Chewing Gum and Bloating Connection

Chewing Gum and Bloating

People who feel bloated all of the time might be overlooking a very common culprit. Chewing gum and bloating have been linked for a multitude of reasons, but yet most people do not associate the common habit with everyday bloat. Both the mechanism of action for chewing gum and what it contains can be responsible for increasing the sensations of bloating, including a full feeling as well as increased gassiness.

Bloating itself is a symptom of gastrointestinal troubles, one of the most common of which is abdominal gas. Gas is naturally produced during digestion and is typically expelled either through burping or passing gas. Sometimes, the stomach gas is held on to by the body. This can lead to cramping, abdominal pain and a distended abdomen. Abdominal gas is typically caused by diet, where gas producing foods are consumed in abundance.

In fact, a buildup of abdominal gas whether, a byproduct of chewing gum and bloating or a meal comprised of beans is one of the most common causes of stomach pain. The pain that results from stomach bloating and gas can be severe and can be felt in all parts of the abdomen and last for long periods of time. So how can chewing gum be responsible for wreaking so much havoc on the body? Well, the answer is simpler than most people think.

Sugar substitutes are often used in gum. It is what gives them their sweet flavor and lack of calories. However, the same properties in artificial sweetener additives are that make them calorie free are what can lead to digestive distress. Because the body can not digest these non-foods, excess gas resulting in stomach bloating may be produced. Foods that are non digestible or difficult to digest are some of the most common causes of bloating, so artificial sweeteners that they body flat out can not digest are of course just as big of a concern in this regard. Chewing gum and bloating are therefore very intimately related because the body’s constant efforts to break down the fake sweeteners used in gum can lead to a buildup of excess gas, one of the most common bloating causes.

This extra gas can unfortunately lead to another unpleasant side effect in the form of excessive flatulence. When the body finally relaxes and releases the built up gas that has resulted from its digestive efforts, excessive flatulence in the form of increased burping and its other end equivalent can occur. The only positive result of this is of course that the release of the built up gas can provide some relief from the fullness, pressure and pain that the held on to gas can produce.

Aside from the sweet substitute connection between chewing gum and bloating, there is another way in which the often overlooked activity can contribute to an increase in bloat. Swallowing air is one of the most common causes of bloating and gas, and consistent chewing and swallowing as it common with enjoying chewing gum are common culprits. When excess air is swallowed, it is introduced into the gastrointestinal tract, where if conditions are right, it is held on to where it may create unpleasant symptoms later. If chewing gum is enjoyed following a meal that is high in hard to digest foods and overconsumption has taken place, a real recipe for disaster can ensue where the body, already overworked by digesting a difficult meal is now even more compromised by the addition of gas and bloat inducing false sweeteners and an introduction of large amounts of swallowed air. Based on this provided evidence you can see why chewing gum and bloating are very closely related. The artificial sweeteners used to give them their flavor combined with the activity of chewing gum in the first place can cause some real digestive hurdles. However, there are some times where it is even more burdensome, such as after a meal.

In general, there is nothing wrong with chewing gum. It helps clean the teeth and reduces the risk of bad breath. However in individuals where bloating is consistent and problematic, it might be worth exploring the relationship between chewing gum and bloating, to see if this common culprit may be playing a role in symptom development.

References:
http://www.webmd.com/diet/10-flat-belly-tips
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloating

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