What can I do to avoid feeling bloated?
Bloating is a common problem, but embarrassment sometimes prevents us from discussing it openly, even with our physicians. Though not usually a symptom of a serious medical problem, bloating can be extremely uncomfortable and interfere with our quality of life, particularly as we get older. Because it usually surfaces at a problem as we age, it is a good idea to discuss this problem with a doctor who specializes in anti-aging diets and prescriptions. Such a discussion may lead to positive effects that please and surprise you.
Notice When You Are Most Troubled by Bloating
Though you may read about or discuss various causes of bloating, the most important insights about your problem will come from paying attention to your own body. Taking note of when you experience the most digestive discomfort — gas pains, flatulence, burping, and bloating — will help you and your doctor get a handle on the cause of your symptoms and zero in on the best treatments for them.
More than likely, your bloating occurs during one or more of these times:
- After a large meal or after eating certain particular foods
- For women, during the time before you menstruate, during menstruation, during pregnancy, during the premenopausal, menopausal or postmenopausal years
- For men, when you hit middle-age or your older years, feel less energetic and experience decreased libido or erectile dysfunction
- After drinking a great deal of alcohol, caffeinated or carbonated beverages
- After being sedentary for a long period of time
- When you haven’t followed your typical exercise routine
As you’ve no doubt noticed, for many people bloating coincides with times of hormonal changes. This means that consulting with a doctor who focuses on hormone therapy may be very helpful in treating this problem.
Possible Treatments for Bloating
There are a number of effective treatments for bloating, including:
- Losing weight
- Eating smaller portions; not eating before sleep
- Dietary changes, such as avoiding excess alcohol, caffeine, and sports drinks, and cutting out unfermented soy, beans, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, and artificial sweeteners,
- Getting regular exercise
- Receiving treatment that balances your hormones appropriately
Bloating is rarely a solitary symptom, so addressing it is likely to make your life much more pleasant.
When Bloating Is a Serious Symptom
Although bloating is most often the result of a digestive or hormonal problem that can be easily remedied with proper treatment, it should be remembered that bloating can sometimes be a sign of a more serious medical dysfunction. Repeated episodes or constant bloating should always be reported to, and diagnosed by, a medical professional, since about 10 percent of the time bloating is a sign of ovarian or liver cancer. Just because a symptom is common, you should never assume it is inconsequential. It is always safer to protect your health by discussing all symptoms you experience with a trusted physician.
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