A More Serious Condition Such As Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a common condition that causes abdominal pain with bloating, diarrhea or constipation. The cause of IBS is unknown, but it may be brought on by certain triggers, including:
- Bacterial infections
- Food sensitivity
- Stressful events
If you think you may have IBS, reach out to your doctor for an evaluation. Many times, lifestyle modifications and medicines can help ease symptoms. You may also try some at-home techniques to relieve your bloating.
Left Side Of The Abdomen
This part of the abdomen contains a portion of the body of your stomach, the tail of the pancreas, and your spleen.
The spleen is an organ that filters blood and supports the immune system.
Center left and center middle:
The transverse colon and the small intestine make up the center left and center middle of the abdomen. The small intestine is where most food digestion occurs.
The transverse colon is the upper part of the large intestine, where unabsorbed food is carried after going through the ascending colon. The small intestine is the organ that takes up most of the abdomen.
The descending and sigmoid colon portions are the part of the digestive system that stores unabsorbed food remains and waste before they leave your body.
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Similar to bloating is water retention. This lovely feeling is usually caused by consuming too much salt . High levels of sodium cause your body to hold on to extra unwanted fluid. Not only can bloating and water retention be uncomfortable and less than attractive, it can be downright painful. Here is a guideline to beat the bloat.
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Hard Stomach During Pregnancy
Generally, you expect a hard stomach when youre pregnant. Your hard-feeling stomach is caused by the pressure of your uterus growing and putting pressure on your abdomen.
The hardness of your stomach while pregnant can be more pronounced if you eat a low-fiber diet or drink a lot of carbonated beverages.
If your experience severe pain along with your hard stomach, you should see your OB-GYN or seek immediate medical attention. Sometimes severe pain in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy is an indicator of miscarriage.
Although more common in the third trimester, in the second or third trimester of pregnancy, discomfort can come from labor contractions or Braxton-Hicks contractions. Typically Braxton-Hicks contractions pass. If the contractions dont pass and become more persistent, it might be a sign that youre going into labor.
It Could Be Constipation
While youre spending a lot of time at home, you may not be moving as much as you usually do. You may also be eating different foods. This can lead to constipation. You may be constipated if you experience:
- Fewer bowel movements than normal for you
- Stool that is lumpy or looks like pebbles
- Difficulty passing stool or a feeling that you still need to go after youre finished
Fortunately, you can make a number of at-home changes to help relieve your constipation. These include:
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Eat At Regular Intervals
Many people experience bloating directly after a big meal. It is possible to avoid this by eating several smaller meals each day, which can help to keep the digestive system moving.
Swallowing food quickly can introduce air into the digestive tract. Drinking from a straw can also lead to people swallowing more air, which in turn leads to gas and bloating. People who have bloating should avoid using straws if possible and try eating slowly to avoid swallowing air during meals.
Eating Too Much Too Quickly
Having another bite or helping when you’re already full can easily push your stomach to the point of discomfort, Panitz notes.
And chowing down at lightning speed can have a similar effect: It takes 20 minutes or more for satiety signals from your stomach to reach your brain, so if you polish off your plate faster than that, you may not yet realize that you’ve had enough â and reach for more food, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
Also? Eating very fast can make it harder to thoroughly chew your food, per experts at Northwestern Medicine. As a result, your stomach is forced to digest down larger, harder-to-break-down food particles, which can cause the sensation of indigestion.
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Why Do Some People Experience A Painful Bloated Stomach
Having a constantly bloated stomach doesnt necessarily mean youre producing more gas than usual.
And its not always a symptom of an underlying condition. In some people, its simply an overreaction to normal amounts of gas in the abdomen.
And unfortunately, the reasons why this happens to some individuals and not others arent fully understood.12
Excess Creation Of Gas In The Body
There are medical conditions that create excess gas, Dr. Spiritos says. This includes undiagnosed celiac disease, an autoimmune condition that causes damage to the small intestine when gluten is consumed, and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth . People with SIBO have higher than normal amounts of bacteria in their intestines. When they digest food, their gut bacteria cause it to be quickly fermented, which can lead to bloating and often distension, Dr. Spiritos says. Treatment for celiac disease or SIBO can reduce the discomfort of bloating.
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Causes Of Bloating And Abdominal Pain
In some cases, abdominal pain and bloating are not a cause for concern and can often be relieved with simple dietary and lifestyle changes. Other times, abdominal bloating can be a sign of something more serious, and therefore further action is needed to treat the root of the problem.
Bloating is often a problem with digestion, and many things can affect gut health and the bodyâs ability to properly metabolize food and eliminate waste.
Gas is thought to be the most common cause of bloating, especially after eating a meal or drinking too fast. Gas builds up in the GI tract when you swallow air or when undigested food gets broken down.
