Getting The Right Diagnosis
Gastroenterology is a complex topic and one that covers many different conditions and disorders affecting gut health. Certain symptoms may be a result of an underlying medical condition that requires further treatment and diagnosis. To ensure you get the right treatment for your symptoms, speak to a healthcare professional about your gastrointestinal health.
Make Changes To Your Diet
Making small changes to how and what you eat may help reduce bloating. For example, eating smaller meals at regular intervals can help stop that bloated feeling after a big meal, and it will help prevent indigestion too.
Try these top dietary tips too.
Which foods cause bloating?
Some foods are more likely to cause a build-up in gas in your tummy, including:
- broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage
Common food triggers for people with IBS are known as FODMAP . These are sugars that can be harder to digest and cause more gas in your bowel. Theres a long list of these, so see a dietician for help on how to exclude these foods safely from your diet. Read more about the low FODMAP diet.
Try these foods and drinks to relieve and stop bloating
Some foods and drinks may help to bring down your bloated belly and stop it bloating again. Try these drinks:
- peppermint tea or peppermint oil these help reduce symptoms of IBS, including bloating, by helping your bowel wall relax. Theyre not safe for everyone for example, if you have serious constipation or liver disease, you shouldnt drink them so first talk to your pharmacist or doctor about whether you can take them safely
- replace fizzy drinks with water fizzy drinks contain gas that can build up in your tummy, and the artificial sweeteners and sugar in them may also cause bloating
High-fibre foods include:
Keep a food diary
Left Side Of The Abdomen
This part of the abdomen contains a portion of the body of your stomach, the tail of the pancreas, and your spleen.
The spleen is an organ that filters blood and supports the immune system.
Center left and center middle:
The transverse colon and the small intestine make up the center left and center middle of the abdomen. The small intestine is where most food digestion occurs.
The transverse colon is the upper part of the large intestine, where unabsorbed food is carried after going through the ascending colon. The small intestine is the organ that takes up most of the abdomen.
The descending and sigmoid colon portions are the part of the digestive system that stores unabsorbed food remains and waste before they leave your body.
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Prevention And Relief From Abdominal Bloating
- Avoid consuming gas-producing foods like cabbage, beans, and carbonated drinks.
- Avoid swallowing air while eating or drinking.
- Do not smoke.
- Do not eat more than your stomach can take.
- Treat constipation as it is one of the main culprits behind stomach bloating.
- Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- Practise yoga mudras that can help ease digestion and gas problems such as Vayu mudra.
Most cases of abdominal bloating are not of much concern. But in some cases, stomach bloating can have severe side effects on your health and can even be a symptom of a more serious underlying medical condition.
Try Medication For Bloating
Medication can be helpful if self-care measures arent bringing you any relief. Speak to a doctor or pharmacist for advice on which medication is suitable for you and how to take it safely.
Different medicines that may help with bloating include:
- medicines which reduce tummy cramps if you have IBS, mebeverine and Buscopan may help relieve bloating and cramping
- antacids medicines if you have a bloated tummy and indigestion or heartburn, antacids may help. They help reduce the acid in your tummy and stop it irritating your stomach lining, or stop the acid reaching your food pipe
- laxatives if youre still constipated after trying all self-care options, this type of medicine can help you poo more regularly. But certain laxatives like lactulose can sometimes make bloating worse
Sometimes, other kinds of medication can make your bloating worse, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , some blood pressure medications and steroids, so speak to a pharmacist or doctor if you think a medicine may be the cause.
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How To Prevent Bloating
You can reduce the possibility that you will feel bloated by being careful about what you eat. Avoid foods that tend to make you bloated. Make sure you chew slowly and thoroughly to make digestion easier.
Sitting up straight or taking a walk after eating can also help with digestion. These can reduce bloating by preventing your body from producing excess gas.
If youre not sure whats causing your bloating, talk to your doctor. They might suggest an elimination diet, in which you remove bloat-causing foods. These might include dairy products, certain grains, and/or certain sweeteners.
When To See A Doctor
Bloating is a common occurrence that usually causes nothing more than temporary discomfort. However, there are circumstances when bloating should be taken more seriously.
If you have bloating and also experience a drastic change in weight or major changes in your bowel movements, you should tell your doctor. These symptoms could point to an underlying condition.
