Menopause And Pelvic Floor Problems
Menopause leads to further slowing of the metabolism and muscle loss.
“A lot of women don’t realize that there are estrogen receptors in your bowel. At menopause , it’s not unusual to have some change in bowel function, as your gut gets used to these hormonal alterations,” Dr. Wender says. “Bloating in particular is well known around menopause.”
People over 40 may also suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction caused by muscle loss particularly if they’ve given birth, says dietitian Tamara Duker Freuman, RD, author of The Bloated Belly Whisperer.
“There is a pretty high incidence of pelvic floor dysfunction where you can be constipated because your pelvic floor muscles don’t work as well, or they’re not coordinated properly,” Duker Freuman says. “As they age, that can catch up with women in particular and cause incomplete defecation. This leads to constipation and bloating as well.”
Check For Certain Medical Conditions
Medical conditions which affect co-ordinated bowel movements including bowel inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome or even conditions like diabetes can result in bloating, says Mr Chophada.
Underlying digestive issues such as Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth , IBS or an unresolved gut infection, plus blood sugar imbalances that mean we make too much stress hormone can result in bloating, says Claire.
According to one studyprobiotics may be helpful in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, enteritis, bacterial infections, and various gastrointestinal disorders and diarrhoea. The same study found that probiotic microorganisms are also effective in the alleviation of lactose intolerance. Taking probiotics can actually cause bloating at first, until your gut microbiota settle down, though they are worth persisting with. While pricey, the food supplement drink Symprove which contains live bacteria has been found to be very effective at improving gut health in some people. Users have found that it reduces bloating and some symptoms of IBS. It has also been attributed to a better mood.
You can also reduce bloating by eating certain foods. For example, many IBS sufferers have also had success with the Fodmap diet.
What Is Abdominal Bloating
Abdominal bloating refers to a sensation of fullness or a sense of abdominal enlargement. It is often due to disturbance in the normal function of the gastrointestinal tract, causing an increase in intestinal gas.Gas in the intestine is a mixture of numerous different components which can be increased by swallowing too much air, excess production, or impaired absorption due to obstruction. Excess gas causes bloating as well as other gas symptoms such as flatulence or burping.If the abdomen is visibly distended in association with bloating, it is more likely that there is an organic, rather than functional, cause of the symptom. Bloating is frequently associated with abdominal pain that may be relieved by passing gas or bowel motions.
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Altered Gut Motility And Impaired Gas Handling
Various abnormal motility patterns have been described in IBS patients, but none of those parameters can be used as diagnostic markers.55 Some authors have suggested that slow transit of food representing alteration in gut motility is related to bloating in IBS-C patients.56 Also in a traditional experiment, normal volunteers being made constipated with loperamide, an agent known to slow transit, experienced bloating.57 Recently, IBS-C patients with delayed orocecal and colonic transits have shown abdominal distension rather than bloating.15 Although delayed gastric emptying and slow intestinal transit in IBS-C patients were reported in many Asian studies, there are still controversies to define these motor disturbances as unique features in Asian IBS patients. Besides, the association between altered gut motility and IBS symptoms is pretty obscure.58 A recent study has also suggested that altered colon transit is of no or minor importance for IBS symptoms such as bloating or pain.59
Taken together, ineffective anorectal evacuation as well as impaired gas handling may be possible mechanisms of abdominal distension and bloating. However, the data on the link between altered food transit of gut and bloating are not consistent, although they probably account for bloating in some of the IBS patients.56,57
Joy Bauer Shares Tips To Beat The Bloat This Summer
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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What Causes A Bloated Stomach
A bloated stomach is a symptom where the stomach feels tight, swollen, or full. Chronic bloating can cause an individual to have trouble carrying out their everyday responsibilities and tasks. Stomach bloating occurs in all ages, but certain causes are more common in specific age groups. Bloating is often accompanied by stomach rumbling and gurgling, frequent belching, excessive flatulence, cramping, and pain. To another person, the abdomen in an affected individual may appear distended and may feel hard to the touch.
Abdominal bloating can be managed by treating its underlying cause. Treatment may involve diet changes such as limiting the consumption of carbonated drinks, limiting foods that cause gas, using products that are lactose-free, eating at a slower pace, and drinking through a straw. Massages, medications, and probiotics may be needed to help relieve stomach bloating. A bloated stomach can be the result of benign conditions, or it may be a symptom of serious disease.
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
In people sensitive to FODMAP-rich foods, the small intestine doesn’t always fully absorb these carbohydrates, and instead passes them to the colon, where they are fermented by bacteria and produce gas. To see if some of the FODMAP foods are causing your gas and bloating you can start by cutting out FODMAP foods and then slowly bringing them back into your diet one at a time to pinpoint any foods that are causing the problems.
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.
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Abdominal Bloating Is Bothersome And Painful Usually Its A Result Of Digestive Problems In This Account Surprisingly Its Oral Sex That Caused The Belly Of A Woman Age 24 To Expand And Look Like A Balloon
During all the years weve been working here weve heard many strange stories that stemmed from having sex, but this is a first.
A woman, age 24, showed up in the emergency room at Stanford Medical Center after experiencing severe abdominal and chest pain for six hours. Her pain was quite sharp and had spread throughout her abdomen, yet she had no other symptoms.
Doctors had already seen this woman twice.
She had been admitted a year before, and had returned six months later with the same problem. Both times, doctors didnt find a specific cause for her pain. In X-rays, the results were the same: air was detected in the abdominal cavity .
This condition can be caused by a number of factors, from perforated ulcers to intestinal cancer. Unfortunately, this air bubble may cause an embolism that can be deadly. This is why doctors had to find out what caused her repeated ER visits.
