Avoid Rapid Weight Gain
Rapid weight gain is linked to bloating for several reasons.
First, a buildup of fat in your stomach area may constrain your bowels, increasing tension and contributing to bloating. Additionally, fat may have inflammatory effects, contributing to hypersensitivity in your gut .
Finally, unwanted weight gain may cause you to focus attention on your stomach area, which may increase your perception of bloating .
If you have overweight or obesity and are experiencing bloating, trying some healthy strategies for weight loss such as exercise and limiting portion sizes may be beneficial.
Rapid weight gain may contribute to bloating by increasing bowel tension, inflammation, and mental focus on your stomach area. Conversely, weight loss may help reduce these effects.
What Can I Do To Relieve It
Experts often recommend that patients first try to identify, then eliminate, anything in their diet or lifestyle that might be triggering their bloating or, as I like to say, What floats your bloat. Certain foods, particularly those rich in insoluble fiber like cruciferous vegetables, lentils and beans, are classic offenders.
Other common triggers include fermented drinks like beer and kombucha, the artificial sweetener sucralose, as well as onions and fruits. Occasionally, certain behaviors like drinking carbonated beverages, chewing gum or smoking can raise the risk of bloating by increasing the amount of air you swallow, and cutting back on them can help.
With so many potential triggers, it can be hard or even harmful to experiment with identifying and eliminating problematic foods on your own, so seeking the guidance of a nutritionist is recommended, Dr. Harer said.
In some cases, fixing the underlying cause of your bloating may require more than just dietary and lifestyle tweaks. Patients with gastroparesis or significant constipation may benefit from a drug called prucalopride, which helps empty the stomach and expel waste through the colon. For those with over-reactive intestines, certain medications can help dampen those heightened responses, making patients less likely to react with bloating.
Every person is different, so what causes bloating for your friend or family member is not what might cause bloating for you, Dr. Harer said.
Why Does It Feel Like Something Is Moving In My Stomach And Im Not Pregnant
Its possible to have sensations that feel like a baby kicking when you arent pregnant. Several normal movements in a womans body can mimic a babys kicks. This includes gas, muscle contractions, and peristalsisthe wave-like motions of intestinal digestion. Women often refer to the sensation as phantom kicks.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Wide Stomach
What Else You Can Do About Bloating
If eliminating or reducing consumption of hard-to-digest foods doesnÃ¢t solve your frequent bloating problem, there are over-the-counter medications that might help. Look for a pill or liquid containing alpha-D-galactosidase, an enzyme that breaks down indigestible sugars in beans and vegetables. Tablets or capsules containing simethicone can also help alleviate symptoms of excess gas.
If youÃ¢re a smoker, intestinal distress may be one more reason to quit. Smoking has been linked to bloating, heartburn, and other digestive problems.
Fortunately, bloating is rarely a symptom of serious trouble. For most people, the most effective prescription for bloating is simple: control portion sizes, go easy on fats, and eat slowly enough to give your body time to signal when youÃ¢ve had enough. These sensible remedies should keep you from feeling overstuffed and bloated.
Grabitske, H. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition,Ã¢Gastrointestinal Effects of Low-Digestible Carbohydrates,Ã¢ 2009 vol 49: pp327-360.
Joanne L. Slavin, PhD, RD, professor of food science and nutrition,University of Minnesota.
American College of Gastroenterology:Belching, Bloating and Flatulence.
MedicineNet.com: Intestinal Gas .
You May Like: Do I Have Low Stomach Acid
How Is Bloating Diagnosed
Your doctor can generally diagnose the cause of your bloating through a physical exam in the office. They will ask you questions about your symptoms. They will want to know if your bloating is occasional or if it occurs all the time.
Temporary bloating is usually not serious. If it happens all the time, your doctor may order other tests. These could include an imaging test to look inside your abdomen. This could be an X-ray or CT scan.
Read Also: What Can Cause Stomach Pain And Bloating
What Is Abdominal Distension
A distended abdomen is measurably swollen beyond its normal size. Its often accompanied by the feeling of being bloated with trapped gas or digestive contents. However, abdominal distension isnt always from digestive processes. Healthcare providers diagnose a distended abdomen in terms of the five fs: flatus , fetus , feces , fluid or fat.
