Many people's lives are affected by both bloatedness and resulting stomach pain and other forms of discomfort. Often, however, there are some underlying nutritional issues that can be relatively easily remedied. Among other things, it could be the result of eating or drinking too much, irregular mealtimes, or simply eating certain types of food that cause bloatedness. Such foods include cabbage and similar vegetables, as well as beans and pulses – if you eat a large quantity of these, this could be responsible for your symptoms. At the same time, these are a valuable part of a nutritious diet, which is why it's not a good idea to exclude them from your diet. Instead, you could try reducing the amount you eat, eating a mix of lentils and rice as a side dish, for example. You can also apply different cooking practices, such as cooking without a lid (which will reduce the amount of materials that cause bloating), flavoring with spices that help digestion (e.g. cumin, marjoram), or pouring away the water after soaking legumes. Some sweeteners, the sugar alcohols (e.g. xylitol, maltite, sorbitol) can also cause bloating or even diarrhea. Sometimes, we don't even notice that the food we buy contains these ingredients, which is why it's always a good idea to check the label. All too often, bloating is caused by a stomach infection, a sedentary lifestyle, or stress.
If you experience frequent or prolonged symptoms, or severe complaints, then it is worth taking seriously and speaking to a gastroenterologist. In our experience, we tend to name the culprit all too quickly: it must be because of gluten! Many people rightly feel that there is a problem with Western-style nutrition, and believe that eating large quantities of baked goods made from white flour can cause not only obesity, but also digestive problems. However, before you remove wheat – an important basic type of food – from your diet, it is a good idea to get tested first to make sure. If you think that food is the cause of your issues, you should keep a food and symptoms diary you have! A dietician can then help to manage and evaluate the findings.
Bloating can be caused by illnesses and conditions of various origins. To mention just a few: it could be the result of sensitivity to certain sugars (e.g. lactose intolerance), digestive and motility disorders, damage to the beneficial bacterial flora of the intestine, or inflammatory bowel diseases. Once we have established a diagnosis we can recommend a targeted diet – in addition to medical therapy – that helps to eliminate the symptoms.