What is Bloating?

You know how it feels. The bloated stomach after eating. The tightness across your abdomen.

The discomfort—and sometimes even pain.

If you experience stomach bloating regularly, you’ll know that it puts you off your food, and eating less can cause tiredness and fatigue.

As you eat and drink, you gulp back more air than you’d imagine. This gas collects in your digestive tract. Hydrogen, methane and carbon dioxide—produced by your digestive system and the bacteria lining your gut as they break down your meal—are also added to the mix.

This is all normal. But sometimes, too much gas builds up inside your body.

Don’t ignore a bloated stomach. Bloating after eating may not just mean you’ve overindulged—it could be a key sign that your digestive health isn’t as good as it could be.

Scientists now think that the balance of different bacteria living inside your colon (the main part of the large intestine) may affect your tendency towards stomach bloating. Good bacteria help stimulate the process of digestion and keep your gut cells in healthy working order.

But other types of bacteria produce more gas and are less efficient at digesting your food. If your gut is lined with more of these bacteria than good bacteria, excess gas will gather and you may find it more difficult to beat the bloat.

Here’s the good news: in many cases, bloating after a meal doesn’t have to be something you have to live with. There are many things you can do to tackle the problem.



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