Stomach bloating: What causes trapped wind and what are the foods to avoid?

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When it comes to bloating, the main food culprits tend to be the most nutritious foods. Foods that are high in lactose and high in fibre, can lead to the release of bloating gases hydrogen and methane. Bloating can often cause pain, discomfort and leave a person feeling stuffed. If the foods you eat leave you bloated, it’s important to know who are the main culprits that cause trapped wind. Trapped wind is when there is an excessive flatulence caused by swallowing more air than usual or eating food that is difficult to digest.

It can also be related to an underlying health problem which affects the digestive system.

When it comes to food that causes the most excess wind and bloating, the NHS states the biggest culprits as:

  • Beans
  • Onions
  • Cabbage
  • Sprouts
  • Cauliflower

Doctor Robert Burakoff, clinical chief of gastroenterology said: “Unless it’s associated with weight loss, nausea, or vomiting, bloating is very common and usually not worrisome.”

Eating too much fruit at one time increases the likelihood of some undigested fructose and can provide a meal for ‘friendly’ bacteria. Intestinal bacteria ferments fructose, which produces lots of gas and lead to bloating, abdominal pain and flatulence.

Fructose is also a big culprit to trapped wind. Fructose and fibre can both be fermented in the large intestine and cause gas and bloating.

Apples contain both fructose and fibre and should be avoided if a person suffers from trapped wind.

Bubbly beverages including champagne and soda cause a person to bloat and have trapped wind. The carbonation in the bubbly beverages expand the gut and could lead to a slightly bulging belly.

Certain sugar substitutes known as sorbitol, found in diet soda’s, could also add to a person bloating. Diet soda ingredients are associated with decreased kidney functions, fat accumulation around the waistline, and increases sugar craving.

The NHS said: “Get rid of bloating by cutting out fizzy drinks and foods that cause wind. Sit down to eat and take regular exercise.

“If you get constipation, take steps to prevent it with a fibre-rich diet, drinking lots of fluids and taking regular exercise.

“Try not to swallow too much air. Don’t talk and eat at the same time, sit down to eat, stop chewing gum and chew with your mouth closed so that you’re not taking in excess air.”

You should speak with your GP if you are bloated and often have gas. Your GP can generally diagnose the cause of bloating through a physical exam or will ask questions about your symptoms.

Temporary bloating is usually not serious but if it happens all the time you might need to do further test.

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