5 reasons your belly becomes bloated

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- We want to give you five things that may be making your belly bloated according to readers digest.

1. Watermelon snack - Watermelon has a high ratio of fructose to glucose. This can cause gas and bloating in the estimated one in three people who has difficulty digesting fructose. Experts recommend fruits with a more balanced fructose-to-glucose ratio - such as bananas and blueberries.

2. Work deadline - Heavy breathing, which occurs when you're under stress, makes you swallow more air than usual and can also lead to bloating. To feel better simply change your breathing pattern so you exhale for a few counts longer than you inhale. This turns off the stress response and moves your body into a calmer state.

3. Skipping exercise - The last thing you may want to do on a "fat day" is lace up your sneakers and squeeze into workout clothes. But physical activity stimulates the muscles of your digestive tract - which helps move through your GI tract the food and air bubbles that make you feel bloated.

4. Vacation - Almost 50 percent of people become constipated when they travel. When the bacteria in your intestines produce air - it can get trapped in your digestive tract and cause bloating. Prevent it by sticking to your bedtime and mealtime routines as much as possible. Changes in your circadian rhythm throw off the hormones that help food and waste move through your gut.

5. Stomach bug - About 25 percent of patients who get gastro-enteritis - a stomach infection - have bloating even after the illness clears. A likely suspect - small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. In these patients - abnormal levels of microbes colonize the small intestine - which can lead to gas and bloating. Gastroenteritis can disrupt your defense mechanisms that normally keep bacteria out of the small intestine. It is typically diagnosed with a breath test and can be treated with antibiotics or other approaches.


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