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?
About Heart And Vascular Institute
The UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute has long been a leader in cardiovascular care, with a rich history in clinical research and innovation. As one of the first heart transplant centers in the country and as the developer of one of the first heart-assist devices, UPMC has contributed to advancing the field of cardiovascular medicine.
Bloating: Causes And Prevention Tips
How often do you hear yourself or friends complain about bloating? We often just say we’re bloated when we feel full, but for many women, the problem relates to a chronic underlying condition. If you feel bloated often, you may have a condition like irritable bowel syndrome , which affects up to 24 of women.
Here are some common causes of bloating and tips on preventing this uncomfortable condition.
Read Also: What Is The Best Stomach Acid Reducer
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.
What Is Stomach Churning
Stomach churning and gurgling can be an uncomfortable feeling in the abdomen. Although a queasy stomach is usually only temporary if you have an upset stomach for a week or longer it could be a sign of an underlying condition.
If you have ever experienced stomach growling, especially stomach gurgling after eating, then you may well know the other symptoms that run alongside it. Other symptoms of a sour stomach can include nausea and digestive issues.
Moreover, continue reading to find out what causes upset stomach and gas. We also explain when you should see a doctor, and further signs to look out for.
Stomach Noises such as stomach churning and gurgling and Pain: Causes and Symptoms for Those Belly Noises and Cramps
Read Also: Why I Have So Much Gas In My Stomach
Is Your Swollen Stomach Firm Or Spongy
At this point, take the time to press your stomach and focus specifically on the most pronounced areas of swelling. As a general rule, stomach fat will feel spongy and malleable when pressure is applied, whereas bloating usually makes your abdomen appear tight and noticeably firm. As a result of this, anyone who can grasp more than an inch of your stomach, it is probably carrying excess fat.
How Is Bloating Treated
Bloating will usually go away by itself if you adjust your diet for a while. Cut down on salty foods, carbohydrates and fizzy drinks. For some people, it can help to avoid foods that contain onion or garlic, wheat, rye, lactose products or stone fruit.
Bloating caused by constipation can be treated by eating more high-fibre foods, increasing the amount of water that you drink, and exercising regularly. Some people may need laxatives to treat constipation.
If you have a medical condition such as coeliac disease, you will need to follow a strict diet to prevent bloating and other symptoms. If you have IBS, following a high-fibre diet and the low FODMAP diet may help. This involves cutting out some dairy products, wheat and other grains, and some fruits and vegetables. Talk to a health professional such as your doctor or a dietitian before starting this diet to make sure it is right for you.
If you have a food intolerance, you may need to try an elimination diet to find out which food or foods are causing your problems. Your doctor or dietitian will advise you.
Some people find that probiotics containing lactobacillus and bifidobacterium can help with bloating by reducing the production of gas in the gut.
Read Also: Why Does My Stomach Hurt When I Wake Up
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.
Swallowing Too Much Air
Most people think of taking in air when they inhale, but it can also be done a number of other ways. Common daily habitssuch as drinking from a straw, chewing gum and eating too quicklyare ways to add air into your digestive tract instead of your respiratory system.
When you swallow too much air you can start to feel bloated, Hoffman said. If its becoming a problem, start cutting out gum and straws and see if that helps eases your symptoms.
Also Check: What Causes Extreme Stomach Pain After Eating
It Could Be An Early Warning Sign Of A Serious Condition
It’s rare compared to other reasons on this list, but bloating may signify another issue that has nothing to do with your lifestyle choices. Constant bloating that doesnt go away after your period, or new instances of bloating that are irregular, could be an early sign of ovarian cancer or colon cancer. Bloating could also signal a number of other serious gastrointestinal problems, such as a bowel blockage, ulcer or conditions like Crohns disease.
Pay attention to other symptoms that accompany your bloating, Dr. Christmas says. If you also have constipation, diarrhea, bloody stool, vomiting with blood, pelvic or abdominal pain, and abnormal uterine bleeding or vaginal discharge, changes in appetite, or start feeling full quickly, you should make an appointment with your doctor.
Any time you have any concern thats bothering you, especially if its something new, you need to be evaluated, she says.
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.
Also Check: How Much Does Stomach Reduction Surgery Cost
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.
Tips To Prevent Pain In Burning Stomach
A burning feeling in the stomach is often paired with pain, which can be quite debilitating. Here are some tips to help you better prevent burning stomach pain.
- Dont suppress belching, as burning stomach may be alleviated through burping.
- Avoid spicy and oily foods.
- Eat more complex carbohydrates like whole grains.
- Dont smoke.
Read Also: Do Stomach Ulcers Cause Constipation
Youre Not Getting Enough Exercise
Exercise can do wonders for your GI tract. Essentially, it gets things moving and decreases your risk for constipation and, therefore, bloating. Adults need 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week, along with strength-building exercises. Just by exercise and adhering to a plant-forward diet, like the Mediterranean diet, its beneficial for a lot of things and can help with bloating, as well, Dr. Christmas says.
Stomach Burning After Drinking Water
Water is known to be the number one health beverage you can consume, but it can lead to burning sensation in the stomach, too. Drinking too much water can lead to a condition known as hyponatremia, which is characterized by abnormally low sodium levels. The main symptoms of hyponatremia are discomfort, vomiting, confusion, fatigue, and even convulsions.
Consuming too much water can also negatively impact the kidneys. Our kidneys are able to filter through 1,000 ml of water an hour. Drinking more than this amount can overwork your kidneys, and if you have kidney disease you are at an even greater risk of complications of excessive water intake.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Stomach Fat Women
You Have A Food Intolerance
The most common intolerance associated with bloating is lactose intolerance, Dr. Sarker says. But other food intolerances, as well as Celiac disease or bacterial overgrowth, known as SIBO , can cause both distension and other GI symptoms like diarrhea, she says.
