Your clothes felt great this morning, but right now they feel tight and uncomfortable. There is a wrench in your stomach and you don’t know why. Does it sound familiar to you? There are habits that cause this phenomenon in clothing on a daily basis, habits that mostly have to do with the way we eat. Read on to learn about some of those habits to change them and eradicate that problem in your clothes, but especially in your body.

Why swelling occurs

Bloating is one of the most common stomach upsets you hear about. According to statistics, about 30% of people experience bloating on a regular basis, but the numbers are much higher than that.

Bloating is just gas and excess air that has become trapped in the digestive tract, usually the small intestine, which is where most of the digestion and absorption of nutrients occurs.

Your digestive system is approximately 90 centimeters. That’s a lot of gut for your food to navigate. After breaking down food with powerful enzymes, the small intestine absorbs the nutrients and passes them into the bloodstream.

But there are a few things that can happen during this process that cause uncomfortable air to pump into your gut.

So why are you bloated, having stomach aches, and acid reflux? There are a ton of factors to consider, and surprisingly many of the culprits are extremely common habits . Things that many people do every day.

Bloating is a way that your body communicates with you and tells you that things are not working well in there. Many people think that regular bloating is normal, but it is not.

10 habits that cause reflux, bloating and stomach pain

So, what are some of these habits that lead the body to feel these discomforts so common that it is already a habit to live with them because they think they are normal?

1. Not eating enough fiber

Fiber helps boost things in your system. When you’re not getting enough, things will slow down through the digestive tract, eventually starting to pile up like stuck traffic. This will make it difficult to get air out and you will feel bloated quickly after eating a large meal.

About 1 in 10 people in the US alone eat fruits and vegetables as they should. Some children get nothing but potatoes (often in the form of potato chips) as their daily vegetable.

If you are eating a diet full of fruits and vegetables, then you won’t even have to think about how much fiber you will get. But if you want to be specific, aim for 25-38 grams of fiber a day.

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2. Soda

All that carbonation in your soda is the air that stays in your belly. If your digestion is already struggling, this air will be trapped and make you feel bloated.

Try to find some non-carbonated drinks that you enjoy. For example, fruit flavored waters.

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3. Artificial sweeteners

Artificially sweetened foods and drinks often contain sugar alcohol, and this can cause bloating in many people. If you take a look at the labels, you will be surprised how much artificial sweetener you consume on a daily basis.

Not to mention, artificial sweeteners also cause inflammation in the gut, leading to digestive problems galore.

Stick with foods that are close to their natural state. Avoid anything artificial if possible and go for healthy sweeteners like coconut sugar, raw honey, maple syrup, raw stevia, etc.

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4. Excess sodium intake

Most people eat a lot of table salt because they eat too much food that comes out of a bag or box. These are high in salt because it improves flavor and makes food last longer.

You shouldn’t eat more than 1,500-2,300 mg of sodium per day. This is easy to handle if you are eating mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, raw nuts and seeds (no added salt), and homemade meals with real food ingredients.

Watch out for culprits like salad dressings, trail mix, and pre-made seasonings. Try to buy spices that don’t have added salt.

5. Lack of probiotics

Most cultures consume fermented foods with their meals, which aids digestion, improves digestive tract health, and also reduces symptoms of bloating and digestive upset.

Try adding fermented vegetables like sauerkraut to your diet. It tastes great when placed in a salad. Other probiotic-rich foods include kombucha, miso, kimchi, yogurt, and kefir.

Most people also benefit from taking a daily probiotic supplement.

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6. Digestive disorders

Frequent and uncomfortable bloating is sometimes a sign of a problem deeper in your gut. If you feel like you’re eating right but still feel bloated, it could be a sign of a problem like IBS, SIBO, or celiac disease.

Make an appointment with your healthcare professional to have any of these tested to begin treating the root cause versus the symptoms.

7. Dehydration

It may seem counterintuitive, but your body will really accumulate if you are not drinking enough. This can cause that heavy, watery feeling.

The solution is easy, just drink enough water. A good rule of thumb is to aim for half your weight in ounces per day, more if you’re active. Keep in mind that being thirsty is a sign that your body is already dehydrated.

Also, many people feel strange when they are simply dehydrated. So drink all day.

Change your habits to eliminate a bloated belly


One of the ways to beat bloating and normalize digestion is to make juices. Try the following recipe and eliminate the bloating, reflux, and aches and pains that this brings.


  • Red cabbage – 1 whole piece
  • Cayenne pepper – ¼ tsp.
  • Coriander – 1 handful
  • Coconut water – ½ cup
  • Ginger root – 1 inch
  • Lemon – ¼ fruit
  • Lime – ¼ fruit
  • Salt – 1 pinch


Place all ingredients (except salt and cayenne) through the juicer. Pour into a tall glass or pitcher and then add the salt and cayenne. Drink slowly.

Dr. Eric Jackson

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses. He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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