Excessive gas is due to inadequate protein digestion, imbalances in gut bacteria, and the inability to fully break down carbohydrates and sugar.
This section will detail 32 potential causes of abdominal bloating and pain, which are often related to digestive disorders, food sensitivities, parasitic infections, bowel obstruction, hormonal changes like pregnancy, and a number of cancers like stomach cancer, ovarian cancer, or non-Hodgkinâs lymphoma.
Letâs get started.
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Drinking Through A Straw
A straw might make your morning protein shake easier to sip on the run, but it isn’t doing your stomach any favors. “When you drink through a straw, you also suck air into your stomach, which can increases gas and distention in your digestive tract,” says Rumsey. Sip straight from the lid to ward off tummy discomfort.
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Consider If Your Bloating Is Lining Up With Your Menstrual Cycle
If youre someone who has periods, thats another factor to track when youre looking for patterns in your bloating, says Dr. Cohen. A 2014 study in BMC Women’s Health asked 156 women about their gastrointestinal symptoms before and during their periods. The results showed that bloating was the most common GI-related symptom pre-menstruation and the second most common during menstruation. Unlike bloating due to digestive issues, bloating related to your period could happen because of fluid retention rather than gas.
Bloating thats connected to your menstrual cycle is pretty normal. But that doesnt make it much fun. If youve also noticed that certain foods make you feel bloated, consider limiting them in the days leading up to your period . To help reduce water retention, the Mayo Clinic recommends steps like curbing your salt intake if you think sodium may be a factor.
How Can I Tell If My Cat Has A Tumor In His Stomach
When the cat has abdominal distension due to tumors, the belly area either enlarges or becomes loose and flabby. The tumor is a rigid mass which means the cats stomach feels hard. We might also see other symptoms such as: Only the vet can give an accurate diagnosis, especially because many of these symptoms also present with various diseases.
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Wheres Your Abdominal Bloating And Pain
Pain in different areas of the abdomen can mean different things.
Abdominal pain can be anywhere between the chest and the pelvis. People often call it a stomachache. The pain can also be:
Causes of abdominal bloating and pain can vary from mild to severe. Most of the time, abdominal bloating and pain occur due to:
This kind of bloating or pain is usually normal and will go away within two hours.
In cases of the stomach flu, you may feel intense pain or bloating that comes and goes before each episode of vomiting or diarrhea. Stomach viruses usually go away with rest and home care.
This guide lists the organs associated with different locations of abdominal bloating or pain:
How To Stop Bloating After Eating
Bloating remedies can be very helpful as a natural way to relieve bloating. If you cant figure out what is the cause of the bloating in your body however, or if the bloated stomach after eating has been persistent for more than a week, we highly recommend that you should see your doctor, as there may be an underlying medical condition that causes the bloating.
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Regular Foods And Bloating
Regular consumption of foods that are prone to irritating your gut can cause bloating. The digestive tract is very sensitive and not the same for everyone. It is to be kept in mind that what is good for you can not be good enough for others. Your tolerance level, allergies may not be the same as others.
But in general certain foods are considered to inflame bloating. Like
- Foul-smelling breath etc.
How Do I Care For Abdominal Bloating And Nausea At Home
Resting in an upright position can reduce abdominal bloating and nausea related to acid reflux. This position reduces the acids flow up your esophagus. Physical activity can worsen symptoms when you feel nauseated.
Drinking clear fluids that contain natural sugar, such as sports drinks or Pedialyte, may help settle your stomach. However, drinking artificially flavored beverages and those made with sugar alcohols may contribute to abdominal bloating.
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When Should I Be Worried About Abdominal Bloating
See your healthcare provider if your bloated stomach:
- Gets progressively worse.
- Persists for more than a week.
- Is persistently painful.
- Comes with symptoms of illness, such as fever, vomiting or bleeding.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
A bloated stomach is not a pleasant feeling. While its a common experience and usually temporary, you may become weary of the cycle. Spending a little focused attention on the problem to identify the cause can be well worthwhile. Try recording your symptoms and possible triggers in a journal. Note diet, hormonal and stress factors. When in doubt bring your notes to a specialist for professional guidance. The different factors that contribute to bloating can be complex and difficult to parse, but medical testing can help. As always, seek medical attention if your symptoms are persistent or severe.
Will I Need Surgery For Ascites
Sometimes, diuretics and a low-sodium diet arent enough to improve the ascites. You may need other treatments, including:
- Paracentesis: Your provider inserts a needle into your abdomen to remove the fluid. This procedure can remove a large amount of excess fluid.
- Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt : This procedure is performed to treat fluid build-up in the abdomen. A wire mesh is inserted into a vein in your liver. When inflated, the stent forms a channel to bypass the liver. TIPS may be appropriate if your ascites arent responding to other therapies, if you need several paracenteses per month and youre not a candidate for a liver transplant.
- Liver transplant: In cases of severe cirrhosis, when the liver is failing, a liver transplant may be necessary.
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Abdominal Bloating And Pain Treatments
Treatments for abdominal bloating and pain will address the underlying condition.
Examples may include antibiotics for infections. If an intestinal obstruction is the cause, your doctor may encourage bowel rest by decreasing oral intake.
If theres a deficiency moving contents within the GI tract, your doctor may prescribe medications to encourage intestinal movement. Surgery may be necessary in severe instances.
How Can I Prevent Stomach Bloating
If your stomach bloating is caused by diet or alcohol, you can help prevent it by making some lifestyle changes. Some good general guidelines include:
If the cause of your bloated stomach is something more specific, such as specific food intolerance, perimenopause or a medical condition, you might need a little help with diagnosis, treatment and prevention. Some options include:
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How Is Ascites Treated
Limiting sodium in your diet is crucial for treating ascites. For people with ascites, recommended sodium intake is less than 2,000 to 4,000 milligrams a day.
A dietitian can help create a healthy eating plan for you. You may also need to take diuretics . These water pills help fluid and sodium leave your body.
Food Sensitivity Intolerance And Allergy
Food sensitives occur when your body isn’t able to process certain substance. When you eat foods containing that substance, it triggers an immune reaction that produces symptoms but is not life-threatening .
Common substances that can trigger food sensitivities and intolerances are:
- Gluten, a protein found in wheat and other grains, for reasons that are yet unknown
- Lactose, a sugar in dairy products, in people who lack the enzyme needed to digest it
Food allergies can range from mild to life-threatening. A substance in food you’re allergic to triggers an immune-system response that leads to symptoms, including bloating.
Common food allergies include:
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Natural And Other Remedies For Gas
Many advertisements tout medications or remedies that reduce gas and bloating. Some have been shown to be of value in clinical studies, others have not yet been proven scientifically but are anecdotally helpful. Before trying anything, you may want to consult with your physician.
Two products on the market can help with food-related gas and bloating. Both products are packaged forms of the enzymes needed to break down the problematic carbohydrates. Lactase, found in products such as Dairy Ease and Lactaid, can be taken with dairy foods to help break down lactose and lessen gas. Beano helps digest the indigestible carbohydrate in beans and other gas-producing vegetables.
Natural remedies for gas include:
Why Is The Left Side Of My Stomach Bloated And Hard
When your stomach swells and feels hard, the explanation might be as simple as overeating or drinking carbonated drinks, which is easy to remedy. Other causes may be more serious, such as an inflammatory bowel disease. Sometimes the accumulated gas from drinking a soda too quickly can result in a hard stomach.
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Behaviors Food Choices And Activity
Eating behaviors and other habits such as gum chewing, gulping foods and drinking with eating can cause us to swallow air. Bulky foods such as lettuce, cabbage, and dense breads not chewed into small enough pieces increase swallowed air.
Typically, swallowed air contains oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide. It tends to not have a foul smell, but it does contribute to the discomfort associated with gas.
People vary widely in how sensitive they are to gas production. Keeping a food record to document incidences of gas in relation to foods eaten can shed light on whether food or behavior may be aggravating the situation.
Causes Of Serious Bloating You Need To Know About And What To Do About Them
1. Ovarian cancer isnt the most likely, but it is one of the most lethal. Although ovarian cancer is only the fifth most common cancer in women, it causes more deaths than any other reproductive cancer mostly in women over 50. Risk factors include never having children or having them late in life, obesity, a family history of ovarian cancer, certain genetic abnormalities, and long-term treatment with hormone replacement therapy. Persistent bloating, feeling full faster, and pelvic pain are typical symptoms.
What to do if youre concerned about ovarian cancer:
A thorough pelvic exam or transvaginal ultrasound is the best way to diagnose ovarian cancer. The blood test CA-125 isnt a reliable screening test, but it can be helpful for following the course of treatment after diagnosis.
2. Uterine cancer. In addition to bloating, uterine cancer can cause abnormal vaginal bleeding, a watery or blood-tinged vaginal discharge, pelvic pain, or pain with intercourse or urination. But its important to know that sometimes bloating or a change in bowel habits may be the only initial signs of uterine cancer. Important risk factors include taking tamoxifen taking estrogen supplements that dont also contain progesterone radiation therapy a family history of uterine cancer or a family history of a form of inherited colon cancer called Lynch syndrome.
What to do if youre concerned about uterine cancer:
What to do if youre concerned about colon cancer:
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