A distended abdomen may be very uncomfortable, or it may simply be a symptom that you and your healthcare provider observe visually. It may be acute a sudden, unusual occurrence or chronic something that occurs and resolves itself repeatedly in a predictable way. Chronic abdominal distension accompanied by an uncomfortable bloated feeling is often related to a digestive problem.
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.
Recommended Reading: Does Laser Skin Tightening Work On Stomach
Right Side Of The Abdomen
The upper right side of your abdomen contains the gallbladder, liver, and first part of the small intestine.
The gallbladder is a small sac that stores bile made by the liver. The duodenum, known as the first portion of the small intestine, is where food empties from the stomach into the small intestine.
The center right side of the abdomen contains the ascending colon and the transverse colon. Food then passes from the ascending colon to the transverse colon.
The cecum of the large intestine with the appendix and the small intestine are in the lower right side of the abdomen. The cecum is the first part of the large intestine that the end of the small intestine connects to.
Some experts believe the appendix plays a role in the immune system. Others think it has no purpose.
If your doctor performs a physical exam and then suspects a medical condition is causing your abdominal bloating or pain, theyll run various medical tests.
The types of tests they order will depend on your medical history and physical exam results.
Some common tests for abdominal problems include the following:
What Is Ovarian Cancer Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention
Ovarian cancer refers to the out-of-control growth of cells in the ovaries, two glands that are essential for sexual reproduction and womens health. Ovarian cancer affects an estimated 1 in 78 women in the United States.
If a woman is fertile, her ovaries release eggs into the fallopian tubes, which serve as passageways to the uterus.
Recent research, including a study published in October 2017 in the journal Nature Communications, has suggested that for many women, ovarian cancer originates in the fallopian tubes. This important finding may point the way to new strategies for prevention, early detection, and treatment.
Recommended Reading: When I Lay On My Stomach My Lower Back Hurts
You May Like: What Burns Fat In The Stomach
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.
Youre Eating Too Many Gas
What you’ve eaten during the day, and your meals leading up to your pain, should be the first thing you look at when you feel bloated. If you’re eating too many foods that form gas think: cabbage, beans, lentils and Brussels sprouts bloating can be soon to follow. Very fatty and salty foods, especially processed foods, can also contribute to these symptoms,” Sassos adds.
High FODMAP foods , including apples, garlic, onions, beans and cashews, canalso make many feel bloated over time. FODMAPs are a group of small-chain carbohydrates that are tough to digest, and Sassos says that those dealing with IBS may actually benefit from switching to what’s known as a low-FODMAP diet. Unless you’ve already been diagnosed with IBS and have discussed your diet with a care provider, it’s best to talk to a registered dietician before you change your diet.
Read Also: What’s Good For Settling Your Stomach
Can You Get A Hernia Above Your Belly Button
An epigastric hernia is a type of hernia in the epigastric region of the abdominal wall. Its above the belly button and just below the sternum of your rib cage. This type of hernia is a somewhat common condition in both adults and children. About 2 to 3 percent of all abdominal hernias are epigastric hernias.
You’re Sitting Too Much
Sit all morning, rush to lunch, eat at your desk, barely move until its time to clock out. Sound familiar? This pattern of staying sedentary through most of the work day can make it hard for food to move through your digestive tract, which can lead to feeling bloated, Manning says. ” I’ll often tell someone to go take a walk after lunch to help them to digest so they don’t feel so uncomfortable, she explains.
Speaking of going for a walk, being active can be extremely helpful if your bloat seems to be related to constipation. Exercise helps speed up your bowel transit and helps you to go to the bathroom more frequently, Manning says. So even if youre not interested in becoming a fitness beast, a routine that gets your blood flowing may be what you need to help get your bowels in shape.
Recommended Reading: How Does Someone Get Stomach Cancer
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.
Which High Fodmap Foods Are The Best To Avoid
This is the question that youll need to answer for yourself during the process of the low-FODMAP diet. The answer will be different for everyone. The point of the diet is not to deprive you of bad foods but to find out if your symptoms are related to FODMAPs or not and if they are, which ones. Some people may not improve at all on the elimination phase. If you don’t, theres no reason to follow through to the next phase. But if you do, it will be very important to reintroduce foods in a systematic way to separate the real offenders from foods that you can tolerate. Many people find in the end that its only one or two of the FODMAP food groups that bother them. The ultimate goal of the diet is to widen your dietary options as much as possible.
