Not only is chewing with your mouth closed a win for your dinner date, it can also help stop you having to unbutton your jeans halfway through the main course. How come? It prevents you swallowing too much air, which can = bloating. Oh, and horizontal-on-the-sofa snacking may be tempting while you catch up on The Queen’s Gambit, but sitting upright to eat is way better for your tum.
Keep a diary (try the mySymptoms Food Diary or Bowelle apps) to suss out what causes that bloated stomach. Classic culprits include fizzy drinks and tricky-to-digest foods, such as beans, cabbage and cauliflower, while some people react to wheat, gluten and dairy. If you notice any patterns where a whole food group is hassling you, see a GP or dietitian before cutting anything out long-term.
Ask your local Boots pharmacist about advice and products that can help settle your bloat. If you know you’re intolerant of lactose (a sugar-type mainly found in dairy and milk products), you may want to consider Milkaid Lactase Enzyme Supplement Tablets†. The range contains lactase enzyme, which helps your body to digest lactose so you can enjoy some of that cheeseboard again, plus your other dairy faves. And – bonus – they’re chewable, so can be taken without water. Plus, check out the NEW Milkaid Junior Tablets – developed specially for children – or Milkaid Drops (simply add to milk to reduce the lactose content). Talk about a slam (dairy) dunk.
Everyday stress and anxiety can drive digestive symptoms, such as bloating. To help, download a LOL new podcast or TV show: Swiss scientists say regular laughter helps us to handle daily stresses. Oh, and extra points if you’ve got a cuddle buddy: the love hormone oxytocin may play a role in easing the impact of stress on digestion, according to a recent US study. *Adds to list of reasons to get a puppy*
Regular exercise is a winner for digestive health, so see if a walk can relieve your discomfort. Also Google ‘wind-relieving pose’, then unroll your yoga mat and give it a go (ideally, when you’re home alone!). And stay hydrated (avoiding fizzy drinks) to prevent/ease bloating and bloat-inducing constipation.
Keep a note of your symptoms and talk to your GP if you’re ever worried about digestive issues, especially if you have persistent bloating, unexplained weight loss or bleeding. They can check for conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and coeliac disease, as well as underlying health issues. Constant bloating and tummy swelling, for example, can be symptoms of ovarian cancer, so it’s always worth checking in with a health professional.