As mentioned, despite tests in the previous two cases, no cause was found for her condition and the air was gradually absorbed by her abdominal tissue, a process that took several days, a research team wrote in the Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons.
The woman was observed in the hospital, and was discharged after no damage was found. Although she wasnt injured, other cases known to doctors have caused physical damage, and in one case a woman died.
Excess Gas And Swallowing Air
A bloated stomach may be caused by an individual’s excess gas and swallowing of air. When an individual is in a fasting state, their gastrointestinal tract only contains around one hundred milliliters of gas. This volume increases to a certain extent following the consumption of a meal. The gas in a healthy individual’s digestive tract is distributed through the distal colon, descending colon, transverse colon, ascending colon, small intestine, and stomach. Excess gas production in the intestines may be the result of swallowing too much air, consumption of carbonated beverages, infection, and imbalances that occur in the gut microbiota.
An overgrowth of gut microbiota causes excess gas production as a byproduct of the bacteria digesting the food an individual has consumed. Regardless of the cause, the presence of excess gas can result in an impairment of the individual’s digestive system to handle and transport it to the point of excretion from the body. It is thought the uneven gas distribution that centers in an affected individual’s abdominal region is the main mechanism behind gas-induced bloating.
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Food Intolerance And Bloating
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.
Find out more about food intolerance.
Having A Food Intolerance
Typically, if someone is feels bloated, it is because of their food or water intake, but even if you havent eaten too much, you may have eaten the wrong thing. Certain food intolerances or sensitives to spicy or acidic foods can cause the gastrointestinal tract to have a more difficult time than usual.
An undiagnosed intolerance to foods can cause a lot of bloating, Hoffman said. The body is trying to break down the foods for the body to use, and a lot of gas can be the result of that work.
If you experience a lot of bloating, try keeping a food journal to track what you eat, when you notice bloating and the amount of discomfort you experience.
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How To Distinguish A Regular Bloat From A Sign Of Cancer
For bloating to be a cause for concern, it generally needs to have lasted for more than two weeks in a month, saids Monique Swain, MD, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, writing in an editorial on the medical website Health.
If bloating is persistent and does not vary with changing eating habits or bowel movements, it is a good idea to seek medical care, added Alex Hewlett, DO, associate professor of medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, in the same article.
Another telltale sign that bloating could be a sign of ovarian cancer is a change in your toilet habits.
Out-of-the-ordinary bowel or urinary issues is a sign that something is wrong.
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For example, you might suddenly need to go to the bathroom more urgently if a mass is big enough and pressing on the bladder, said Dr Swain.
Bloating can also signal advanced bowel cancer.
As Cancer Research UK explains, advanced bowel cancer can sometimes cause swelling of the tummy .
This is due to a build up of fluid in the tummy .
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. Excess gas and bloating after eating 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.
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Coeliac Disease And Bloating
Coeliac disease is a common digestive condition where your intestine cannot absorb gluten found in wheat, barley and rye.
If you have Coeliac disease, eating foods containing gluten can also trigger diarrhoea, abdominal pain and fatigue.
See your GP if you suspect you may have Coeliac disease.
There is no cure for Coeliac disease but, once the condition has been diagnosed, switching to a gluten-free diet should help.
Find out more about Coeliac disease.
What Are The Symptoms Of Bloating
Symptoms of bloating include:
- The skin around your stomach may feel stretched and tight
Depending on the cause, bloating may be accompanied by other symptoms as well.
Abdominal bloating will continue until the food in an overfull stomach is digested or accumulated gas is released. This can take hours or days.
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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.
Reasons Why You Feel Bloated All The Time
Being bloated is no fun, and weve all been there. Whether it was an ice cream sundae bar or Chinese buffet, theres been a time that we just ate too much and had to loosen the belt a few notches just to get some extra relief. However, bloating can happen for a number of reasonssome not related to foodand Matt Hoffman, FNP, clinical assistant professor with the Texas A& M College of Nursing, breaks down why youre feeling uncomfortable and a little extra puffy in your midsection.
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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:
What Naturally Reduces Bloating
Here are additional suggestions to decrease bloating: Eat slowly, and consume smaller, more frequent meals. Chew your foods well. Drink beverages at room temperature. Have your dentures checked for a good fit. Increase physical activity during the day. Sit up straight after eating. Take a stroll after eating.
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Check For A Food Intolerance Or Allergy
Occasionally, a wheat allergy or lactose intolerance results in a lot of undigested food that can be acted on by bacteria and cause bloating, says Dr Chopada.
If you want to reduce bloating consider food intolerances, says Claire. The most common intolerances are lactose , fructose , wheat and gluten, and eggs. You can do this by cutting out food you think you might be intolerant to and seeing how your body reacts. If you arent sure, find a specialist who can test you, she advises.
Over the counter medications like Deflatine tablets can help, adds Dr Chophada.
Drinking enough water can actually reduce bloating, rather than cause it.
When To See A Healthcare Provider
As noted earlier, the symptom of abdominal bloating is most commonly caused by conditions that are more of a nuisance than life-threatening. That said, it is often the first symptom of ovarian cancer which is the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths in women and often diagnosed when it is “too late,” at least to be curable.
Whether your symptoms are due to a “serious” cause or not, it is important to see your healthcare provider. So-called “nuisance symptoms” can interfere with your quality of life, and by that measure, are not just a nuisance.
If your symptoms do not improve with whatever treatment is recommended, talk to your healthcare provider or seek out a second opinion. In our overworked, over-busy society, it’s important to be your own advocate in your medical care, no matter what your symptoms or the condition that is responsible.
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