If you are an older person who doesnât usually experience bloating, and you suddenly experience bloating for more than a few days, see your doctor. The bloating could be caused by a serious condition and should be investigated.
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Concomitant Symptoms Of Bloating And Abdominal Distention
Healthy subjects generally tolerate intestinal gas quite well because they can propel and evacuate gas efficiently. A number of theories have been offered to explain why patients may have symptoms of both bloating and abdominal distention.
Increased Gas Production This theory has been largely discredited for a number of reasons. Several studies using different techniques have not shown any significant differences in gas production between normal volunteers and IBS patients.19,25,2729 In addition, infusion of large amounts of gas into the intestinal tract of normal volunteers produces only a small change in abdominal girth. In contrast, IBS patients show fairly large abdominal girth changes, even in the absence of gas infusion.2428
Impaired Evacuation Some patients cannot effectively evacuate gas, resulting in prolonged intestinal gas retention and symptoms of bloating and pain. Patients with IBS, functional bloating, and constipation are less able to effectively evacuate infused gas and are much more likely to develop symptoms of abdominal distention.23,29,3638 Some of these patients appear to have a deficiency in a normal rectal reflex involved in intestinal gas propulsion.39
How To Get Rid Of Gas Pains And Bloating
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The average adult passes gas between 13 and 21 times a day. Gas is a normal part of the digestion process. But if gas builds up in your intestines and youre unable to expel it, you may start to feel pain and discomfort.
- swallowing air while you eat or drink
- gum chewing
Make an appointment with your doctor if your gas symptoms:
- cause you distress
- change suddenly
- are accompanied with constipation, diarrhea, or weight loss
Your doctor can determine the underlying cause. If you dont already have a primary care provider, you can browse doctors in your area through the Healthline FindCare tool.
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When To See A Healthcare Provider
Bloating is rarely a sign of a serious medical problem.
If you notice that you become bloated after eating certain foods, bring it up to your doctor you may have a food sensitivity or intolerance.
It helps to keep and bring in a food journal in which you note what you eat and when bloating occurs, so patterns can be detected. Be sure to note any other symptoms as well.
Bloating that is long-term and doesn’t respond to changes in eating habits or OTC treatments can sometimes be associated with certain diseases and conditions that warrant a formal diagnosis and treatment plan.
Though you may be able to ignore or learn to live with chronic bloating, it’s still worth bringing it up to your healthcare provider.
When To Seek Medical Advice
If your symptoms persist for longer than a week or get worse, see your doctor. There are also certain symptoms that shouldn’t be ignored and require medical advice and testing to diagnose the problem. These can include unexplained weight loss, vomiting, consistent heartburn, trouble swallowing, excessive diarrhoea and severe constipation.
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Causes Of Wind Gas And Bloating
Gas is a part of everyone’s digestive system and occurs as a natural by-product of digesting food. When gas gets stuck in the bowels, it can cause uncomfortable symptoms, such as flatulence, bloating, and abdominal pain. There are many conditions that can cause some people to experience these symptoms more than others. These may include:
What Lifestyle Choices Can I Make To Prevent Abdominal Pain
Lifestyle changes really depend on the cause of the pain.
- Eat a healthy diet, exercise, and avoid smoking and excess alcohol consumption to reduce the chances that you will experience certain causes.
- Good hygiene, especially hand washing and avoiding materials and foods contaminated with viruses and bacteria will reduce your chances of developing illness from many infectious causes.
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Wind Gas And Bloating Explained
Flatulence refers to the natural build-up of intestinal gas or flatus in the digestive system and the process of releasing this gas from the body. Gas collects in our bodies in two main ways. The first is when you swallow air while eating or drinking which causes oxygen and nitrogen to build in the digestive tract. The second most common way is through the collection of digestive gases that occurs as we eat and digest food, including hydrogen, methane and carbon dioxide. Bloating can occur when the wind has difficulties moving through the digestive system and becomes trapped. This can also cause a number of other uncomfortable symptoms, such as pain and cramps.
Rugby Simethicone 180mg Softgels Anti
Another common choice for people experiencing bloating is Rugby Simethicone 180mg Soft-Gels Anti-Gas. These soft-gel capsules contain a liquid formula inside, making it easier to metabolize the medicine for faster results. Despite being a generic brand, this particular bloating medication has been tried and trusted by many users, placing it at the number two spot on this list.
