Many people who experience bloating after flying, often called “jet belly”, attribute it to the tension and anxiety associated with the airline transportation. However, there are other factors involved that can create this condition. For those who have experienced bloating after flying, there are safe, natural remedies available which can help reduce and eventually eliminate the gas and discomfort.
Why Jet Belly Happens?
The primary reason why you may feel bloating after flying is associated with your ears popping during takeoff and landing. The air inside the ear canal is adjusting to match the pressure of the outside air. The same is basically true with your digestive system.
As the plane ascends and descends, the air within the digestive system is also adjusting according the cabin air pressure. Although you may not feel the cabin air pressure adjusting apart from your digestive system, it is happening. The result is that the air or gas inside the intestines has expanded which brings about the feeling of being bloated.
And while the air inside will expand, it will not contract again as the plane comes closer to the ground. Instead, your body will try to expel the air inside either through belching or passing gas through the intestinal tract. However, even if some of the air does escape, much of it will not which results in having jet belly.
Keep in mind that you may also experience water retention as part of that bloated feeling. Water retention may also occur when flying or sitting for long periods. The symptoms are often the same as the expansion of gas inside the intestinal tract.
It helps to properly identify the symptoms associated with bloating after flying. This is because bloating may occur for several reasons. To connect the feeling of being bloated with flying, you will need to have the following symptoms.
- Pressure Inside the Gut
- Urge to Expel the Gas
- Light Nausea
- Minor Swelling of the Gut
The pressure comes from the expanding air inside the intestinal tract. You may feel the urge to expel the air one way or another. Plus, the buildup of pressure may cause feelings of mild nausea, lightheadedness, and some discomfort. The discomfort normally comes from the minor swelling that takes place. As the air expands, so does your waistline to compensate.
The symptoms of jet belly or bloating may last up to a week depending on several factors. However, you can relieve the symptoms in a relatively short time if you do the following.
Fast, Natural Remedies
If you feel bloated after a flight, there are things you can do to help reduce the gas and feel better in a short amount of time.
Probiotics: You can carry probiotics in tablet form that can be taken about an hour before your flight lands. Probiotics are bacteria that helps prevent bloating or can be taken afterwards to fire up the digestive process which reduces the gas that is present. The bacteria will break down the food you have consumed more efficiently which means that less gas is generated.
Water: Drinking plenty of water will help process the food in your digestive tract. The water will filter away any excess amounts of sodium, so that your body does not retain it when becoming bloated. This means that less gas is generated and the feeling of being bloated passes at a faster rate. Plus, drinking plenty of water will help you hydrate and remove any unwanted toxins that otherwise might linger in your digestive tract and cause even more issues.
Products that Help
Even the best preparations may still result in becoming bloated. If you want to speed up the process of reducing the gas, here are three excellent products that you can take with you on your next trip.
Activated Charcoal: You may associate charcoal with outdoor grilling, but the substance itself is an excellent neutralizer of gas inside the intestinal tract. The charcoal is also safe, easy to take, and lasts for hours. The capsules in this product contain all vegan materials as the charcoal itself is derived from coconut shells. Just take as instructed for fast relief.
Gas-X: One of most popular of all bloating-relief products, this is maximum strength Gas-X designed with softgels for easy swallowing. Using a proven formula, the capsules go to work quickly to reduce the gas present in the gut. Gas-X uses simethicone, which is one of the most effective substances in reducing gas for any over-the-counter product.
Love Wellness: Using natural products, Love Wellness boosts the digestive process. This results in the gas and bloating being quickly reduced. The use of digestive enzymes combined with healthy nutrients, Love Wellness is a safe, natural, and effective way to remove the gas that causes bloating. Perfect for traveling, this product is both dairy and gluten-free.
Tips on Preventing Bloating
Of course, the best way to treat jet belly or bloating is to prevent it from happening in the first place. There are things you can do before the flight that will lower the chances of bloating after you land.
Do Not Eat Before the Flight: This addresses the root causes of bloating by not having the intestinal tract build up gas before your flight begins. If you are leaving on a morning flight, do not eat breakfast. If the flight is in the afternoon or evening, skip the previous meal. This will allow your body to compensate with the changing air pressure without having to break down a meal as well.
