bloated stomach is mostly harmless, but very annoying.

Photo: iStock | PeopleImages

It pinches, it tightens, it presses: A bloated stomach is an unpleasant thing and can spoil the day for those affected. The causes can be varied, but fortunately there is a remedy!

Everyone knows the unpleasant feeling when there is a pinch in the stomach, the abdominal wall feels hard and you could easily pass it off as a pregnant woman in the fifth month. A bloated stomach (also called meteorism) can really ruin your day if, after lunch, an unsightly ball suddenly appears in a figure-hugging dress. Quite apart from the pain and the unpleasant fact of constantly having to deflate – this can become a real killer of society. This sounds familiar to many women, but very few talk about it. Time to change that and break the taboo. Because there is a remedy!

The causes of flatulence are varied. Poor diet and too little exercise are often the reasons for too much air in the stomach. For example, at the top of the list of flatulent foods are collards, legumes, onions, garlic, fatty meats and sausages, freshly baked bread, unripe fruit, as well as many types of nuts and foods high in fiber in general. But also carbonated drinks, artificial sweeteners (such as sorbitol in sugar-free chewing gum), eating too quickly, greasy foods and “swallowing” air can cause flatulence.

Foods that are particularly difficult to digest and cause flatulence:

  • legumes

  • fresh pastries

  • Onions, garlic and collard greens

  • raw food

  • unripe fruit

  • greasy foods such as fries, meat or sausages

  • carbonated drinks

  • Sugar substitutes such as sorbitol (contained in many diet and light products)

Food is not always the culprit: flatulence and feelings of tension in the abdomen can also indicate illnesses, such as inflammation of the intestines, pancreas or fungal infection. Intolerance to food containing gluten, fructose or lactose, excessive stress or irritable bowel syndrome can also be the cause.

A food diary can help to find out which foods are not tolerated well and should be avoided. If that doesn’t help, a visit to the doctor can be a good idea.

Anyone who suffers from bloating from time to time can often do something about it themselves. A good start, for example, is to always chew the food thoroughly and not eat under time pressure or too hastily. Raw food, as well as foods that are too spicy or too sweet, can promote bloating – if you still have an important date in the evening, it is better not to eat cabbage or large amounts of raw food at lunchtime. Instead, it is better to eat cooked, moderately seasoned vegetables – this is gentle on the stomach and protects us from the dreaded after-lunch pot belly. These tips can also help:

  • Going for a walk, gentle exercise after a meal – it’s not for nothing that they call it the “digestive walk”

  • Several small, easily digestible portions a day instead of fewer large meals

  • chew thoroughly, no hasty swallowing

  • Drink plenty of water

  • Warm breakfast (e.g. porridge with fresh fruit or semolina pudding)

  • Include probiotic foods regularly in the diet (e.g. kefir, natural yoghurt, sauerkraut, miso, kombucha, kimchi)

  • Avoid sugar, white flour and alcohol

  • Avoiding stress, meditation, relaxation exercises (see also reducing stress)

  • Laxatives with the active ingredients sodium picosulfate or bisacodyl help with flatulence in connection with constipation. They are well tolerated and lead neither to a loss of electrolytes nor to habituation.

  • Fennel, caraway, anise, peppermint, coriander or ginger have an antispasmodic effect – as spices or in the form of tea

  • Warm lemon water: One to two glasses a day – ideally one in the morning on an empty stomach.

  • Healing earth: binds excess fat and protects the gastric mucosa, as it also binds gastric acid (take 30 to 60 minutes before meals).

  • Pumpkin seeds: contain vitamin A, potassium and fiber and thus have a digestive effect. A handful of kernels a day can be beneficial.

  • Abdominal massage: massage the lower abdomen with gentle circular movements in a clockwise direction – has an antispasmodic effect

  • Warmth – eg with a hot-water bottle or a cherry stone pillow

And that could also be interesting: recognizing vitamin D deficiency

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