Stomach bloating – avoid this sweet treat or risk painful trapped wind

Most people feel bloated at some point in their lifetime, according to the NHS.

The condition may be caused by eating too much food in one go, or even by swallowing too much air.

Feeling bloated can make the stomach feel swollen, puffy, and uncomfortable.

Eating sugar-free foods may be contributing to your bloating pain, it’s been revealed.

Sweeteners can cause trapped gas, bloating, and even diarrhoea, said Dr Ayesha Akbar, Consultant Gastroenterologist from the London Digestive Centre at The Princess Grace Hospital, part of HCA UK.

Eating sweeteners regularly increases the risk of painful stomach bloating, said Akbar.

They move through the digestive system without breaking down, providing a great feeding ground for gut bacteria.

But, as the bacteria feast on the sweeteners, it creates gas that’s trapped inside the large intestine.

“Sweeteners added to food, such as xylitol, sorbitol and mannitol, are used to replace regular sugar in foods which are marketed as ‘sugar-free’,” said Akbar.

“They look and taste just like sugar, but have fewer calories and negative health effects.

“Whilst these sugar alcohols do help to reduce calorie intake, they can also cause digestive problems for people who consume them regularly.

“This is because they reach the large intestine unchanged, where the gut bacteria will then feed on them, often leading to gas, bloating and diarrhoea.

“If you notice that you are experiencing these symptoms after consuming foods which are labelled as ‘sugar-free’, then it would be in your best interest to avoid these altogether.”

You could also lower your risk of stomach bloating by avoiding carbonated drinks, added Akbar.

The fizzy bubbles in the drinks add carbon dioxide to the stomach, which can get trapped and lead to an uncomfortable feeling in your tummy.

Beans, onions and broccoli could all lead to trapped wind and bloating, said the NHS.

While avoiding too many trapped gas-causing foods, it’s still important to eat your five-a-day.

A fibre-rich diet can lower your risk of constipation and bloating.

A 20 to 30 minute walk four times a week could be enough to improve bowel function.

Speak to a doctor if your bloating symptoms persist.