How to Get Rid of Belly Bloating


Have you ever felt uncomfortable pressure or fullness in your stomach after eating? Or have you noticed your belly looking larger or stuck out more than usual? Those sensations of an enlarged stomach are commonly known as belly bloating. Belly bloating is a temporary swelling or distention of the abdomen that can occur for various reasons. While not usually a serious medical issue, persistent or serious bloating may indicate an underlying health problem.



What is Causing My Belly Bloat? Understanding Potential Causes

Many things can lead to temporary swelling in the abdomen, with the three main contributing factors being:

Diet and Digestion

  • Gas-producing foods: Certain highly fermentable, hard-to-digest foods like beans, cruciferous vegetables, dairy, and high FODMAP foods can cause excess gas production in the intestine. Undigested gas takes up space and makes the belly feel bloated.
  • Too much air swallowing: Rapid or excessive eating, chewing gum, and drinking through a straw can cause more air to enter the stomach than normal.
  • Insufficient digestion: Problems digesting lactose (dairy sugar), gluten, or other carbohydrates if you have an intolerance or imbalance of gut bacteria. This leads to gas-causing fermentation in the colon.
  • Dehydration: Not drinking enough water can cause digestive juices and food matter to become thick and sluggish, increasing bloating risk.

Hormonal Factors

  • Menstrual cycle: Hormone fluctuations before or during a period can cause water retention and sluggish digestion leading to bloat.
  • Oral contraceptives: Some birth control pills containing estrogen may increase bloating risk by affecting fluid balance or gut motility.

Lifestyle and Health Conditions

  • Stress: High stress levels can disrupt normal gut function through nervous system pathways.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): Changes in bowel habits, pain, and bloating are classic IBS symptoms.
  • Gastrointestinal conditions: Issues like lactose intolerance and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) directly impair digestion.

The next section outlines natural remedies to address each of these common causes through diet, lifestyle, and supplement strategies. Combining multiple approaches will give the best chance for belly bloat relief.


Natural Remedies to Reduce Belly Bloating

Dietary and Digestive Tips

Focusing on your diet is one of the most effective things you can do to banish belly bloat. Here are some recommendations:

Eliminate problem foods: Pay attention to how different foods make you feel, and slowly remove items like dairy, cruciferous veggies, beans, or carbonated beverages if they commonly cause issues.

Chew thoroughly: Take time to chew foods well to aid digestion, as rushing through meals can lead to swallowed air.


Watch portions: Large servings can stretch the stomach more than usual. Stick to moderate portions to keep digestion running smoothly.

Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water, aiming for half your body weight in ounces daily. Water assists food in moving through the digestive tract. Herbal teas like peppermint or fennel can also soothe the gut.

Increase fiber intake: Soluble fiber from oats, flax, citrus, and berries can help relieve constipation which is a frequent bloating culprit. Fiber also feeds beneficial gut bacteria.


Try probiotic foods: Fermented options like sauerkraut, kimchi, or yogurt provide gut-loving probiotic bacteria to balance the microbiome, which regulates digestion.

Avoid carbonation: Sodas, seltzers, and other carbonated drinks are major belly bloat contributors as fizzy bubbles get trapped rather than easily pass through the digestive tract.

Use digestive enzymes: Supplements containing amylase, lipase, and protease can help break down carbs, fats, and proteins more thoroughly, lessening gas and bloating.

Track symptoms: Keep a food diary noting what you eat and any bloating experienced to identify personal trigger foods.

Lifestyle Hacks

Certain daily habits can also make a difference in your bloating battle. Consider these suggestions:

Manage stress: Take relaxing activities like yoga, meditation, massage, or even just deep breathing to unwind your nervous system and lower cortisol, a stress hormone level impacting digestion.

Get regular exercise: Gentle to moderate activity like walking promotes gut motility so food and waste can efficiently traverse your digestive tract. Strength training is also recommended to tone your core muscles, supporting digestion.

Quit smoking: Smoking has long been associated with digestive issues, including constipation. Quitting removes this risk factor over time.

Watch for IBS triggers: Individuals with IBS may find limiting caffeine, alcohol, or spicy foods alleviates bloating and gut discomfort. Experiment to find your sensitivities.

Listen to your body: Don’t go too long without listening to bowel urgency signals, as holding it in can contribute to bloating over time.

Sleep enough: Getting an adequate shut-eye ensures digestion and regular bowel function operate optimally throughout the day and night.

Use essential oils: Topically applying or diffusing oils of ginger, peppermint, or fennel, which are known carminatives (gas relievers), can calm an upset stomach.

Try relaxation techniques: Mind-body strategies like massage, acupuncture, and mindfulness meditation have demonstrated benefits for IBS and may ease mild bloating as well.

Consider probiotic therapy: Commonly used probiotic supplements that support a balanced microbiome and promote optimal digestion are the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus species.

Supplement Additions

In some cases, dietary changes alone may not provide complete relief from stubborn belly bloating. Some beneficial supplemental options to discuss with a healthcare provider include:

Peppermint oil: Enteric-coated supplements of Mentha piperita oil have shown the ability to reduce abdominal pain and distention in clinical trials for IBS. The main active component, menthol, relaxes intestinal smooth muscle.

Fish oil: The omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA in fish oil supplements curb inflammation throughout the body, including in the gut, and may benefit IBS patients experiencing bloat.

Magnesium: A mineral critical for over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body, including healthy nerve and muscle function, which influence motility. Many individuals, however, don’t meet the daily recommended intake, exacerbating bowel issues.

Digestive enzymes: As mentioned, enzyme supplements optimized for protein, fat, and carb breakdown support proper digestion when your enzyme production can’t keep up. Look for broad-spectrum formulas.

Betaine HCL: Supplementing with betaine hydrochloride, a compound that boosts stomach acid levels, can help treat indigestion symptoms in those with low HCL. It enhances protein breakdown.

Ginger: Fresh ginger root or standardized extracts are considered very effective for reducing gastrointestinal gas, pain, and discomfort. They relax smooth muscles in the gut.

Overall, consistently implementing targeted dietary and lifestyle adjustments along with potential supplements tailored to your needs will provide the best long-term relief from bloating issues. Most people see improvements within 1-2 months, but staying committed will solidify those gains.

Managing Bloating Related to the Menstrual Cycle

For many women, belly bloat tends to worsen premenstrually as hormone fluctuations impact digestion and water retention. Here are some specific strategies that can help:

  • Stay on top of fiber and water intake leading up to your period, when bloating is most common, to keep waste moving efficiently through the colon.
  • Consider taking a daily probiotic containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus or Bifidobacterium strains, as research links these beneficial gut bugs to reducing menstrual bloating and pain.
  • Herbal supplements of dandelion, burdock root extract, or vitamin B1 help support liver function to flush excess water weight.
  • Gentle exercise like yoga stretches or walking boosts circulation and relieves stress-induced buildups in the body. Strength training tones the core as well.
  • Topical heat from a hot water bottle or heating pad placed low on the abdomen may relax intestinal muscles and ease discomfort.
  • Get ample rest during PMS days when fatigue is higher to allow the body to devote energy to hormonal adjustments without added stressors.
  • Avoid highly salty foods as sodium increases fluid retention worsening swelling. Stick to a low-sodium, whole foods-based diet.
  • Consider switching to a low-dose combination birth control pill if menses-linked bloating is very disruptive, as these formulations may lessen it.

Addressing menstrual-connected gut health issues brings extra relief for relieving that bloat! Stick with natural measures before ever turning to pharmaceutical options.


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