Chronic Constant Bloating: Important Things To Know
Chronic constant bloating can be extremely uncomfortable and even painful. There are many different triggers of chronic or constant bloating, and oftentimes it can be difficult to understand the cause of your discomfort. Some common causes include water retention, food allergies and intolerances, intestinal sensitivity, and foods that are high in fiber or high-fructose corn syrup. Keep reading to learn more about chronic constant bloating.
Chronic Bloating: How To Manage It And When To Speak With Your Doctor
Bloating is an uncomfortable but common occurrence for many women. That familiar abdominal discomfort and gassy feeling is often just a natural part of the bodys digestive process. But if it never seems to go away it might be chronic bloating.
Chronic bloating can be caused by many things including various foods lifestyle decisions and even diseases. Fortunately there are several steps you can take to relieve the discomfort. Learning more about bloating can help you find out if its time to speak with your doctor to discuss your symptoms and concerns.
What is bloating?
Normally gas leaves your body through belching or flatus up to 25 times per day. If youre experiencing moderate discomfort or find you are regularly dealing with bloating it can be hard to pinpoint the cause. The Mayo Clinic noted that there are six main causes of excess bloating:
How can I relieve chronic bloating?
When Bloating Is A Sign Of Something More Serious
Each of the previous reasons for bloating can be overcome through diet, exercise, and mindful living. Although not as common, bloating may be an indication of a more serious condition that requires medical attention. The following are three conditions and what to look for.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a disorder that causes a change in bowel habits such as constipation, diarrhea, or both. These changes can cause stomach pain. If you are diagnosed with IBS, youre not alone according to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, 10-15 percent of Americans have IBS. If you notice these symptoms or think you have IBS, see your doctor.
Crohns Disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that can cause bloating. It is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and/or fever. If you experience a combination of these symptoms, visit your doctor to get tested for Crohns disease.
Cancer. Dont panic! Most of the time bloating is a result of something very treatable. However, in rare cases, it can be a sign of a more serious illness such as cancer. If your bloating is combined with symptoms such as blood in the stool and weight loss, you may want to see your doctor who can check you for pancreatic or stomach cancer .
Also Check: Why Does My Stomach Stay So Bloated
When To Talk To Your Health Care Provider
Bloating can be normal, but it can also be a sign of serious conditions. Its important to keep track of what foods cause you to feel bloated, but also note if you experience other symptoms that have accompanied bloating.
If you notice a drastic change in weight or changes in your bowel movementssuch as changes in color or consistencyyou need to tell your provider that as well, as they can be signs of an underlying condition, Hoffman said. If you ate too much and are having trouble digesting your food, then you know that was the likely cause of your bloating and cramping, but if its come on suddenly with a healthy diet, you should err on the side of caution and visit your provider.
How To Get Rid Of A Bloated Stomach
One of the most effective bloated stomach remedies is improving your diet, since the foods you eat play a huge part in regulating how much air and poop is trapped inside your digestive tract.
To keep things flowing smoothly, you want to make sure to eat a high-fiber diet, aiming for about 2530 grams every day or even more.
This isnt too difficult when you eat plenty of whole foods, including veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes and ancient grains. It can certainly help you to track your symptoms after eating certain foods known to cause bloating, but remember that a bloated stomach is caused by your entire lifestyle, not just the food on your plate.
Some of the best foods for helping to battle stomach bloating include:
Now that you know what you should eat, lets look at some of the foods that might make your bloating even worse. More often than not, some of these foods might be the culprit:
Recommended Reading: What Food Makes Your Stomach Feel Better
Having An Undiagnosed Condition
There are a few conditions that can cause bloating. Heart and liver disease and venous insufficiency can cause excess fluid in the abdomen or limbs. These conditions come with more prominent and tell-tale symptoms, and your health care provider can help you identify them and other illnesses that can cause bloating.
Chronic conditions can cause swelling and bloating in certain areas, Hoffman said. If you have a history or concern of these conditions, then its best to talk with your primary care provider.
Other gastrointestinal conditions can also cause bloating and stomach ailments. Conditions such as ulcerative colitis, Crohns disease and irritable bowel syndrome can all cause bloating. Acid reflux, and the medications to treat it, can cause bloating and a feeling of increased gas in the abdomen, leading to belching.
Right Side Of The Abdomen
The upper right side of your abdomen contains the gallbladder, liver, and first part of the small intestine.
The gallbladder is a small sac that stores bile made by the liver. The duodenum, known as the first portion of the small intestine, is where food empties from the stomach into the small intestine.
