How to beat bloating

How to beat bloating

70% of people suffer from bloating, and more than 50% do so regularly. Why? Poor dietary choices, food intolerances, stress, hormone changes, IBS, constipation – these and other factors can all cause bloating. Our survey of over 800 men and women, including over 250 people who take the acclaimed Debloat & Detox, reveals who suffers from bloating, the common food intolerances, the impact of bloating, and the best tips and supplements to ‘beat the bloat’.

What age does bloating start?

Whilst a third of 811 people in our research said they suffer from bloating as teenagers and in their 20s, the proportion of people suffering from bloating rises markedly among those in their 30s and 40s, with more than half saying they suffer from bloating.

Top 10 effects of bloating

80% of people who suffer from bloating will experience a lack of energy, while more than half will experience weight gain, mood swings, anxiety, poor sleep or insomnia as a result of their bloating. More than a quarter of people say the appearance of their skin and hair is affected by their bloating, while 3 out of 10 people who suffer from bloating say it affects their libido. 

Stress and bloating

Our gut health is central to the production of 'serotonin', which is our ‘happy hormone’. If we’re suffering from bloating and poor gut health, it directly affects the production of serotonin, and as a result our mood and our ability to deal with anxiety and stress. That’s why there is such a focus on diet, nutrition and gut health to relieve anxiety and stress, and this is why 67% of people say their bloating worsens when they’re anxious or stressed. Learn more in '6 signs of an unhealthy gut'.

The impact of bloating

Persistent or even occasional bloating can be debilitating. 66% of people who suffer from bloating say it restricts how they go about their daily life. A third of people will experience mild depression as a result of their bloating, whilst 4 out of 10 people avoid social contact and going out as a result of their bloating

What causes bloating?

Food intolerances

Our research showed that 1 in 4 people are intolerant to dairy, and nearly 2 in 10 people are intolerant to gluten or wheat. However, the actual figures are believed to be much higher because so many people live with undiagnosed food intolerances. Discover the 'Signs of gluten intolerance'.

IBS and imbalanced gut microbiome

Imbalanced gut bacteria, where bad bacteria, parasites, fungi and other organisms build up in your gut over time, is a very common cause of bloating and IBS. Our survey showed 46% of people suffer IBS, of which bloating is the most common symptom. Learn about the 'Common and unusual symptoms of IBS'. Our survey also showed that Gut Works, the award-winning pre and probiotic with 50bn CFU, is 3x more effective than standard probiotics, and recommended by 8 out of 10 customers.

PMS & Menopause

Bloating is a common symptom of the menstrual cycle due to hormonal changes that affect the movement of food through your stomach, and the small and large intestines to your colon (also known as ‘motility of the gut’), which can lead to bloating. Hormonal changes also have the same affect for women going through menopause, with 60% of women experiencing bloating through the peri-menopause and menopause. The hormonal changes and bloating only serve to add to the challenges with maintaining a healthy weight during menopause, and contribute to fatigue during menopause. You may enjoy 'How to know if you're starting menopause' and '8 unusual symptoms of menopause'.

MenoFriend is the #1 natural remedy for relieving symptoms of menopause including bloating, brain fog, fatigue, night sweats, hot flushes, mood swings and weight gain. Discover the latest research on menopause and 'The mental health impact of menopause'.  

Certain foods and drinks

Our research of 811 men and women highlights the most common foods and drinks that cause bloating, with refined bread the #1 culprit. 

When you consider the growth in the culture of snacks, burgers and sandwiches in the last 50 years, the popularity of toast, cereals and yoghurt for breakfast, our thirst for cold refreshing fizzy drinks, and not to mention the huge growth in coffee culture, it is not surprising that three quarters of the population suffer from bloating! If you take a powder protein or meal replacement shake, or a  supplement in powder form, these can also cause bloating. The majority of powder supplements contain plant or artificial sweeteners, and not only are both forms of sweetener be bad for your health, our research shows they can also lead to an increase in bloating. 

