What Are Complications Of Ascites
Ascites can lead to:
- Abdominal problems: The fluid buildup may lead to pain, discomfort and difficulty breathing. These symptoms can interfere with your ability to eat, walk and do daily activities.
- Infection: The fluids can become infected, called spontaneous bacterial peritonitis. You may have fever and stomach pain. Call your healthcare provider if you have these symptoms. Youll need IV antibiotics and long-term antibiotic treatment to keep the infection from coming back.
- Hepatic hydrothorax, or fluid in the lungs: Abdominal fluid fills the lung, usually on the right side. You may experience shortness of breath, cough, chest discomfort and hypoxemia . You may need thoracentesis to remove the fluid.
- Ascites-related hernias: The increase in abdominal pressure can lead to hernias, specifically umbilical and inguinal hernias. Your healthcare provider will discuss your treatment options.
- Kidney failure: If cirrhosis worsens, it may lead to kidney failure .
Do Hiatus Hernias Grow In Size
Heartburn and reflux are common side effects. If the hernia is causing you discomfort, physicians will prescribe medication, according to Dr. Rosen. Hiatal hernias, also known as paraesophageal hernias, are more significant hiatal hernias that become bigger over time and cause the stomach to rise farther into the chest.
Why Are Fodmaps Difficult To Digest
FODMAPs are fermentable short-chain carbohydrates. Translated, that means two things: They are sugar molecules that are linked together in chains, and they are fermentable by the bacteria in your gut. Molecules in chains need to be broken down into single molecules to be absorbed through your small intestine. But FODMAPs cant be broken down, so they cant be absorbed there. Your small intestine draws in extra water to help move the FODMAPs through to your large intestine. There, the bacteria living in your colon have a field day fermenting them . This produces gasses and fatty acids as byproducts inside your gut.
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You May Be Getting Your Period Soon
Bloating typically accompanies the natural hormonal fluctuations of the menstrual cycle, Dr. Christmas tells Good Housekeeping, and it happens most often during the luteal phase. Thats the time when your hormone levels are rising because its right after you ovulate and your body starts to prepare the uterus for an impending pregnancy, she explains. The luteal phase ends when your period actually begins.
During this time, the hormones estrogen and progesterone increase in the body and are usually to blame for bloating. Estrogen can heighten water retention, and progesterone can slow the gastrointestinal tract, causing constipation in the long run. You might counteract some of this around your cycle.
Food Intolerance And Bloating
Another common cause of stomach bloating can be food intolerance. In the UK its estimated that roughly 2 million people are living with a diagnosed food allergy, and 600,000 are living with coeliac disease. The NHS identifies gluten and dairy products as one of the leading causes of stomach bloating among those with food allergies.
Food allergies occur when our bodies are unable to correctly process certain chemicals in our food which can lead to an unpleasant range of symptoms. However, when it comes to bloating, the most common problems can be your bowel not emptying correctly, the food creates too much gas, or the food itself causes gas to become trapped.
If you experience regular bloating, then it could be caused by a food allergy.
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Small Intestinal Bowel Overgrowth
Small intestinal bowel overgrowth is when theres an abnormal increase in the bacteria that live in your small intestine, such as E. coli or Klebsiella.
Several things can lead to SIBO. Surgery of the intestines that changes your anatomy can cause it. Decreased motility of the small intestine caused by IBS, diabetes, or opioid drugs can also cause SIBO. And people who have a weakened immune system have a higher risk of SIBO.
SIBO can interfere with your bodys ability to absorb nutrients from your food, which can lead to vitamin deficiencies.
SIBO can be diagnosed using a non-invasive carbohydrate breath test. Your doctor may also recommend an endoscopy and colonoscopy to rule out other diseases.
Treatment may include dietary changes, nutritional supplements, and antibiotics to control bacterial overgrowth.
If I Have Ascites How Can I Best Take Care Of Myself
People with ascites should work with a dietitian to plan a sodium-restricted diet. Check food labels, and avoid high-sodium foods.
You can use several salt substitutes. However, avoid substitutes with potassium, since the medicine you may be taking for ascites can also increase potassium. A dietitian can help you plan a healthy diet and provide recommendations for salt alternatives.
In addition, you should:
- Take your diuretics as prescribed.
- Record your weight every day.
- Stop drinking alcohol, which can cause further liver damage.
- Treat hepatitis B or C if necessary.
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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.
When To See A Doctor
If bloating is bothering you, then you have a reason to reach out to your doctor, who can help you determine an appropriate solution for how to get rid of bloating or how to reduce bloating.
Since bloating, in rare cases, can indicate an underlying medical condition, consult with your provider or a K doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Severe abdominal pain
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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.
Will I Need Surgery For Ascites
Sometimes, diuretics and a low-sodium diet arent enough to improve the ascites. You may need other treatments, including:
- Paracentesis: Your provider inserts a needle into your abdomen to remove the fluid. This procedure can remove a large amount of excess fluid.
- Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt : This procedure is performed to treat fluid build-up in the abdomen. A wire mesh is inserted into a vein in your liver. When inflated, the stent forms a channel to bypass the liver. TIPS may be appropriate if your ascites aren’t responding to other therapies, if you need several paracenteses per month and you’re not a candidate for a liver transplant.
- Liver transplant: In cases of severe cirrhosis, when the liver is failing, a liver transplant may be necessary.
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Working With A Doctor
It is important to speak openly and honestly with your physician to express a clear picture of your experiences and symptoms. FGIDs present special challenges when communicating, specifically because of their vague symptoms and sensitive subject matter.
