Slow Down At Mealtime
Eating too fast is a common cause of abdominal bloating because it results in swallowed air. Once that air reaches the intestines, you may feel pain and be bloated. The stomach stretches as you eat and sends signals to the brain alerting you that you are full. However, it takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to alert the brain, so you could be overeating and swallowing lots of air before you feel uncomfortably full. Slow down, chew thoroughly, and enjoy your meals. Drink enough water and stay hydrated to help ensure healthy digestion.
Causes For Stomach Bloating
Stomach Bloating can be a troublesome issue to deal with. And though there are several ways you can treat the issue, understanding the causes for the same can help you deal with it better. Accordingly, here are some of the more common causes for stomach bloating in women.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS is one of the most common causes for bloating in individuals. And sadly, most of the time it gets mistaken for either indigestion or gas. More prominent in women, IBS can cause bloating in addition to causing other conditions like abdominal pain, extreme discomfort, gas and irregular bowel movements etc.
Eating Fatty Foods
Fatty foods do much more than just adding fat cells to your body. Accordingly, fatty foods can prolong digestion and just stay in the stomach for long periods without moving out. This can then cause severe bloating.
Drinking Less Water
In addition to ridding your body off impurities and other toxins, water helps to regulate digestion and takes care of gastrointestinal disorders as well. So if you are not drinking enough water on a daily basis, you may experience indigestion problems and severe bloating as a result of the same.
Increased Intake Of Dairy Products
Eating Foods That Are Reheated
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.
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Do I need a test to diagnose lactose intolerance?
- Why do certain foods cause my bloating when they never used to?
- What can I do if I have diabetesand my medicine or artificial sweeteners cause bloating?
- Could my bloating be a sign of something more serious?
- What kind of tests will I need?
- What kind of over-the-counter medicine can I try?
What Are The Reasons Behind Abdominal Bloating
May 15, 2021 | Blog
When your gastrointestinal tract fills up with gas or air, youll likely experience abdominal bloating. Your abdomen may feel tight, full, or sometimes swollen. Bloating rarely comes alone and often brings along:
- abdominal rumbling
Bloating can victimize both adults and children. Bloating can be bad, and it can hinder your day-to-day tasks, and you may not want to join your social circle due to the embarrassment.
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What Causes Bloating In The Stomach
Gas is a natural byproduct of digestion, but too much intestinal gas means your digestion is gone awry. While you can ingest gasses by swallowing air or drinking carbonated beverages, these gasses mostly escape through belching before they reach your intestines. Gasses in your intestines are mostly produced by gut bacteria digesting carbohydrates .
If theres too much fermentation going on, its because too many carbohydrates werent naturally absorbed earlier in the digestive process, before reaching those gut bacteria. That could be for several reasons. Maybe you just ate too much too fast for proper digestion, or you might have a specific food intolerance or gastrointestinal disease. Some possible causes include:
These can include solids, liquids, and gas. Digestive contents can build up in your digestive system when there is a backup or restriction in your digestive tract or when the muscles that move digestive contents along are somehow impaired. Any build-up of digestive contents along the digestive tract will leave less room for normal amounts of gas to process through. It also leaves less room for other things in your abdomen, including circulatory fluids and fat, making everything feel tighter. Causes of build-up can include:
Prosecretory And Promotility Agents
Prosecretory and promotility agents, such as linaclotide , prucalopride, and lubiprostone , are emerging as safe and efficacious treatments for chronic constipation and IBS-C. Data suggest that their use is associated with a concurrent decrease in bloating, but it remains uncertain whether this is a secondary response to reduced colonic loading or a direct effect on visceral sensation. The drugs have not been assessed in patients who have bloating without constipation.
Lubiprostone Lubiprostone, a member of the prostone class of compounds, also acts on chloride channels to relieve constipation and improve colonic transit. Most studies use the primary endpoint of increased frequency of spontaneous bowel motions, with decreases in abdominal pain and bloating as secondary endpoints. Once again, there appears to be a significant decrease in abdominal bloating.- The effect on bloating would appear likely due to reduced colonic volume and improved transit because lubiprostone appears not to have an effect on visceral sensory thresholds. Further studies are required.
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The Role Of Gas Handling And Clearance
Rather than excessive gas production, it seems more likely that altered or dysfunctional gas handling and clearance are to blame. Intestinal transit is altered in patients who experience bloating their prokinetics and colonic transit times are slower than those of healthy individuals, and distension directly correlates with transit times. The positive effect of prokinetics on bloating is testament to this. Furthermore, the proximal clearance of gas appears to be impaired in these patients, resulting in increased residual gas following attempted evacuation. This is most likely the consequence of altered reflex modulation of gas clearance.
Complementary And Alternative Therapies
Simethicone and Charcoal The use of gas-reducing agents, such as simethicone and charcoal, to relieve bloating is widespread, but the evidence to support their efficacy is limited. When used alone, simethicone has been inefficacious, and the effects of activated charcoal have been inconsistent., There is a suggestion that gas-related discomfort is reduced with a combination of simethicone and loperamide., Likewise, the combination of simethicone, activated charcoal, and magnesium oxide significantly reduced bloating in patients with functional dyspepsia. The evidence to support the use of any of these agents alone in reducing bloating is insufficient, but there may be some benefit in combination.
Kiwifruit Extract There is emerging evidence that kiwifruit is effective in the treatment of constipation and bloating. Although the mechanisms remain unknown, kiwifruit appears to promote both laxation and gastric motility. Kiwifruit extract has had promising results for the treatment of constipation in randomized, placebo-controlled trials. A statistically significant reduction in bloating was noted in a study of patients with occasional constipation.
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Behavioral And Psychological Therapies
It is recognized that the interaction between the enteric nervous system and the psychological state is implicated in the pathogenesis of IBS. As such, behavioral and psychological therapies are viewed with optimism, but the literature is insufficient, particularly with regard to bloating. Two Cochrane reviews, one on hypnotherapy and the other on psychological therapies in IBS, both concluded that their findings were hampered by small sample size, validity, heterogeneity, and outcome definition.
Hypnotherapy Hypnotherapy has been reported to reduce symptomatic bloating in patients with IBS, and the benefit is sustained over time.,, The decrease in bloating symptoms appears to be independent of the subtype of IBS. There is also evidence that hypnotherapy normalizes rectal sensory thresholds in patients with IBS,, and such normalization might be expected to confer an alteration in the perception of bloating. A Cochrane review concluded that hypnotherapy may be useful in patients with IBS who have failed conventional therapy in comparison with either waiting list controls or IBS patients receiving standard care, but the review advised caution in interpreting the results because of poor methodology.
Dyspepsia Or Upset Stomach
Dyspepsia is also called upset stomach or indigestion. It is a condition characterized by a painful or burning feeling in the upper abdominal region or stomach.
The most common dyspepsia symptoms include abdominal pain and bloating, cramping in the stomach, a growling stomach, nausea and vomiting, gas and belching, constipation, diarrhea, and a burning sensation in the stomach or upper abdomen.
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How To Prevent Bloating
Typically, the first line of treatment for preventing gas and bloating is changing your diet. Research has shown that a low fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols diet can reduce the symptoms of gas and IBS. A low FODMAP diet avoids fermentable, gas-producing food ingredients, such as:
- Oligosaccharides, which are found in wheat, onions, garlic, legumes and beans
- Disaccharides, such as lactose in milk, yogurt and ice cream
- Monosaccharides, including fructose , apples and pears
- Polyols or sugar alcohols found in foods such as apricots, nectarines, plums and cauliflower, as well as many chewing gums and candies
The small intestine doesnt always fully absorb these carbohydrates, instead passing them to the colon, where they are fermented by bacteria and produce gas, Lee says. Not everyone gets gas and bloating from every FODMAP foods. You might start by cutting out FODMAP foods and then slowly bringing them back into your diet one at a time to pinpoint problem foods.
In the long run, the key to preventing bloating is understanding its cause. If mild constipation is the problem, a fiber-rich diet, water and exercise may help, but these steps wont always work for chronic constipation. Chronic constipation and other conditions, such as IBS or gastroparesis, require medical treatment, so its important to talk to your doctor about your bloating symptoms.
