Bloating is a normal condition of the human body. When your body decomposes the food into different products that can be absorbed from the digestive tract, gas is produced in your stomach and intestines. When bloating occurs so is the belly bulge, altogether forming an annoying condition. Among the food that we all consume often, diet sodas are linked to belly bulge and bloating more than another type of products.
When bloating occur?
Bloating is felt as a very full or swollen abdomen that makes you feel uncomfortable, and in some cases, it is accompanied by a feeling of pain spread throughout the abdomen.
Although many people think they have too frequent and too aggressive gasses, there are very rare cases of people experiencing too much intestinal gas.
Symptoms that may occur in the case of bloating are:
- Abdominal pain
The belching or eructations are part of a voluntary or involuntary process that is sometimes manifested by the loud release of air from the stomach or the esophagus by the oral route. Their presence after the meal is normal and usually caused by short moments when people swallow air while eating. Chronic eructations may indicate a disorder of the upper gastrointestinal tract such as peptic ulcer, gastroesophageal reflux disease, or gastritis.
What is flatulence?
The flatulence is the elimination of the gas mixture (flatus) from the digestive processes by the anal route. Some foods like carbohydrates, fiber, and sweet foods produce more flatulence than other types of food. Flatus is sometimes accompanied by sound and smell. Although most intestinal gas does not smell, sometimes the unpleasant smell results from the decomposition of digested food debris and small amounts of hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, and methane.
The tympanites is the gas accumulations in the intestines, caused by bloating but different from it, characterized by an increased in volume abdomen due to the increase in the volume of gasses in the intestines. The tympanites is usually the result of a disorder of gastrointestinal motility such as irritable bowel syndrome. These disorders are characterized by abnormal movements and contractions of the intestinal muscles. It may occur in
- spleen flexion syndrome
- Crohn’s disease
- hernias or adhesions
- upon consumption of fatty foods
Abdominal pain and discomfort
Gasses in the intestine can cause abdominal pain in some people. When they accumulate on the left side of the colon, pain can be confused with heart disease. When they accumulate to the right, the pain may resemble those which occur in the cases of biliary lithiasis or appendicitis.
Foods that can cause bloating
Most carbohydrate-containing foods can produce gas, while fats and proteins produce just a little amount of gas. Foods that produce gas include:
- a refined carbohydrate found in beans, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus and other vegetables and cereals.
- lactose – natural sugar found in milk and dairy products (cheese, ice cream) and processed foods such as bread, cereals, and dressings for salads.
- fructose – sugar found in onions, artichokes, pears, and wheat. Fructose is also used as a sweetener in the preparation of soft drinks and fruit juices.
- sorbitol – the sugar found naturally in fruits, including apples, pears, peaches, and plums. It is used as an artificial sweetener in many dietetic and sugar-free candies and sodas, which alongside with Aspartame and Acesulfame K are the main reason why diets sodas are linked to belly bulge and bloating.
- starch – most products are containing starch, including potatoes, corn, noodles, and wheat, and it produces gasses as it is degraded in the intestine (rice is the only starch-free product).
- soluble fiber – which easily dissolves in water and is found in oat bran, beans, peas, and most fruits
- insoluble fiber – which is contained in wheat bran and some vegetables and passes unchanged through the intestine, producing little gas.
Causes of bloating
It is not at all alarming if you go through bloating on an average frequency of about 14 (from 6 to 20) times a day because every normal person has such gasses and eliminates them in these ways.
Although it can be annoying, the excess intestinal gas is not usually caused by a health condition.
Among the most common causes of bloating are:
- swallowing air – the swallowed air is either freed by eructation or passes through the digestive tract and is released by the anus route as a flatus. Often, excessive swallowing of the air causes hiccups.
- various food, carbonated beverages, or diet sodas.
- consumption of high-fat foods – because fat slows the digestion process and promotes bloating
- eating in a hurry
- medicines or some nutritional supplements
- changes at the hormonal level – the bloating symptom is perfectly normal for women before menstruation because the body retains fluids.
- medical conditions such as intestinal obstruction, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, or lactose intolerance.
You have to go to the doctor if belly bulge and bloating don’t get solved with a change in your daily diet and lifestyle and if they associate with:
- severe, recurrent, and prolonged abdominal pain
- nausea or vomiting
- blood chairs
- loss of injury
- chest pain – occasionally, some people may experience serious symptoms such as heart pain, gas, or indigestion.
The main reasons someone has to consume diet sodas are to maintain a regular weight, lose some weight, or suffer from diabetes and products containing sugar are forbidden.
When your desire is to lose some weight and decrease your belly size, diet sodas may not be the perfect replacement for regular sodas because they cause bloating leading in time to belly bulge, due to high sweeteners and carbon dioxide content which prone for gasses accumulation.
This statement is supported by a recent study conducted by Sharon Fowler, a researcher at the University of Texas – Health Science Center in San Antonio, on almost 800 Mexican Americans and European Americans. The study was concluded after 9 years of observation. The conclusion of the study was that the subjects who drank diet sodas occasionally gained 1 extra inch in their bellies sizes, while those who drank diet sodas daily gained more than 3 inches.
These increases in waist circumferences are caused by the increasing of the belly fat levels, which is exactly what would you like to avoid if desiring to maintain your weight or to lose some.
All these are caused by the artificial sweeteners and the carbon dioxide.
Diet sodas are linked to belly bulge, therefore a healthy diet to maintain or lose weight should include fresh juices, smoothies, or teas, and not artificially sweetened and carbonated sodas or diet sodas.