Also Check: Why Is It So Hard To Lose Stomach Fat
You’re Eating Too Soon Before Bed
The timing of your meals matters just as much as the ingredients. You may like to hit the hay soon after your p.m. meal, but your stomach may not be as fond of that plan.
Your body needs time to digest, which is why eating later in the night can cause issues like bloating or heartburn, Dr. Sonpal says.
The fix: There’s no hard- and-fast rule when it comes to your eating windows every person’s digestive system is different. But it’s probably best to eat your last meal or snack at least two to three hours before bedtime to ensure restful sleep and a bloat-free morning, says Dr. Sonpal. He also suggests adding a walk after dinner to help with digestion.
What Tests Might I Need
After the initial exam, your provider will recommend other tests to confirm a diagnosis:
- Ultrasound or CT scan: These imaging scans show your abdominal area in more detail.
- Paracentesis: Youll get a local anesthetic before this procedure. Your provider inserts a needle into your abdomen to remove fluid. The fluid is analyzed for signs of cancer, infection, portal hypertension and other conditions.
You May Like: What Causes Stomach Bloating And Nausea
How To Start Fasting
If youve never tried it before, try picking a day next week you will not eat for 24 hours. Write it on a calendar, and put a sticky note on your refrigerator just like for any goal.
In the meantime, skip breakfast for a day or two.
Its important to not eat anything whatsoever between the dinner meal and lunch. This may be as long as 18 hours, right.
Be sure to drink plenty of water between the time you get up in the morning and lunch.
Going on an 18 hour fast will teach you that depriving your body of food to flatten your stomach will not kill you. In fact, it will opposite effect, giving you more energy and a different way to think about eating.
Now, when your appointed day comes around, it will be easy to miss eating anything at all for 24 hours. Once youve done that, a couple of times, you will be set for 36-72 hour fasts.
Look At Supplements And Medications
Some supplements, such as iron, can cause constipation and other symptoms of indigestion. This can increase bloating. Potassium, on the other hand, may reduce bloating by helping to balance the bodys sodium levels .
Medications may also cause side effects that affect GI function or cause indigestion. If this happens, a doctor or pharmacist can suggest alternatives that are more gentle on the digestive tract.
Although it is not common, bloating and swelling of the abdomen can signify a severe medical condition. Liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, heart failure, kidney problems, and some types of cancer can cause bloating.
Bloating that continues for days or weeks may indicate a health issue that needs medical attention. It is advisable to speak to a doctor about ongoing bloating that does not go away over time.
People whose bloating occurs alongside these symptoms should seek medical advice:
- appetite changes or trouble eating
- bright red blood in the stool
- black or dark maroon stools
You’re Eating Dinner Too Close To Bedtime
After you eat a meal, your body needs time to digest. It can take several hours for the food to empty from your GI tract, notes one April 2014 study in Neurogastroenterology and Motility, especially if that meal was on the larger side and was particularly fatty.
“If we eat late and then head to bed, this may cause some maldigestion, as stomach acid can creep into our esophagus and cause heartburn and burping,” Adams says. “As foods are digested while we sleep, the inactivity of our body may delay digestion a bit. This can increase the gases produced during digestion and cause nighttime or early morning bloating.”
Fix it: The most obvious fix? Do your best to ensure you have ample time between dinner and lights out, so your body can comfortably digest. Sitting upright after a meal for at least two hours before getting under the covers can help reduce abdominal distention , says Keri Gans, RDN, registered dietitian and author of The Small Change Diet.
You’ll also want to make sure you include some physical movement into your day. One of the best ways to speed up digestion is through exercise. In fact, physical activity may even improve symptoms of gastrointestinal conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome , per a January 2015 study in the World Journal of Gastroenterology.
Bad Eating Habits = Bloating
Its no surprise that bad eating habits can contribute to bloating. Overeating or eating too quickly can cause that stuffed feeling because your digestive system slows down, trying to process a large or fast intake of food. When you talk while eating, drink through a straw or chew gum, you swallow air that can go into your digestive system, causing bloating.
Processed foods, such as hotdogs and chips, also can create bloating. Many processed foods are high in sodium, which makes your body retain water and can cause your stomach to feel bloated. Sugary foods and snacks break down in your body and can make you gassy.
Even what you drink can upset your stomach. Carbonated beverages like beer and soda contain bubbles with carbon dioxide, a gas that releases into your stomach.
Donât Miss: How To Lose Weight In Breast And Stomach
Read Also: How To Tone Your Stomach In Two Weeks