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.
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.
Another Reason For Summer Bloating: Dehydration
Dehydration is a loss of fluids in your body. It can be caused by a few activities you may be doing during the summer months, including:
- Getting too much sun or a lot of exposure to heat
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Eating salty snacks
When you’re in the sun too long, your body starts retaining water as a safety measure. Think of it as a form of self-defense, since your body doesnt know when it will have its next intake of fluid.
For instance, when youre in the sun too long, it causes water loss. In response, your body starts retaining water as a safety measure. Think of it as a form of self-defense, since your body doesnt know when it will have its next intake of fluid. Yet even as your body is conserving water, the retention is what may also cause you to feel bloated.
Its important to note that serious illness can result from being dehydrated. You should get help right away if you have one or more of these symptoms after being in the sun too long or you havent been staying hydrated:
- Intense thirst
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Take Digestive Enzyme Supplements
Certain over-the-counter products may also help with bloating, such as supplemental enzymes that can help break down indigestible carbohydrates.
Notable ones include:
- Lactase: An enzyme that breaks down lactose, which is useful for people with lactose intolerance.
- Beano: Contains the enzyme alpha-galactosidase, which can help break down indigestible carbohydrates from various foods.
In many cases, these types of supplements can provide almost immediate relief.
If youre interested in trying a digestive enzyme supplement, a wide .
Many over-the-counter products can help fight bloating and other digestive problems. These are usually digestive enzymes that help break down certain food components.
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 Of Serious Bloating You Need To Know About And What To Do About Them
1. Ovarian cancer isnt the most likely, but it is one of the most lethal. Although ovarian cancer is only the fifth most common cancer in women, it causes more deaths than any other reproductive cancer mostly in women over 50. Risk factors include never having children or having them late in life, obesity, a family history of ovarian cancer, certain genetic abnormalities, and long-term treatment with hormone replacement therapy. Persistent bloating, feeling full faster, and pelvic pain are typical symptoms.
What to do if youre concerned about ovarian cancer:
A thorough pelvic exam or transvaginal ultrasound is the best way to diagnose ovarian cancer. The blood test CA-125 isnt a reliable screening test, but it can be helpful for following the course of treatment after diagnosis.
2. Uterine cancer. In addition to bloating, uterine cancer can cause abnormal vaginal bleeding, a watery or blood-tinged vaginal discharge, pelvic pain, or pain with intercourse or urination. But its important to know that sometimes bloating or a change in bowel habits may be the only initial signs of uterine cancer. Important risk factors include taking tamoxifen taking estrogen supplements that dont also contain progesterone radiation therapy a family history of uterine cancer or a family history of a form of inherited colon cancer called Lynch syndrome.
What to do if youre concerned about uterine cancer:
What to do if youre concerned about colon cancer:
Is Coffee Good For Bloating
Though some people find that coffee helps with bloating because its a diuretic, others become sensitive to it and have the opposite effect. The good news is, there are plenty of herbal teas that will actually help belly bloat, and theyre so tasty, you might not even miss your morning cup of coffee.
How To Tell The Difference Between Belly Fat And Bloat
One easy way to tell the difference between bloat and belly fat is to note belly fat does not cause your stomach to expand wildly throughout the course of a day bloat does. One other way to tell the difference between bloat and belly fat is you can physically grasp belly fat with your hand, you cannot with bloat.
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.
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Not Drinking Enough Water
We get it: When you’re feeling bloated the last thing you want to do is drink more water. But ironically, downing a glass or two of H2O is exactly what you should do. “If you are dehydrated, your body will retain conserve water, which can lead to bloating,” says Rumsey. “Staying hydrated also speeds up digestion and can counteract the effects of salt and carb-induced bloating.” Aim for 6 to 8 glasses of water throughout the day.
Dont Eat Foods That Give You Gas
Some high-fiber foods can make people produce large amounts of gas.
Major players include legumes like beans and lentils, as well as some whole grains.
Try keeping a food diary to figure out if certain foods tend to make you more gassy or bloated than others.
Fatty foods can also slow down digestion and the emptying of the stomach. This can have benefits for satiety , but can be a problem for people with a tendency to bloat.
