Help Get Rid Of IBS Bloating

One of the most uncomfortable symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome is bloating. When you feel bloated, it can be difficult to focus on anything else and can have a negative impact on your life. You may be afraid to go out with friends or have to take time off work. Bloating is a common occurrence in those with IBS, but luckily it can be managed. It's important to first understand what causes IBS bloating and then explore what you can do to alleviate this symptom.

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We make it easy for you to participate in a clinical trial for Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and get access to the latest treatments not yet widely available - and be a part of finding a cure.

What causes IBS bloating?

The direct causes of IBS are unknown. However, when you are diagnosed with IBS, certain factors trigger symptoms. Here’s what has been found to possibly cause bloating¹ in IBS patients:

Food intolerances

Those with IBS may be unable to properly digest certain foods, especially those high in fiber or lactose. Some people also struggle to absorb certain types of carbohydrates called FODMAPs. This can lead to bloating² and gas.

Gut bacteria imbalances

 Your gut bacteria plays an important part in digestion and gut health. For example, some studies have reported that too much bacteria in the small intestine³ (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth⁴), or abnormal gut microbes in the colon⁵, is associated with bloating in IBS patients.

Impaired gas transit and distribution

Other studies⁶ suggested that problems of transiting and handling the gas, particularly in the small intestine, could be linked⁷ to bloating in IBS patients. 

Remember, this list contains some of the potential reasons for IBS bloating, but each case could be different. Pay careful attention to what triggers your symptoms in order to help manage them.

What can you do to reduce IBS bloating?

For many people with IBS, there are a number of things that help to alleviate the discomfort associated with bloating. One of the most important things you can do is watch what you eat.

Because bloating often happens after eating, consume smaller meals that are low in fiber, and try to eliminate any foods that seem to trigger your symptoms.

Common trigger foods include cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, carbonated beverages, lactose, beans, and certain sweeteners. On the other hand, adding foods like boiled oats (i.e. oatmeal) and linseed to your diet can help to ease bloating and prevent constipation.

Gentle exercise⁸ can also help to alleviate bloating. If you're feeling bloated, try some stretching, walking, or yoga. Exercise can also help you manage stress, which may be a trigger for your bloating. Increasing your physical fitness may help with IBS symptoms.

Probiotic supplements⁹ can increase gut health and alleviate some IBS symptoms, but get advice from your doctor beforehand and start small with probiotics. It may take time for your system to get used to them.

While there is no treatment that's been definitively proven to get rid of symptoms entirely, some over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medications can help get rid of bloating. OTC medicines like Gas-X may provide some relief, and doctors may prescribe antispasmodic drugs, antibiotics, or even antidepressants depending on your symptoms and what treatments you respond to.

To help manage your symptoms, try to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Get plenty of rest, avoid stress, exercise regularly, and adjust your diet for the best results.

When should you see a doctor?

If you suspect you have IBS, cramps, constipation or diarrhea, and bloating are some of the main symptoms to look out for. If bloating and other IBS symptoms are getting in the way of you living a productive and happy life, it's time to see your general practitioner. They may be able to determine the cause of your bloating and rule out any other issues.

There are a number of other serious conditions that can cause bloating. If you have any other symptoms, especially blood in the stool, history of gastrointestinal cancer, fever, or constant feelings of fullness, seek medical attention immediately.

Your doctor is the only one who can diagnose you with IBS and can also suggest different treatments that might work for you. In addition, they may suggest that you visit a specialist like a gastroenterologist or a nutritionist, who may be able to offer more specialized treatments or diet plans.

IBS is known for causing flare-ups, which are periods when symptoms worsen. If you experience frequent flare-ups, it may begin to affect your relationships, your performance at work or school, and your general enjoyment of life. It's important that you seek help from a doctor in order to learn how to best manage your symptoms.

Many people with IBS are able to find relief from their symptoms when they learn about what triggers flare-ups. Your doctor can help you uncover your triggers so you can avoid flare-ups and related symptoms like bloating.

The good news is that you don't have to live with IBS bloating. New treatments are being researched all the time, so speak with your doctor to learn more.

The lowdown

Bloating is a classic symptom of IBS, and it's also one of the most uncomfortable. If you have bloating due to IBS, take some time to figure out what may be triggering this symptom. Pay attention to the foods you eat, your stress levels, and your other symptoms to learn how to get your bloating under control.

Your doctor can also offer advice for managing your symptoms, and they may be able to recommend OTC or prescription medications to help you. Don't let bloating from irritable bowel syndrome rule your life.

Have you considered clinical trials for Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

We make it easy for you to participate in a clinical trial for Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and get access to the latest treatments not yet widely available - and be a part of finding a cure.

Joining community groups and exercise programs for my condition made me feel empowered – but I want to be part of finding a cure.
Peter, 64

Have you considered clinical trials for Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

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