There isnt a diagnostic test for bloating or distension however your doctor may run some tests to rule out underlying problems or associated disorders.
Fix Bloating From Anxiety
All of these can provide some relief from bloating, but wonât prevent bloating from coming back. You can also check your trigger foods, and see if there are foods that tend to cause more bloating when youâre anxious.
Anxiety affects the gut, it affects breathing, and it affects sleep. All of these things can lead to bloating, and what adds to the complications is that bloating can also affect anxiety. Once you feel bloat, you often have to just let it and fade away, but eventually it will become important to address the anxiety itself.
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Increasing Your Fiber Intake Too Quickly
You know that upping your fiber intake can aid your rapid weight loss efforts, but if you aren’t used to eating the uber-filling nutrient a large dose of the stuff can be hard for your body to digest, explains Rumsey. The result? A midsection that’s suddenly as round as a basketball. “Wean yourself onto high-fiber foods like bran cereals, beans, and lentils, starting with small portions,” suggests Rumsey. Another trick: Down a large glass of water with every high-fiber meal. Fluids help to move fiber through the digestive tract, preventing bloat.
What Does A Low
The diet has three phases: an elimination phase, a reintroduction phase and a maintenance phase thats customized to you. During the elimination phase, you’ll avoid all of the high-FODMAP foods a list of specific fruits, vegetables, dairy products and grains. At first glance, the elimination phase of the diet may seem very limited. But theres still a good list of foods in each category that you can eat. It takes some mental discipline to follow, but you wont go hungry on the diet. After two to four weeks, youll begin the reintroduction phase, in which you systematically add foods back in. The third phase keeps what works for you and leaves out what doesnt.
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Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth
The stomach and intestines are home to various bacteria, which help the body digest food. Disturbing the balance of bacteria can lead to an increase in harmful bacteria in the small intestine. This is known as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or SIBO.
SIBO can cause bloating, frequent diarrhea, and difficulties digesting food and absorbing nutrients. These chronic symptoms may lead to osteoporosis or weight loss in some people.
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.
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Are Fodmaps Bad For Everyone
Not at all. In fact, our digestive systems are designed to process some foods that we cant fully digest ourselves for example, dietary fiber, which has an important place in digestive health. And feeding the bacteria in our gut is part of our symbiotic arrangement with those bacteria. But some people with sensitive guts experience a level of indigestion from these foods that significantly impacts their quality of life. For these people, the byproducts of fermentation cause chronic symptoms of gas, bloating, abdominal pain and distension. The extra water drawn by the small intestine may cause diarrhea in excess, or constipation if there isnt enough.
Why Does My Stomach Get So Bloated
Bloating. Itâs that uncomfortable, overly full, sometimes even painful feeling in your stomach that makes you want to take a nap until the sensation passes. Bloating even can make your stomach look swollen or feel hard to the touch. Although women often feel bloated for a few days or weeks before their period, anyone can have occasional bloating.
What makes your stomach feel like a balloon has expanded inside? Bloating usually happens when gas temporarily builds up in your stomach or intestines. When youre bloated, you may notice that you burp or pass gas frequently, and find that releasing that air brings you some relief. Bloating also occurs when your digestive system slows down and you donât have regular bowel movements.
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What Is A Low
FODMAP is an acronym for a certain class of carbohydrates, called fermentable short-chain carbohydrates, which are more difficult for people to digest. The low-FODMAP diet temporarily restricts these carbohydrates in order to relieve uncomfortable symptoms and give your digestive system a rest. Removing irritants gives your gut lining a chance to repair itself and can help restore a healthy balance of gut flora. If your symptoms improve, you can use the low-FODMAP diet to figure out which foods to limit in the future.
More Advice To Beat The Bloat:
1. Eat fermented food once a day: Foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles, kefir and kombucha are naturally high in probiotics. Like the probiotic supplement, fermented foods introduce good microorganisms that can contribute to maintaining a balanced, healthy gut.
2. Drink up: When youre dehydrated, your electrolyte levels can become unbalanced. This means you could be holding on to unwanted water weight without even realizing it. Drinking more water does not mean more water is retained. Drinking more water means your body can flush out any excess more easily.
3. Move more: You can be eating the right foods, but if youre spending all day sitting, the stagnation can cause unwanted gas buildup. Make a point to get up and move every hour.
What Causes Abdominal Swelling
A common cause of abdominal swelling is gas. Swallowing air as part of a nervous habit or from eating foods that are high in fiber can lead to gas production. If you dont release this gas, it can lead to abdominal swelling.
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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Natural And Other Remedies For Gas
Two products on the market can help with food-related gas and bloating. Both products are packaged forms of the enzymes needed to break down the problematic carbohydrates. Lactase, found in products such as Dairy Ease and Lactaid, can be taken with dairy foods to help break down lactose and lessen gas. Beano helps digest the indigestible carbohydrate in beans and other gas-producing vegetables.
Natural remedies for gas include:
Stop Smoking Chewing Gum Or Wearing Dentures
According to the charity Guts UK!chewing gum, smoking or wearing loose dentures all promote air swallowing and can cause bloating. Avoid using gum and quit smoking. Visit the NHS Stop Smoking Service, or call the Smokefree National Helpline on 0300 123 1044 for help. If your dentures are loose see a dentist.
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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.
Gluten Intolerance & Celiac Disease
If you get a massive food baby right after eating certain sources of carbs and gluten, you may have celiac disease. What’s worse, if that’s the reason for your bloated belly, it can often take a day or two to deflate. Your M.D. can give you a simple blood test to confirm your suspicions.
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