The center right side of the abdomen contains the ascending colon and the transverse colon. Food then passes from the ascending colon to the transverse colon.
The cecum of the large intestine with the appendix and the small intestine are in the lower right side of the abdomen. The cecum is the first part of the large intestine that the end of the small intestine connects to.
Some experts believe the appendix plays a role in the immune system. Others think it has no purpose.
If your doctor performs a physical exam and then suspects a medical condition is causing your abdominal bloating or pain, theyll run various medical tests.
The types of tests they order will depend on your medical history and physical exam results.
Some common tests for abdominal problems include the following:
Also Check: Is Pedialyte Good For Upset Stomach
Gut Microbiome And Bloating
An unhealthy gut microbiome that is overly dominant in bad bacteria can cause fermentation of food in the intestines, causing gas and bloating.
Eating a diet high in fiber and with a diverse array of vegetables and perhaps supplementing with short-chain fatty acids is the best way to support a healthy gut microbiome. Read this article to learn more.
This may seem overwhelming, especially if you have multiple symptoms and cant access a functional medicine practitioner. In my gut health course, Gut Health: Solving the Puzzle A top-to-bottom solution strategy, I address each of these steps in depth, teach you how to recognize symptoms of dysfunction at every stage, and show you how to make the necessary changes to recover gut function.
Drinking Too Much Soda
Carbonated beverages, such as soda or sparkling water, are a common reason for bloating. The fizz in your favorite sodas can cause gas to get trapped in your stomach, which can lead to bloating and belching.
Try limiting the amount of soda you drink and switch to a healthier alternative. Water with cucumber or lemon can offer a flavorful drink with your meal, and black tea can provide the caffeine kick you may need in the early afternoon. If youre already feeling bloated, peppermint tea is a common remedy that can be used to help reduce the discomfort.
Recommended Reading: What Do You Take For Stomach Ulcers
When To See A Doctor
It is normal to experience occasional bloating as a result of diet changes, hormone changes, or stress. However, in those cases, bloating symptoms will usually subside within a few days. If chronic bloating symptoms persist or you experience a constant feeling of fullness, be sure to consult with a physician. It is important that you see a doctor as soon as possible if bloating is paired with severe stomach pain, rectal pain, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation.
Stomach Hydrochloric Acid And Bloating
If proteins such as meat cause bloating, your stomach may not be producing hydrochloric acid .
When food enters your stomach, it releases HCl to break down proteins.
In addition to breaking down protein, HCL triggers the small intestine to release pancreatic enzymes to further digest foods and the gallbladder to release bile to emulsify fats. These functions ensure good nutrient absorption, maintain GI health, prevent bacterial overgrowth, and promote a healthy gut microbiome.
Many people underproduce both HCl and pancreatic enzymes, particularly as they age but also in response to a lifetime of a poor diet.
Symptoms of low HCl include not only difficulty digesting protein but also acid reflux and bad breath.
You can address low HCl with HCl supplements with meals, or apple cider vinegar for a gentler approach.
If you take either HCl or apple cider vinegar and experience gastric burning, this is a sign of gastric irritation or stomach ulcers and the possibility of an H. pylori infection.
The H. pylori bacteria furrow into the stomach lining and prevent hydrochloric acid release.
To learn more about HCl, apple cider vinegar, and H. pylori, read this article.
Also Check: Does Bad Breath Come From Your Stomach
Can Bloating Be Prevented Or Avoided
There are many ways to prevent and avoid bloating:
- Avoid the foods that are known to cause gas. These include cabbage, Brussels sprouts, turnips, beans, and lentils.
- Avoid chewing gum.
- Avoid using straws for drinking.
- Reduce or avoid drinking carbonated drinks .
- Reduce or avoid eating and drinking foods that include fructose or sorbitol. These artificial sweeteners are often found in sugar-free foods.
- Eat slowly.
- Eat more foods high in fiber to prevent constipation. If foods alone dont help, consider taking a fiber supplement.
- Avoid dairy products if you notice they cause gas and bloating.
- Quit smoking.
What Are The Symptoms And Causes Of Indigestion
Most of us have experienced indigestion and its symptoms, for example, upper abdominal pain and cramping, bloating, belching, nausea, vomiting, and the feeling of fullness after only eating a few bites. There are common causes of indigestion like GERD or pregnancy. More serious causes include cancers or heart attack.
The best way to relieve and even prevent symptoms of stomach bloating and gas, is a healthy diet and regular exercise, however, there are many things you can do to prevent and relieve bloating and gas.
