Bloating With IBS: 10 Best Treatment Tips

Our content is not intended nor recommended as a substitute for medical advice by your doctor. Use for informational purposes only.

 

1 . Avoid foods that give you bloating.

 

Food is a significant contributor to IBS bloating. IBS patients are proved to improve after they cut or decrease gassy foods from their diet.

Scientists Identified a group of carbohydrates (sugars) that rapidly ferment and produce symptoms of IBS (abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel movement). This group of food is called (Fermentable Oligo-, Di, Monosaccharides, and Polyols) or FODMAPs.

A Low FODMAP diet plan improved IBS symptoms in most IBS patients (reference).

The table below illustrates FODMAP diets that lead to bloating and other IBS symptoms.

FODMAP GROUP

FOODS

Fruits

Apples
Apricot
Avocado
Bananas (ripe)
Blackberries
Cherries (dried)
Currants
Custard apple
Dates
Logan
dried Figs
Goji berries (dried)
Peeled grapefruits
Guava (unripe)
Jackfruit (dried)
Melon, honey due
Nectarine
Paw Paw
Peach (all types)
Pear (except prickly)
Persimmon
Pineapple (dried)
Plum (black and diamond types)
Pomegranate
Prunes
Raisins
Rambutan
Raspberry
Sultanas
Tamarillo
Watermelon

Vegetables.

Artichoke (globe, Jerusalem, and pickled)
Asparagus
Beetroot
Bitter Melon
Black Garlic
Broccoli (stalks only)
Broccolini (whole)
Brussel sprouts
Butternut squash
Babbage, savoy
cauliflower
Celery
Chilli (ancho, chipotle)
Corn kernels, canned
Galic
Indian gooseberry
Karela
Kimchi
Leek (bulb)
Lotus root (dried)
Mangetout
Mushroom (button, enoki, porcini, portobello, shiitake, and black chanterelle)
Onions (Spanish, white, spring, and pickled onions)
Peas
Pumpkin (butternut)
White cabbage, sauerkraut
Yucca root

Cereals

Almond meal
Amaranth
Parley, pearl
Burghal
Bran, wheat, unprocessed
Couscous, rice, and corn, wheat
Corn flakes
Flakes of rice with psyllium
Flakes of wheat, barley, oats
Flour: chestnut, Khorasan, whole wheat, amaranth, barley, coconut, einkorn, emmer, lupin, rye, Spelt, white, wheat.
Freekeh
Grains, rye
Muesli: most types
Noodles, wheat
Oatmeal
Pasta: Gnocchi, Wheat pasta, Split.
Raisin toast
Semolina, fine
Spelt, kernels
Wheat bran, pellets
Wheat germ, raw
wheat grain, raw, sprouted
Whole wheat grain biscuit

Diary Products

Cow milk
Goat milk
Sheep milk
Soy milk made with soybeans
Buttermilk
Cream
Custard
Greek yogurt
Ice cream
Sour cream
Yogurt
Cream cheese
Ricotta cheese

Alcohols.

Ciders
Cocktails
Mixers
Sweet wines
High fructose corn syrup
Diet alcohols (contain artificial sweeteners)
Carbonated alcohols as Fizzy mixers, ciders, and sparkling wine (tear).

Others

Hommus dip
Jam (mixed berries)
Pasta sauce (cream-based)
Relish
Tzatziki dip
Agave
Honey
Inulin
Isomalt
Maltitol
Mannitol
Sorbitol
Xylitol
Coconut water
Apple juice
Pear juice
Mango juice
Sodas with high fructose corn syrup
Fennel tea
Herbal Tea (Strong)

2. Change your eating habits.

Eating habits greatly influence bloating with IBS. Use these practical tips to decrease IBS bloating:

  • Eat slowly: give yourself at least 20 to 30 minutes so you can digest food properly. When you eat fast, you will swallow more air and will not chew properly. Consequently, you will get more bloating with IBS.

