There could be a number of causes of this, and one of them could be a coeliac disease, which is caused by a sensitivity to gluten (Gluten = mixture of two proteins present in cereal grains, especially wheat, which is responsible for the elastic texture of dough), found in many breads and cereal based foods, or to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Coeliac disease can be diagnosed by a blood test (for something called endomysial antibodies) and examining the bowel lining, and is treated by avoiding all gluten.
The exact cause of the condition is debated, but the discomfort and bloating are probably from a spasm in the bowel, which holds things up and allows gas to accumulate.
Several other factors play a part. Treatment is also variable, but it does need sympathy and understanding. Some people find that stress makes their symptoms worse, and so trying to reduce stress can be helpful.
Some women find it is worse at certain times of their menstrual cycle. Sometimes certain foods (like dairy products) seem to make matters worse, and avoiding them can help.
Constipation and diarrhoea can both occur with IBS. Treating constipation with bulking agents and high fibre foods can help this, but some people find they just make them feel more bloated and uncomfortable.
- Reduce your dietary intake of salt which in itself leads to fluid retention.
- Reduce your dietary intake of sugar, alcohol, and caffeine around the middle of your cycle because these items can also be responsible for some additional bloating.
- Exercise will increase blood circulation if done on a regular basis and will help prevent bloating.
- Avoid rich, fatty and gassy foods. These foods are hard for the body to digest and therefore will add to the sluggishness of the digestive system and add to bloating.
- Avoid red meat and don’t overeat and avoid any unneeded fats such as adding oils when cooking. No fried foods, chips.
- Avoid the gassy foods that are mostly in the vegetable family such as broccoli, beans, cabbage, lentils, cauliflower, milk, corn, potatoes, peas, artichokes, and wheat bran in order to prevent period bloating and menopausal bloating.
- Eat more fiber. Green leafy vegetables such as kale, collard greens, spinach, avocado and beetroot to prevent bloat and constipation.
- Eat more fresh fruit, tomatoes, dried fruits and nuts are also good choices to prevent or soothe bloating.
- Drink at least 8 glasses of water. You have to realise this counter-intuitive system. The more water you consume the less bloating you will have!
- Include L-Glutamine to your diary.