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Why is My Stomach Bloating After Eating?

Bloating is a common issue that can leave you feeling uncomfortable and lethargic after eating. There are several potential causes of bloating and strategies you can use to help relieve the symptoms. Read on to learn more about what may be behind your post-meal bloat and how to deal with it.

Common Causes of Bloating

There are a few key culprits that commonly lead to bloating after eating:

  • Gas production - Foods that are difficult to digest, like beans, onions, broccoli and carbonated drinks, can cause gas to build up, inflating your stomach.

  • Constipation - When stool passes through the intestines too slowly, the backup can create pressure and bloating. Constipation may be due to not enough fibre or fluid intake.

  • Food intolerances - Some people lack the enzymes needed to properly digest certain foods. Common intolerances include dairy, gluten and FODMAPs.

  • Overeating - Eating too much food in one sitting can put pressure on the stomach and lead to bloating and discomfort.

  • Swallowing air - Eating or drinking too quickly, chewing gum, smoking and using a straw can cause you to swallow excess air, contributing to a bloated belly.

How to Help with Bloating and Fatigue

There are several strategies you can try to help relieve post-meal bloat and fatigue:

  • Avoid known triggers - If you know specific foods lead to bloating, try cutting back or eliminating them. Keeping a food journal can help identify problem foods.

  • Eat slowly - Take your time eating and chew thoroughly to reduce swallowed air. Put your fork down between bites.

  • Limit carbonated drinks - The bubbles add to swallowed air and gas production. Opt for still water instead.

  • Exercise - Light activity like walking after eating can help stimulate the digestive process and relieve bloating. Exercise also boosts energy.

  • Drink peppermint or ginger tea - These herbal teas can help relax the digestive tract and ease bloating and fatigue.

  • Take probiotics - These healthy gut bacteria may improve digestion and reduce bloating for some people. Kefir, yoghurt and fermented foods also provide probiotics naturally.

  • Manage stress - Stress and anxiety may worsen digestive issues. Relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing and yoga can help. Getting enough sleep is also important.

When to See Your Doctor

In most cases, post-meal bloating can be managed with diet, lifestyle changes and over-the-counter remedies. However, contact your doctor if:

  • Bloating is severe or persists for weeks

  • You experience bloating along with diarrhoea, constipation or weight loss

  • Bloating is accompanied by fever, vomiting or severe pain

Persistent or severe bloating may indicate an underlying medical condition requiring treatment. It's a good idea to discuss ongoing digestive issues with your doctor, especially if symptoms interfere with your daily life.

Achieving Relief from Bloating and Fatigue

Want to know how to help with bloating and fatigue? It’ll take some trial and error but there are solutions. Be sure to:

  • Keep a food and symptom diary to identify triggers

  • Incorporate probiotic foods or supplements

  • Limit swallowing excess air when eating and drinking

  • Engage in regular exercise to boost digestion and energy

  • Learn stress management and relaxation techniques

  • Get checked by your doctor if symptoms are chronic or severe

Making diet and lifestyle changes tailored to your particular causes of bloating can go a long way towards finding post-meal relief. Pay attention to how your body responds to identify what works for you. With the right strategies, you can minimise that overfull, lethargic feeling after eating.


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