  • Eat regularly: another common practice seen with my patients is that they eat one or two large meals per day (because of anorexia and the fear of abdominal pain). Eating one or two meals a day can hurt your IBS and bloating. You have to train your digestive system to have the same amount of food at the same time. Small frequent meals are better than large one or two meals per day.
  • Don’t talk while you eat: Taking while eating will make you swallow more air. The swallowed air will eventually exaggerate bloating with IBS.

3. Avoid Lying down directly after eating.

Some people tend to lay down on the bed directly after eating, which relieves bloating.

Lying down can worsen bloating with IBS as it delays your stomach emptying.

Although you will get instant relief from the bloating, you will experience an uncomfortable bloating sensation later.

Practical tips for resisting the urge to lay down:

  • Adjust your meal time before you go out from home.
  • Set your waking or fitness time after meals.
  • Have your dinner early. At least 2 hours before you go to bed.

4. Get rid of  IBS constipation.

IBS bloating is more common in patients with constipation-predominant IBS. Moreover, bloating is very common with constipation in general (not only with IBS-constipation).

Treating your constipation will significantly improve your bloating.


5. Eat the optimum amount of fiber.

The relationship between fiber diet and IBS and Bloating is complex. An optimum amount of fiber will help you to regulate your bowel movement and improves IBS constipation.

Excess fiber will worsen your IBS bloating. Unfortunately, there is no specific amount of fiber you should eat.

Increasing the amount of fiber in your diet slowly to the maximum tolerable dose will help you fight IBS bloating. 

It will take some trials and errors to achieve the optimum amounts of dietary fiber for IBS. Also, you can take a fiber supplement such as Metamucil
Learn More about Fiber and IBS.


6. Exercise.

Normal bowel motility is related to your physical activity. If you live a sedentary life, this will increase your IBS-related bloating.

People who sit or lay on the couch after meals are more likely to experience bloating with IBS.

Practical tips to stay fit 

  • Give yourself a walk for 10 to 20 minutes
  • Try some yoga poses like the cat and cow position.
  • Walk on a treadmill.

7. Probiotics

Probiotics are popular nowadays. It is estimated that about 4 million people in the United States are taking probiotics (reference).

Probiotics are promising in the treatment of IBS. Several studies show that they can be effective in relieving IBS bloating.

Probiotics are specific strains of good bacteria that can have beneficial effects on your digestive system. 

One of the theories of irritable bowel syndrome is an imbalance between good gut bacteria and harmful bacteria. 

  • Examples of good bacteria of the lactobacillus and bifidobacterium 
  • Examples of harmful bacteria are E-Coli, Clostridium difficile, and Streptococci.

Probiotics help to regain your digestive system balance and fight harmful bacteria. Many IBS sufferers report improvement in IBS bloating with probiotics (reference).


8. Over-the-counter medications.

Activated charcoal:

Activated charcoal is considered an air-absorbing tablet. The tablets are formed of millions of tiny balls that absorb excess air and unwanted materials in your stomach.

Activated charcoal significantly improves IBS bloating in clinical trials (reference).

Usually, it is recommended to be taken after meals for a better effect.

Activated charcoal may worsen constipation, so It is better to avoid it if you have bloating with IBS constipation. 

Learn more about activated charcoal.

Simethicone:

Simethicone is another safe over-the-counter drug for bloating and flatulence with IBS.

It acts by decreasing the surface tension of gases in your stomach and intestine. When the surface tension of gas decreases, it will become easier for you to get rid of gases.

Simethicone also is not absorbed and acts only locally. Therefore, it is a safe medication, and there is no contraindication for taking this medication.

9. Prescription medications.

In many IBS patients, IBS-related bloating is due to a hypertensive digestive system rather than excess gas. If the above remedies fail to control IBS bloating, ask your doctor about prescription medications for bloating with IBS.

Medications that modulate the feeling of abdominal pain, such as Tricyclic antidepressants, may improve persistent IBS bloating. 

Other prescription anti-constipation medications such as Lubpristone may result in improvement of your IBS bloating. 

This will requires you to discuss the issue with your doctor to define the best treatment.