While generally effective for many users, Rugby Simethicone 180mg Soft-Gels Anti-Gas medicine does get some disapproval from a few users. The first concern is that the medicine uses a rather high potency of simethicone, making it more likely to develop side effects. Whats more, its a relatively pricey product despite being a generic brand. Most users contest that they can buy brand name products at the same price point, and enjoy lesser chances of developing side effects.
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Do Some Gentle Yoga Stretches
Most of these tips have focused on internal remedies for stomach pain, but you can also get some relief by stretching.
A number of yoga poses are designed to help stimulate digestion and relieve bloating, which can make you feel less crampy and miserable. For quick relief, try a knees-to-stomach pose. Lie on your back somewhere comfortable.
Draw your knees up to your chest and wrap your arms around your shins. Make sure to keep your back flat on the floor. Hold this pose for one minute, and then release.
Repeat this pose until you feel better.
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- Alamag Plus®
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Foods That Can Cause Gas
Certain foods and drinks may cause excessive gas production, especially those high in fiber and FODMAPs. The acronym FODMAPs stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. These are a collection of short-chain carbohydrates that the small intestine may have difficulty digesting due to a shortage or absence of enzymes.
The large intestine contains that break down any nondigestible foods through the process of fermentation. This process produces gas.
How Can I Treat Abdominal Pain
If you have abdominal pain, keeping warm and placing a heat pack or hot water bottle on your stomach may help.
If your abdominal pain does not require you to stop eating and drinking, stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of clear, non-alcoholic fluids. If you have a medical condition that restricts your fluid intake, check with your doctor about how much fluid you can have.
Eat small meals and Ã¢ foods such as rice, dry toast or bananas. Avoid spicy foods, alcohol and caffeine until 48 hours after the pain has gone away.
Several medicines can help if you have non-acute abdominal pain, including:
- paracetamol to ease the pain
- charcoal tablets or similar for wind pain
- medicines to ease spasms
- medicines to stop diarrhoea
Avoid aspirin or anti-inflammatory medicines, such as ibuprofen and naproxen since these can irritate your stomach. A pharmacist can advise you about the most appropriate medicine for your abdominal pain.
In more serious cases, the treatment recommended will depend on the cause and severity of the abdominal pain, and how long you have had it. Treatment may include following a particular diet in the long term getting more exercise taking medicines or having surgery.
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Abdominal Bloating And Pain Treatments
Treatments for abdominal bloating and pain will address the underlying condition.
Examples may include antibiotics for infections. If an intestinal obstruction is the cause, your doctor may encourage bowel rest by decreasing oral intake.
If theres a deficiency moving contents within the GI tract, your doctor may prescribe medications to encourage intestinal movement. Surgery may be necessary in severe instances.
Are There Medications For Bloating
Bloating is caused by trapped gas in the digestive system – either from swallowed air, or when the body is having trouble breaking down certain foods. Bloating typically is accompanied by cramps or constipation, and can be very uncomfortable and painful. Bloating a can be caused by certain foods or it can be a result of irritable bowel syndrome. Foods that are notorious for causing bloating include starchy foods and certain sugars, like fructose and lactose. Certain medications, like painkillers, can cause bloating, but there are a few that can help alleviate it.
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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:
How Is A Stomach Ulcer Diagnosed
To help diagnose a stomach ulcer, your doctor will ask you what medications you take or have been taking, and if you have had a peptic ulcer or any other relevant condition in the past. Make sure you mention all the medications you are taking, especially NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, diclofenac, or ketorolac.
Your doctor will also conduct a physical examination, to check for bloating or lumps within your abdomen, and to listen for bowel sounds. Make sure you mention any areas of pain or tenderness.
Blood may also be taken to test for infection or anemia and testing may also be conducted for Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria commonly associated with stomach ulcers. Testing usually involves either a breath test, stool sample, or biopsy. To get a clear picture of the inside of your stomach and small intestines, doctors may use an endoscope , a series of X-rays and/or a CT scan.
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Eat At Regular Intervals
Many people experience bloating directly after a big meal. It is possible to avoid this by eating several smaller meals each day, which can help to keep the digestive system moving.
Swallowing food quickly can introduce air into the digestive tract. Drinking from a straw can also lead to people swallowing more air, which in turn leads to gas and bloating. People who have bloating should avoid using straws if possible and try eating slowly to avoid swallowing air during meals.