Read Also: How To Avoid Stomach Ulcers
Are These Signs Or Symptoms Accompanying Your Bloat
Fortunately, if you feel bloated its usually harmless and caused by something as simple as gas, indigestion, or premenstrual symptoms.
But when there are other symptoms occurring with your persistent bloating symptoms you may want to dive deeper into the actual cause.
Other signs and symptoms to look out for with your constant bloating include:
- Severe abdominal pain
- Nausea, vomiting, or both
Dont shrug your constant bloating off if youre experiencing any of the above symptoms.
Because when detected early, certain diseases such as colon cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease, or diverticulitis are easier to treat and can reduce more complications.
And if gastrointestinal issues like leaky gut syndrome and inflammatory bowel diseases arent properly treated it could lead to other complications such as autoimmune diseases or cancer.
Warning Signs And Symptoms
Weight loss is one of the main warning signs for serious bloating. If you find yourself losing more than a few pounds without changing your diet or starting a new exercise regimen, that should be cause for concern, especially if its 10 percent or more of your body weight. Weight loss can be caused by tumors that press on the intestines, making you feel full after just a small amount of food, or from substances secreted by tumors that suppress your appetite.
Ascites is an abnormal buildup of fluid in the abdomen or pelvis. It can cause bloating, weight gain, and a rapidly expanding waistline. Ascites is usually caused by liver disease, but cancer is the culprit about 10 percent of the time. A large amount of fluid can make you look and feel like youre several months pregnant. The combination of bloating and jaundice, which turns the eyes and skin yellow, can be a sign of cancer thats spread to the liver, although it can also occur with more benign forms of liver disease like hepatitis.
Blood in your stool, vaginal bleeding in between periods, or postmenopausal vaginal bleeding can all be associated with serious bloating. Fortunately, the most common causes of these symptoms arent the most serious, but bleeding should always be evaluated because it can be a sign of cancer, particularly colon or uterine cancer.
Don’t Miss: What Kind Of Doctor For Stomach Issues
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 bodys 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-Hodgkins lymphoma.
Lets get started.
What Causes Excess Gas
Many people who feel as though they have excess gas may have increased levels or just an increased sensitivity to it in the gastrointestinal tract. Passing gas, bloating, burping, and belly pain and discomfort are common sensations in those who feel like they have excess gas. These symptoms may be due to a variety of conditions. Health problems including small intestinal bacterial overgrowth , gastroesophageal reflux disease , irritable bowel syndrome , and difficulty digesting certain types of carbohydrates may all contribute to gas build up. Other conditions like abdominal hernias, masses in the GI tract, abdominal adhesions, and dumping syndrome can affect the way gas moves through the intestines.
Recommended Reading: What Is Lymphoma Of The Stomach
When Is It Serious
Most of the time, you can manage bloating on your own. But if you also feel weak or lose your appetite, or have diarrhea, weight loss, fever, belly pain, or blood in your stool, talk to your doctor. To find out whatâs going on, they may take a stool sample or an X-ray of your small intestine, or test you for lactose intolerance or celiac disease.
Signs And Symptoms Of Abdominal Bloating
Abdominal pain and bloating are considered two different symptoms. That being said, you are likely to feel both at the same time. These symptoms refer to the ache or distention felt under the gastral cavity and above your pubic bone, also called the lower and upper abdominal regions.
Its important to note that a bloated stomach is not related to gaining fat mass around the stomach or water retention. It is mainly caused by air being temporarily stuck around the abdomen.
You may experience the following signs and symptoms alongside the gassiness, fullness, and stomach pain of abdominal bloating:Signs of an allergic reaction
- A fever
- Swollen, painful lymph nodes in your throat, armpits, or groin
You May Like: What Does Stomach Cancer Feel Like
What Are The Most Common Causes Of Gas And Bloating
The most common causes of gas and bloating are constipation and eating foods that result in high levels of swallowed air and intestinal bacteria. Some foods are more gaseous than others, especially dairy and others that are hard to digest. Sometimes constipation can also lead to excess gas and bloating, especially if fermented food waste has been in the colon for an extended period of time. Other times the opposite problem, diarrhea, can also cause bloating and abdominal discomfort.
Most frequently gas and bloating happen when one consumes foods that the body has a hard time digesting effectively. These can be anything, as each individual is different. Some types of food are more notorious for causing gas than others, including dairy products, beans, and cruciferous vegetables.
Bacteria in the colon are naturally present and help to break down food during digestion. Items that are harder to digest require more work to be done and result in more off-gassing during the process given off by these bacteria. This leads to excessive gas being trapped inside the intestines and can cause bloating and discomfort.