Excess Gas Can Build Up
Gas is a normal part of digestion, but if it builds up in your intestines, it may cause bloating and pain. Gas happens when food that is not digested is broken down in your colon. This process produces methane and hydrogen, which you pass naturally as gas.
If you do experience bloating due to gas, modifying your food intake may help. Here are some common drinks and foods that can cause bloating:
- Foods high in fiber or fat
- Fried and spicy dishes
- Carbonated drinks, such as soda or beer
- Lactose found in milk, cheese and yogurts
Over-the-counter supplements can even trigger bloating.
Possible Causes Of Bloating In Upper Abdomen
Abdominal bloating is a health condition in which the upper abdomen is gaseous, may be visibly swollen or distended, and feels uncomfortably full. Its a common complaint among both children and adults, and the symptoms can be difficult to live with. Moreover, it can also be accompanied by burping or belching, pain, excessive gas or flatulence,swallowing of air, and abdominal rumbling.
When To Seek Medical Help
Most abdominal bloating should resolve itself with time when the excess gases, liquids, or food can move through the stomach and intestines. However, if your abdominal bloating and shortness of breath last longer than a day, seek medical attention.
The Healthline FindCare tool can provide options in your area if you need help finding a primary care doctor.
Also seek immediate medical attention if you experience the following symptoms along with shortness of breath and abdominal bloating:
Medical treatments for abdominal bloating and shortness of breath will address the underlying condition. For example, over-the-counter medications may help resolve abdominal bloating. Bronchodilators can help to open the airways and improve breathing.
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Youre Eating A Lot Of Fodmaps
FOD what? A FODMAP, which is an acronym for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols, refers to carbohydrates that some people may be sensitive to. These are short-chain fatty carbohydrate sugars, and we can’t absorb them very well in the gut, says , M.D., a gastroenterology doctor at the UW Medicine digestive health center. Doctors believe that the bacteria in your gut tends to ferment these carbohydrate sugars, creating gases like carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and methane in the GI tract, Dr. Eugenio says. This process then causes your good friend bloat to say hello.
But what foods qualify as FODMAPs? Beans, garlic, onion, dairy, apples, pears, and peaches are common ones that people struggle with, reports the IBS Network, an organization familiar with FODMAPs because research shows that patients with irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, can benefit from limiting their consumption of these foods. But it doesn’t mean you have to cut them out entirely. Manning notes that the amount you consume seems to be important, which is why many people feel uncomfortable after eating a plate full of beans when they haven’t had them in awhile.
Our Yorktest Survey And Bloating
The University of York conducted a survey** to help understand the benefits of elimination diets based on the results of a food intolerance test.
Out of 576 people who reported bloating as a primary symptom, 92% reported an improvement having removed their trigger foods. We define these as foods which show a positive IgG reaction to antibodies in the blood.
Overall in the study, 76% of people who rigorously followed the recommended diet reported a benefit, 68% of which experienced this after 3 weeks.
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Diagram Naming The Parts Of The Gut
There is always a certain amount of gas in the bowel. Most of this comes from air swallowed whilst you are eating or drinking. It can also happen during smoking or when swallowing saliva. Larger amounts can be swallowed when you eat quickly, gulp down a drink or chew gum. The swallowed air goes down into the gullet .
If you are sitting up, the air tends to go back up the oesophagus and escapes again through the mouth in the process of belching. If you are lying flat, the air tends to pass downwards causing gas in the stomach. This can result in bloating after eating and a hard, swollen tummy. The gas eventually enters the small bowel and escapes through the back passage . People often refer to this as farting or, more politely, passing wind or flatulence.
Gas can also be produced due to germs acting on partially digested food in the gut. This is more likely to happen with some foods than others. Broccoli, baked beans and Brussels sprouts are well-known culprits. The number of germs in the bowel also has an effect on the volume of gas produced. The gas that is made is mainly composed of carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane. It may contain traces of a chemical called sulfur. This is responsible for the unpleasant smell experienced when you pass wind through the back passage.
Why Is My Lower Stomach Always Bloated
Food intolerance can lead to bloating when:
- your bowel does not empty properly
- the food causes gas to be trapped
- too much gas is produced as a reaction to the food
The most common foods to cause problems are wheat or gluten and dairy products.
The best approach if you have a food intolerance is to eat less of the problem food or cut it out completely.