What Are The Reasons Behind Bloating
Gas and air
The main reason behind bloating is gas and mostly happens when undigested foods break down in the digestive tract or when you happen to swallow air. Its not uncommon to swallow air while drinking or eating, but some individuals ingest a greater amount. This can happen more to people who:
- eat or drink rapidly
- wear loose dentures
There are two ways by which your body gets rid of swallowed gas: excessive farting and burping. Deferred discharge of the stomach along with the accumulation of gas can also be the reason behind bloating.
Other causes of bloating may be due to medical conditions. These include:
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Other Ways To Reduce Bloating
Bloating is a very common problem, but can often be resolved with relatively simple changes.
There are several strategies that can help reduce bloating, outlined in this article.
If you have persistent digestive problems, then you may want to consider a low-FODMAP diet. It can be incredibly effective, not just for bloating but for other digestive issues as well.
However, make sure to also see a doctor to rule out a potentially serious medical condition.
Baking Soda Stomach Acid Test
I also recommend the baking soda test. Mix ¼ tsp of baking soda with 4 to 6 oz of cold water. Drink this mix first thing in the morning before drinking or eating anything. Time how long it takes for you to burp or belch after drinking it. If it takes longer than 5 minutes, your body likely produces insufficient stomach acid.
If you burp or belch very early or several times, it may be due to too much stomach acid. Small burps may only be from swallowing air from drinking too quickly. If it takes you 3 minutes to belch, you may have low stomach acid levels. You may read more about this strategy here.
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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:
What Causes Abdominal Bloating
- Ascites: Sometimes you may feel bloated due to the accumulation of fluid within the abdominal cavity, called ascites. This is often the result of liver disease.
- Tumours: Very occasionally, you may feel bloated because there is a tumour present within your abdomen, of the ovaries, liver, stomach or elsewhere. The present of a lump or swelling should alert you to the possibility of a tumour or cancer.
- Infection: Certain parasitic disorders can cause abnormal dilatations of the colon associated with symptoms of bloating.
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Eating Too Large A Meal Or Eating Too Often
The cause of your abdominal bloating may not be what you are eating but how and how much you are eating. Eating meals that are too large or eating too often is a common cause of abdominal bloating. If you are drinking carbonated drinks with your meals, it may lead to abdominal bloating as well.
Eating too fast increases the amount of air that gets into your system, so eating too fast, eating big bites, not chewing your food properly, or talking too much while eating may also lead to abdominal bloating.
Reflexology And Meridian Centers
Another great tool for bile flow testing is reflexology and your Meridian centers. Chinese medicine has your body mapped out into a specific zone called Meridians to help healing through reflexology, acupressure, and acupuncture. Pain in any Meridian or trigger point may mean that the energy is stuck and not flowing due to a health issue.
Your gallbladder points include the web between your right thumb and forefinger, between your shoulder blades, across your Iliotibial band running from your buttocks to your foot into your 4th toe. If you are experiencing pain or cramping in these areas, especially between 11 pm and 1 am when your gallbladder is the most active or between 1 am and 3 am when your liver is the most active, may mean that your have poor bile flow or poor gallbladder and/or liver function.
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Working With A Doctor
It is important to speak openly and honestly with your physician to express a clear picture of your experiences and symptoms. FGIDs present special challenges when communicating, specifically because of their vague symptoms and sensitive subject matter.
There isnt a diagnostic test for bloating or distension however your doctor may run some tests to rule out underlying problems or associated disorders.
What Is Bloating What Does Feeling Bloated Mean
Why am I so bloated? Abdominal bloating or “feeling bloated” is a very frequent and familiar symptom most people have experienced at some time in their lives. There are many reasons you may feel bloated. Most causes are simple, harmless, and easily treatable with over-the-counter or home remedies. Very rarely, abdominal bloating is caused by something more serious, leading to a rapid worsening of uncomfortable symptoms.
The definition of “bloated” is swelling or distension, and it usually refers to abdominal bloating, which is a distended belly. Bloating may be accompanied by burping , gas , abdominal discomfort, and a feeling of fullness. People sometimes refer to abdominal bloating as a “bloated stomach” or “bloated belly.”
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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 .