You probably know the feeling: when your tummy is stretched, puffy and uncomfortable. You feel like your stomach is full of air, for no obvious reason, other than maybe an indulgent weekend or overdoing it during the festive season.
For some people, the unpleasant sensation of bloating can be far more frequent and persistent, as bloating is caused by – and is a characteristic of – many conditions. These are some of the most common:
- Excess wind
- Swallowing air (from talking while eating, for example)
- Coeliac disease
- Food intolerance
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
IBS and bloating
Bloating is a common aspect of IBS and it tends to happen more in the evenings. Bloating with IBS is considered more likely to be caused by the erratic propulsion of contents through the bowel rather than excess wind.
Start with a food diary
It may simply be that certain types of food are causing bloating, or at least aggravating it. So it can really help to monitor what kinds of food you normally eat, and note any corresponding symptoms.
What if changing my diet’s not enough?
If you have been given a diagnosis of IBS and simple dietary changes have not resolved your symptoms, you may want to consider treatment, which can be bought over the counter.