Keep a food diary for a couple of weeks, noting everything that you eat and drink and when bloating troubles you most. But do not get rid of food groups long-term without advice from your GP.
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Bad Eating Habits = Bloating
Its no surprise that bad eating habits can contribute to bloating. Overeating or eating too quickly can cause that stuffed feeling because your digestive system slows down, trying to process a large or fast intake of food. When you talk while eating, drink through a straw or chew gum, you swallow air that can go into your digestive system, causing bloating.
Processed foods, such as hotdogs and chips, also can create bloating. Many processed foods are high in sodium, which makes your body retain water and can cause your stomach to feel bloated. Sugary foods and snacks break down in your body and can make you gassy.
Even what you drink can upset your stomach. Carbonated beverages like beer and soda contain bubbles with carbon dioxide, a gas that releases into your stomach.
How Do You Treat Bloating
If you experience bloating that can’t be avoided, there are over-the-counter medications that can help ease discomfort.
- Antacidscontain simethicone, which adhere to bubbles in the stomach so that gas is more easily released.
- Lactaid contains lactase, which can help prevent gas for people with lactose intolerance.
- Pepto-Bismol, which is the brand name for bismuth subsalicylate,may help reduce bloating caused by an upset stomach.
- Beano is a product that contains an enzyme called alpha-galactosidasethat breaks down complex carbohydrates into more digestible sugars. This helps prevent gas.
- Probioticsare “good” bacteria that help maintain the health of the digestive system. They can be found in foods such as yogurt as well as in OTC supplements.
- Movement and massage,like a walk around the block or an abdominal self massage, can help get gasses in the digestive system moving.
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Things To Tell Your Doctor:
- Is the symptom located in the upper or lower abdomen?Is it in a concentrated area?
- Is your bloating or distension associated with burping?
- Do you experience nausea or vomiting?
- Is the symptom associated with pain in your abdomen?Upper or lower?
- Does the bloating or distension relate to passing gas or a change in your bowel habits ?
- Are your symptoms related to food? Which ones?
- Do they occur right after eating?
- Do your symptoms increase during the day or improve during night hours?
The Fastest Way To Recover From Laparoscopy
Just like other surgeries, you are sure to suffer from pain and discomfort after surgery. In the case of laparoscopy, this condition can last up to 5 days or even several weeks. It depends on your treatment plan.
Here are a few easy methods to heal laparoscopic incisions.
- Getting enough sleep
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How Common Is Ascites
Fluid buildup rarely occurs in otherwise healthy people. It develops as a result of other diseases, most often cirrhosis. Ascites is the most common complication of cirrhosis. About half of people with decompensated cirrhosis will develop ascites. Cirrhosis accounts for about 80% of the cases of ascites.
What Can I Do At Home To Prevent Abdominal Distension
Prevention is easier if you know the cause. If you notice that abdominal distension occurs after you eat, you may be able to change your eating habits to prevent it. For example:
- Identify food sensitivities and change your diet accordingly.
- Eat smaller amounts more slowly. Wait longer between meals.
- Drink more water and eat more fiber to prevent the accumulation of waste.
- Try digestive enzymes and probiotics before meals.
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What Causes Upper Abdominal Bloating
1. Gas-Inducing Foods
When eating, food is digested in the stomach and enters the small intestines where the enzymes break down the proteins, sugars, carbohydrates and sugars for energy. Gas-inducing foods are more difficult to digest, and can cause gas to build up during the digestive process. The amount of gas that different foods cause may vary from person to person and some examples of gas-producing foods are fried and fatty foods, vegetables such as broccoli, and Brussel sprouts, beans, some fruits, eggs, breads and carbonated or alcoholic drinks.
2. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
A common disorder called irritable bowel syndrome , affects the large intestine causing upper abdominal bloating and pain. Symptoms can also include diarrhea or constipation, and the condition affects more women than men. Irritable bowel syndrome may also be associated with depression, stress, anxiety, or a previous intestinal infection. The treatment for IBS could include anti-diarrhea medications, fiber supplements, pain medication, and dietary restrictions on gas producing foods.
3. Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is caused by inflammation of the lining of the small intestine that inhibits the body’s ability to digest gluten. Celiac disease sometimes causes people to become malnourished, despite eating what is otherwise a healthy diet. Although the cause of this disease is unknown, the condition is often hereditary.