Try eating less beans and fatty foods to see if it helps. Also, check out this article on 13 foods that cause bloating.
If certain foods make you feel bloated or give you gas, try cutting back or avoiding them. Eating fatty foods can also slow digestion and may contribute to bloating for some people.
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Other Causes To Be Aware Of
Its important to note that there are other causes of abdominal swelling in dogs, though these conditions are often accompanied by pain.
However, dogs can hide their pain exceptionally well, so we may not always be aware that our dogs are struggling.
A few other causes of a hard or swollen stomach in dogs include:
The Real Reason Beer Makes You Bloat
If you’ve noticed a little bit of bloating after drinking beer or another alcoholic beverage, you won’t be alone. Bloating in the face and stomach after consuming alcohol is actually pretty common while you might not expect a drink to have that sort of effect, the truth is that alcohol can very much cause bloating around your body.
This is partly because alcohol tends to be quite calorific, and we often associate alcohol with other behaviors like eating fast food or eating quickly or smoking, which can also cause bloating , but it’s not the only reason. Meanwhile, to get rid of bloating in a pinch, you can try drinking some water to prevent bloating in the first place, your best bet is to drink water before, during, and after drinking alcohol .
Here’s the real reason beer makes you bloat and why drinking water can help.
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Drinking Through A Straw
A straw might make your morning protein shake easier to sip on the run, but it isn’t doing your stomach any favors. “When you drink through a straw, you also suck air into your stomach, which can increases gas and distention in your digestive tract,” says Rumsey. Sip straight from the lid to ward off tummy discomfort.
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.
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Remedies For Stomach Bloat
Sometimes a simple diet change might be all you need. Sticking to foods that are high in protein or complex carbohydrates can help. Drink plenty of water and stay away from carbonated drinks. Making your meals last longer can help keep you from overeating so be sure to try eating slower and chewing your food more.
Another remedy is to try, in place of three meals a day, eating more frequent, smaller meals. This prevents the bloating that typically follows large meals.
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.
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Types Of Foods That Cause Bloating And What You Should Eat Instead
- Foods that cause bloating include beans, carbonated beverages, onions, dairy, sweeteners, and cruciferous vegetables.
- Beans cause bloating because they contain two types of fiber that are hard to digest, called galacto-oligosaccharides and resistant starch.
- Carbonated beverages may also cause bloating because they contain carbon dioxide gas, which can expand in your belly.
- This article was medically reviewed by Rudolph Bedford, MD, a gastroenterologist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California.
Everyone experiences bloating from time to time: that uncomfortably full feeling and swollen, distended belly. This is a result of excess gas trapped in the gut. While there can be various causes of bloating, sometimes finding relief is as easy as making some simple changes to your diet. There are plenty of foods that can cause bloating, depending on the individual.We spoke to a registered dietician who is an expert on bloating to find out why certain foods can cause bloating, and what we can replace them with to feel better.
What Should I Eat When Bloated
Bloating can be caused by several different factors, but if you want to reduce bloating, food choices can help.
Bloating usually happens when your digestive system is out of whack and having trouble digesting certain types of food.
The following list includes nutritious foods that promote healthy digestion:
- Raw carrots
- Lean meats, including chicken and turkey
Ginger has traditionally been used for thousands of years because it helps stimulate gastric juices, which help with the breakdown and absorption of nutrients from our food!
Drinking ginger tea before meals can help reduce tummy bloat.
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Wheres Your Abdominal Bloating And Pain
Pain in different areas of the abdomen can mean different things.
Abdominal pain can be anywhere between the chest and the pelvis. People often call it a stomachache. The pain can also be:
Causes of abdominal bloating and pain can vary from mild to severe. Most of the time, abdominal bloating and pain occur due to:
This kind of bloating or pain is usually normal and will go away within two hours.
In cases of the stomach flu, you may feel intense pain or bloating that comes and goes before each episode of vomiting or diarrhea. Stomach viruses usually go away with rest and home care.
This guide lists the organs associated with different locations of abdominal bloating or pain:
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:
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