Instead, take with you some healthy snacks that are easy for your digestive tract to break down. If you are on a long flight, try eating a snack every so often. This will keep your energy levels up while not providing enough material inside your digestive system to create the gas. Some healthy snacks include the following.
- Leafy Green Salad
- Granola and Chia Seeds
- Whole Grain Crackers and Humus
- Berries and Nuts
Exercise: Although you may find it strange at first that exercise can reduce gas in the digestive tract, the effect is a direct one to the body. This is because aerobic exercise can temporarily speed up the metabolism which causes the digestive process to move at a faster rate. This allows the gasses to pass through faster which in turn reducing the feeling of being bloated.
By exercising before you get on the plane, such as walking around the airport, this may help your body adjust to the flight.
Do’s and Don’ts for Your Next Flight
Do Keep Things Light: In addition to the tips listed above, you should start by keeping the stress level down as much as possible. This means taking along your favorite music to play on headphones, engaging in light conversation, and just thinking happy thoughts. By keeping things light, you reduce your stress levels which in turn put less pressure on your digestive system.
Don’t Overthink: In other words, do not dwell on the worst thing possible as that will build up your stress levels. If you find yourself thinking about what might happen, bring in some distractions such as reading material to get your mind somewhere else. Use the time on the flight to plan the rest of your trip or get other things accomplished.
Do Get Up and Move About: If you are on a flight that lasts more than two hours, get up every hour and walk up and down the aisles for a few minutes. Even just standing up for a few minutes can be quite helpful in helping your digestive tract process the food and gas. Plus, standing and walking a little can also reduce the stress that you feel which also helps in reducing the chances of bloating.
Don’t Forget About Your Posture: Admittedly, you may have little choice given what little room typical airplane seating provides. But slouching in the seat or not sitting correctly can affect your digestive tract. Incorrect posture makes it more difficult for your digestive system to process food. This may lead to issues that cause additional trapping of gas and even more discomfort.
Along with standing up every so often, try to sit up straight to keep your digestive tract in line. That will at least help with the discomfort caused by trapped gas. And, if you get the chance to lie down flat, take it. That will help considerably.
Do Take Action Quickly: The faster you can address the bloating, the quicker it will go away. Keep a bottle of gas-reducing products in your carry-on luggage or in your purse or pocket. This will help considerably if you start to feel the gas building up in your intestinal tract. You can even take them beforehand, so they work even quicker.
The feeling of being bloated after flying is a common one. Fortunately, there are some simple, natural solutions along with dedicated products that are inexpensive and quite effective. The better you prepare for the possibility of “jet belly”, the better you can avoid the symptoms altogether.
How do I get rid of bloating after flying?
Your best bet is water, a light meal, and a gas-Ex if you know you’re prone to belly issues. You might also feel pain in your abdomen area. Fortunately, jet belly shouldn’t last more than a week after landing.
How do I get rid of travel bloat?
Drinking plenty of water and other hydrating fluids helps maintain a healthy and hydrated body. Also, avoid caffeinated and salty beverages. Changes in hormones, plane flights, or too much salt can all affect your body’s ability to retain water.
Why am I swollen after traveling?
Sitting on the floor for a long time can cause blood to pool in the veins of your legs. The same goes for seated. It’s common for people to experience frequent urination and frequent bowel movements while they’re flying. Also, sitting for long periods can slow down your gut bacteria.
Does flying make you gain weight?
The study revealed that an obese person could gain up to 2.2 pounds a year due to the lack of sleep. You might think that air travel is the culprit for your bloated belly. But, it’s actually caused by the change in altitude and cabin air.
Does flying make you fart?
As air pressure drops, the gases in our body expand. This issue prompts us to fart to release the air we have in our bowel. If your skin does not feel full after a few seconds, then it’s a sign that you’re not keeping water.
What are the symptoms of DVT after flying?
Silent DVT is usually present in one calf or thigh. Symptoms of PE may also be silent but can include chest pain, breathlessness, and bloody sputum. While flying, don’t overdo on salt or water intake, which can cause water retention, says Tanzi. This causes puffy eyes and skin that has a tendency to retain water.
Why is it hard to poop after flying?
Sitting on a plane or in a car for a long time can cause your intestines to clog. This can also be difficult if you ignore the urge to move. If you compare the height of the aircraft to the sea level, your weight will decrease by 0.4% at the highest point.