Our bodies are simply not designed to easily digest and eliminate these foods through our stools, leading to bloating, IBS, unhealthy poo, constipation, excessive gas and much more. Learn more in ‘What does your poo say about your health?’.

Debloat & Detox

Debloat & Detox is the highly acclaimed formula for naturally detoxifying your liver and relieving digestive related bloating. Our research included 251 people who take Debloat & Detox, and 80% found it to be effective for relieving bloating, excessive wind and gas, constipation, stomach cramps and other symptoms when taking Debloat & Detox daily.

50% of people began to enjoy relief from symptoms within 2 weeks after using Debloat & Detox, and 85% enjoyed relief from symptoms within 4 weeks. Debloat & Detox contains Milk Thistle and Silymarin, so it is also effective in combatting toxins and toxin build up. When taking 2 capsules before or with an evening meal, or before an evening of over-indulgence, Debloat & Detox will ensure you wake up refreshed the next day

If your bloating is a symptom of IBS or other gut health issues, including an imbalanced gut microbiome, the award-winning Gut Works, a prebiotic and probiotic with 50bn CFU and six clinically studied strains, is recommended as a better alternative to address bloating. 

5 tips to beat the bloat

The good news is that you don't need to suffer from bloating for ever. As well natural plant-based supplements for relieving bloating and IBS, here are 5 important tips to combat and stay on top of bloating.

1. Don't eat when stressed

Research shows that 78% of us feel stressed or anxious at least once a week, and it can have a very detrimental impact on our gut health. When your body is anxious or stressed it triggers the ‘flight or fight’ response, which deprioritises and conserves non-essential functions, of which digestion is one of these. Your stomach acid becomes less efficient in breaking down foods, and your gut motility slows down, leading to bloating.

If you’re feeling tight, anxious or stressed, take lots of deep breaths before eating. Let other people start and until your body relaxes. Even cooking a big meal for lots of people can raise your levels of stress and hinder your digestion of the meal you’ve just cooked! Pause, breathe, take a few minutes before you start eating.

2. Chew and chew again

Your stomach needs to absorb as many nutrients from the food you eat as it can, and the more you chew your food and break it open, the easier it is for your stomach to both digest your food and to obtain the vital vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fatty acids. The need to chew is obviously different for different foods – if it’s yogurt, take it slowly. If it’s beans or carrots, chew them as much as you can before swallowing. If you can chew it until it feels like baby food in your mouth, that's a good thing!

3. Avoid drinking too much when eating

Your stomach needs the acid within it to break down your food. The more you drink during a meal, the more likely you are to wash away the acid, reducing the effectiveness of your stomach in breaking down your food before it passes into the small intestine. Try to drink as much as you can away from your meals, and as little as you can whilst you’re eating. You may enjoy reading 'How to improve digestion naturally'. 

4. Add bitter greens to your meals

Try to add bitter greens such as rocket, kale, spinach, watercress and dandelion to as many of your meals as possible. Bitter greens stimulate your digestive juices and help breakdown the foods you’re eating.

5. Avoid common foods that cause bloating

As shown in research, refined bread, fizzy drinks, milk, dairy products, alcohol, sweeteners such as stevia, and much more foods and drink can all cause bloating and wider gut health issues, both on their own and in combination. Make sure you eliminate these and other foods and drinks from your diet that are common causes of bloating. Also, be sure to avoid meal replacement shakes which don't contain the same level of nutrients as whole food, and contain fewer nutrients than a quality daily multi-vitamin, and they also contain sweeteners which can be harmful for long term health and cause bloating. 

Avoid bread, toast and cereal for breakfast and instead opt for fruit, Greek yoghurt, and wholegrain granola with zero added sugar. Try to say no to that cappuccino or latte, and instead treat yourself to a fruit smoothie, herbal tea or just good ice cold water. You may also enjoy 'Best alternatives to caffeine'.

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