4. Lactose Intolerance
7. Pancreatic Cancer
You’re Sitting Too Much
Sit all morning, rush to lunch, eat at your desk, barely move until its time to clock out. Sound familiar? This pattern of staying sedentary through most of the work day can make it hard for food to move through your digestive tract, which can lead to feeling bloated, Manning says. ” I’ll often tell someone to go take a walk after lunch to help them to digest so they don’t feel so uncomfortable, she explains.
Speaking of going for a walk, being active can be extremely helpful if your bloat seems to be related to constipation. Exercise helps speed up your bowel transit and helps you to go to the bathroom more frequently, Manning says. So even if youre not interested in becoming a fitness beast, a routine that gets your blood flowing may be what you need to help get your bowels in shape.
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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.
How Do You Fix A Distended Abdomen
If your distended abdomen has an organic cause, the treatment will be very specific to that cause. It might mean managing a disease, infection, growth, obstruction, or injury. An acute case will resolve when the underlying cause has been treated. A chronic case may be treated supplementally with diuretics , laxatives or activated charcoal capsules .
If you have functional abdominal distension and the cause is unknown, it might take some trial and error to manage it. Your healthcare provider may recommend a hydrogen breath test to help determine the cause of excess intestinal gas. They might also recommend you try dietary changes, probiotics or enzymes to improve digestive processes. If they suspect muscle weakness as a cause, they might suggest abdominal or pelvic floor exercises.
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Make Mindful Eating A Must
If you find that rushing through a meal whilst trying to finish a piece of work leaves you uncomfortable and bloated, theres a reason. When were stressed, our bodys fight or flight mode kicks in, releasing the stress hormone cortisol, which puts a pause on digestion.
Plus, looking at screens whether phone, TV or laptop, can all keep your body in a state of stress which will increase digestion problems.
Essentially, you cant be stressed and digest at the same time. With busy modern lives, we often find ourselves grabbing food on the go, eating quickly, and not giving our body the chance to prepare for digestion.
Its time to give your digestive system a chance to prepare for the food its about to receive.
Before eating, take five deep breaths. Look at your food, smell it. Whilst eating, chew each mouthful and dont prepare the next mouthful on your fork until youve finished swallowing the current one. Give yourself time to eat a healthy, nutritious meal after all, food is there to be enjoyed, so aim to devote allocated time to eat peacefully.
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Stop Wearing Tight Clothing While Eating
Its sometimes not about WHAT you eat but HOW you eat. This may seem a little far-fetched but tight clothing can constrict your stomach, making it more difficult for things to pass through, explains The Gut Stuff team. Therefore, loosen your clothes before eating.
Its the same with the position in which youre sitting when you have your meal check your eating position, says the team.
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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 Can I Control Ascites
If you have ascites, these steps can help you control the condition:
- Weight checks: Weigh yourself daily. Call your healthcare provider if you gain more than 10 pounds, or more than two pounds per day for three consecutive days.
- Limit alcohol: Its best to avoid alcoholic beverages entirely to reduce your ascites risk.
- Limit NSAID use:Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and aspirin, affect your kidneys. They can cause your body to retain excess water and salt.
- Low-salt diet: Stick to a low-sodium diet, consuming no more than 2,000 to 4,000 milligrams per day.
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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.”
Get Relief From Bloating
The most obvious way to reduce bloating is to avoid any foods that are your gassy triggers. Some foods that are high in certain carbs such as garlic, onions and other vegetables arent easy for the body to absorb and can bring on bloating. A low FODMAP diet is often recommended for anyone with irritable bowel syndrome because those foods dont cause as much gas. Foods in a low FODMAP diet include:
- Fruits such as bananas, cantaloupe, oranges and grapes
- Grains such as quinoa and rice
- Lactose-free dairy products
When you eat, consume smaller meals and allow your body time to digest. Drink plenty of water to help your digestive system run smoothly. If high fiber foods make you bloated or constipated, staying hydrated can help soften bowel movements, making them easier to pass.
Activity also can calm that bloated feeling. Although exercise may not sound appealing when you feel bloated, mild physical activity can stimulate the digestive system. Gentle yoga movements that relax the abdomen can help relieve belly swelling, too.
To combat occasional gassiness, try over-the-counter antacids.
If these DIY remedies dont help, talk with your doctor. Although rare, chronic pain and lethargy could be symptoms of inflammation or other conditions.
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