If you suspect a food intolerance, Dr. Sarker suggests avoiding the foods most likely to produce uncomfortable gas, including beans, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, onion and wheat. Feel better? You can then slowly add in small amounts of each food to see what and how much you can tolerate. For example, maybe a quarter-cup of beans on a salad is just fine, but a big bowl of three-bean chili is not. Keeping a food journal during this time will help you play detective and notice trends in order to pinpoint the aggravating food.
If that doesn’t do it, then you might consider a low-FODMAP diet. This diet is geared toward people with irritable bowel syndrome and removes foods that contain certain sugars that are not completely digested and therefore are fermented by gut bacteria. These triggering foods can lead to gas, according to Monash University, which developed the diet and offers a handy app to identify these foods.
The start of the low-FODMAP diet is extremely restrictive in the beginning you’ll be eliminating a lot of healthy foods, some of which may be your favorites. The goal is to create a wash-out period and then slowly add in those foods again and watch for symptoms to crop back up.
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?
Also Check: What Helps Stomach Pain Go Away
What Does It Mean When Your Stomach Feels Tight
When your stomach feels hard, you may be experiencing bloating or distension of the abdomen.
There’s bloating and then there’s, well, bloating. We’re talking about when your stomach bloats outward or distends and becomes hard to press on. It can feel like you’re carrying around a bowling ball in your belly.
So what exactly is going on here? First, your stomach feeling hard when you press on it is what doctors call a non-specific finding, Shabnam Sarker, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, tells LIVESTRONG.com. This means that a hard stomach doesn’t point to one condition, and there are generally quite a few possible causes.
“This could be from distension from air, such as bloating that happens when you swallow extra air or consume food products that create a lot of gas,” she says. Other times, it may be indicative of a more serious condition, such as a bowel blockage or inflammatory bowel disease .
For your day-to-day comfort and general health overall, a hard, bloated belly isn’t something you should ignore. Here’s what it could mean, and how to get the help you need:
A Retroverted Uterus Can Cause Bloating
If you have a retroverted uterus , sex can cause your uterus to move and make contact with other organs surrounding it. As a result, you may have pain and bloating. “Signs of a retroverted uterus are pain during sex and painful menstruation, but often it has no symptoms,” women’s health expert Jennifer Wider, MD, told POPSUGAR. In order to find out if you have a retroverted uterus, you’ll have to visit a doctor and get a routine pelvic exam administered.
Also Check: Why Does The Top Of My Stomach Hurt
What Causes Water Retention In The Stomach
Water retention does not occur in the stomach itself, which is a sac high up just under your ribs, where food collects and is mixed with acid to begin digestion. However water retention can occur lower down, in the abdomen or belly, where it is sometimes described as bloating. Mild bloating is very common and usually due to digestive problems or premenstrual syndrome. Severe bloating may be due to water retention or to inflammation in your digestive system. Occasionally it can be caused by liver disease, heart disease, or severe protein deficiency.
Burning Sensation In Stomach After Eating
For many individuals who experience a burning sensation in the stomach, this usually happens after eating a meal. Spicy food is usually to blame.
There are a few reasons why spicy food triggers a burning sensation in the stomach. For starters, spicy food increases the risk of indigestion, which may feel like a heavy feeling in the stomach after eating, belching, gas, and pain.
Additionally, spicy food contains capsaicin, which can irritate the stomach lining thus causing a burning sensation.
Other factors can contribute to a burning stomach after eating, too. These include foods high in soluble fiber, low fiber meals, lactose intolerance or food allergies, fructose malabsorption, and side effects of olestra .
Some products can also aggravate existing ulcers, mainly spicy foods. In order to narrow down the specific food triggers of your burning stomach, keep a food diary for some time and document how you feel after each meal.Related: Stomach Bloating After Eating: Causes and Treatment
Recommended Reading: Why Do I Have Severe Stomach Pain
How To Deal With It:
Youll probably want to invest in some different kinds of bras, which could be larger, made out of cotton, and underwire-free. Wearing a bra to bed might help ease the pain as well. Though your larger twins might look enticing to your partner, make sure you let them know that they are welcome to look, but touching should be kept to a minimum.
If you’re pregnant, your body is working hard to make another human, so you’re feeling tired for many reasons!
How Do You Get Rid Of A Stomach Ache In 5 Minutes
Applying a heating pad, hot water bottle, hot towel, or heat wrap over the abdomen and back helps relax the muscles in the abdomen and relieve abdominal cramps and pain. The temperature should ideally be 104° Fahrenheit. Taking a hot bath with bubbles and essential oils or hot showers can also help.
Read Also: How To Get Rid Of The Pouch On Your Stomach
How Can You Deal With A Bloated Stomach
Establishing your precise symptoms should offer a clear indication into the root cause of your swollen stomach, and at this stage, you can begin to plot a clear course of action. This is crucial, as the failure to distinguish between fat and a bloated stomach causes many to categorise swelling as a trivial and unimportant problem that only impacts on their physical appearance.
This is a significant oversight, as a bloated stomach may also be indicative of a serious health concern known as dysbiosis. This refers to an imbalance that exists between good and bad bacteria within your stomach, where unhealthy and unnatural organisms such as yeast and protozoa become prominent in the intestines and alter the bodies fundamental nutrition patterns.
This imbalance, which hinders the growth of the 400 organisms that are naturally found in the stomach, can cause a multitude of health complaints in addition to bloating .
So if you have determined that your stomach is bloated rather than covered in excess fat, here are some initial steps you can take to manage this problem: