Are you looking for instant relief from bloating? This is the article for you!
A little bloating is normal. Our stomachs will change in size throughout the day with normal food intakes. But what if it’s a bit more than normal?
Bloating can make you feel physically uncomfortable or self-conscious and embarrassed to go about your daily life.
This article will delve into the world of bloating, the association with IBS and how you can find instant relief from bloating by making some dietary/lifestyle changes.
WHAT IS BLOATING?
Bloating happens when there is a build-up of gas in your intestine. This causes a swelling of your tummy and can coincide with pain and discomfort.
It is a common gastrointestinal symptom that can sometimes be accompanied by visible swelling, and increased gas production.
WHAT CAUSES BLOATING?
The gas which causes bloating is produced as part of normal digestion and we normally ‘pass gas’ to get rid of it.
But you will experience bloating when there is too much gas being produced or when the gas cannot escape. The build up can manifest, sometimes leading to pain.
There are a variety of reasons you may get bloated. Common causes of instant bloating:
- Consumption of certain foods which you have an intolerance to, such as lactose or fructan intolerance (see below)
- Large portion sizes
- Fizzy drinks
- Side effects of certain medications such as hormonal replacement therapy, birth control pills, strong pain relief or non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen
- Water retention
- Certain health conditions
- Due to a food intolerance
Did you know that food intolerances are linked to IBS? (1). A food intolerance occurs when you are unable to digest a certain food, leading to a collection of symptoms, including bloating.
If you are female then your bloating may be related to specific hormonal changes. The following blogs may be useful for you if you want further information on this area;
BLOATING IN IBS
IBS bloating is different to the bloating experienced by the general population. It happens more often and can be quite painful (2).
You may also have increased sensitivity to feeling as though you are bloated, even if it is just normal digestion going on (3).
If you want to find out more about IBS specific symptoms then check out our other post – What are the Symptoms and Causes of IBS?
INSTANT RELIEF FROM BLOATING
Now that we have gone through some possible causes, let’s talk about some ways that we can find instant relief from bloating with IBS.
What gets rid of bloating immediately?
Below are some ideas for you to try that could help manage the situation and how to reduce bloating in minutes.
5 WAYS TO GET INSTANT RELIEF FROM BLOATING
- Opening your bowels
Passing stools can help instantly relieve your bloating as you release gas at the same time.
Having regular bowel motions also means that the food in your gut is not sitting for longer periods of time and producing more gas through fermentation.
Take a read about What is Constipation and How Can You Treat It.
2. Wear loose rather than tight clothing
Wearing tight clothing can aggravate your abdomen due to adding to the pressure.
3. Consider incorporating light exercise or gentle movement practices like going for a relaxed walk or engaging in gentle body stretches and yoga.
These activities can stimulate bowel movement, alleviate tension around the digestive system, and help release trapped gas, promoting better digestive comfort.
Why not try:
- 5 Yoga poses to relieve Bloating – YouTube
- Yoga for Bloating, Digestion, Ulcerative Colitis, IBD & IBS – YouTube
- Yoga for Trapped Gas, Bloating and Indigestion ( Best Yoga Poses to Fart! ) – YouTube
4. Try gently massaging the abdominal area from right to left, which may make you feel more comfortable and relieve some pain (4).
Stop massaging if this causes pain and adjust the pressure to your tolerance level.
5. Have a warm bath or use a hot water bottle gently around your tummy. This can relax the muscles around the abdominal area to soothe pain caused by the bloating.
A relaxing bath may also reduce your stress levels too!
WILL FASTING STOP BLOATING?
Fasting is a form of eating pattern whereby food is not consumed for a prolonged period of time.
Have you ever heard that fasting could help your bloating? Think again.
There is no current evidence to support fasting in IBS. Fasting or skipping meals can sometimes worsen your IBS symptoms (5).
Read about Is Intermittent Fasting Good For IBS?.
CAN PEPPERMINT OIL GIVE INSTANT RELIEF FROM BLOATING?
Peppermint oil has shown to have a case by case effect on individuals’ bloating severity.
If you are prone to acid reflux or heartburn, you may need to warrant caution when taking this supplement.
Read more about How Peppermint Oil Capsules Help IBS.
HOW DO I TONE A BLOATED STOMACH?
Bloating does change the way our abdomen looks, and it can really affect our confidence and the way we feel.
Unfortunately, a toned stomach will not prevent bloating from happening.
When you have a toned stomach you are able to see some of your abdominal muscle definition due to having a reduced amount of fat over the muscles in this region.
However, abdominal bloating occurs when gas in your stomach pushes out your whole abdominal area and so the two elements are entirely different.
DOES BLOATING CAUSE WEIGHT GAIN?
Although bloating may cause you to gain a small amount of weight due to the accumulation of gas or fluids within the digestive system, this will only be a pound or two.
The weight change will quickly resolve when your bloating goes down.
WHICH HOME REMEDIES RELIEVE BLOATING INSTANTLY?
You can buy various home remedies online or in stores, but these are not recommended for IBS relief.
Unfortunately, there is no current evidence to support fast acting home remedies that will be an effective way to provide instant relief from bloating.
If you do choose to try any home remedies, please consult your doctor first. Some formulations may interfere with medications, may be toxic or may have side effects.
WHAT CAN I DRINK TO GET RID OF BLOATING OVERNIGHT?
When you feel bloated, you may not want to drink any more fluids. It is important to keep up with your fluid intake, particularly from water to aid digestive movement.
Adults need to drink 35ml/kg/day to maintain a good fluid balance in their body (6).
Despite the multiple ‘tummy teas’ you may see in the shop, there are no special drinks which have been shown to help with instant bloating relief.
Drinking soda and fizzy drinks may contribute more gas build up within your gut, so consider reducing these down or having an alternative drink, such as water instead.
Bloating can happen to anyone for different reasons and it is important to note that each individual will have different ways of reducing their bloating.
Usually, making some small changes can provide a solution.
Always consult your doctor if your bloating becomes a concern, as you may need to get further investigations to rule out other conditions, not just IBS.
Finding out the root cause as to why you’re bloated in the first place would be the best advice to get you on your way to feeling better.
Hannah Pritchard is a UK HCPC registered Dietitian, specialising in gastroenterology, and she is a member of the British Dietetic Association. Working within the NHS, voluntary and private sectors have enabled her to work with a mixture of people to improve their gut health and achieve their dietary targets. She is also FODMAP trained and has spent over 5 years focusing on helping people with conditions of the gastrointestinal system, including IBS. Prior to this, she worked in other areas such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and weight management. Hannah has a particular interest in the gut microbiota and the impact that diet and lifestyle choices can have on it, and ways to optimise long term gut health.
Last updated on December 8th, 2023 at 11:57 pm