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, in a process called fermentation.
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:
What Naturally Relieves Bloating
Here are additional suggestions to decrease bloating: Eat slowly, and consume smaller, more frequent meals. Chew your foods well. Drink beverages at room temperature. Have your dentures checked for a good fit. Increase physical activity during the day. Sit up straight after eating. Take a stroll after eating.
Deflating Postmeal Bloat Is Simpler Than You Think
Is the holiday season bringing out your extra-indulgent side? It happens and you may end your holiday dinner feeling like your bellys bulging from all that food.
Does it seem like your stomach just tripled in size? Rest assured, thats not the case, according to Brigham and Womens Hospital. Rather, its likely just gas. It’s caused by excess air or gas in the gastrointestinal tract, says Rachel Doyle, RDN, the Chicago-based owner of RAD Nutrition who focuses on gut health. When we eat, carbohydrates are broken down, and their fiber is fermented, producing gas that expands, which can lead to bloating.
Unpleasant as it is, its generally not something to worry about. Typically, bloating is not a sign of anything serious, especially if it is only occurring after large meals, says Pam Fullenweider, RD, the founder of Fully Mediterranean in Houston.
If its chronic, however, visit your healthcare provider to rule out something more serious. If you are experiencing bloating frequently, its always a good idea to explore this further with a doctor or dietitian to determine the root cause and rule out any underlying medical conditions, Fullenweider says.
Even your run-of-the-mill bloating can be a pain, though. The good news is you dont have to just sit uncomfortably and wait it out. Follow these seven quick tips to get rid of bloating and return to the holiday merriment.
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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?
The Story Behind Bloating And Gas
- Bloating happens when air or gas gets trapped in your gut
- It can be caused by taking in air when you eat and drink, or from gas produced by your gut microbes
- Gas and bloating after eating can be triggered by certain foods, as well as some health conditions
- Simple changes to how and what you eat can help cut down on bloating and gas
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Which Foods Cause Stomach Bloating After Eating
All types of foods can be triggers for bloating, including carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. For some people, having a food intolerance can also increase the risk of bloating. The most common triggers include apples, dairy products, beans, cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower and cabbage, lettuce, onion, peaches, and pears. Artificial sweeteners, like those found in diet sodas, can also be a cause of bloating. Many people cannot digest these sweeteners, resulting in an unusual amount of gas.
Switching to a whole grain diet has been known to cause bloating, as the amount of fiber intake is significantly increased after switching to whole grains and fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate. If you plan to switch to a whole grain diet, make sure to do so slowly and drink plenty of water.
Salt is another well-known culprit of bloating. When people talk about losing water weight, what they are referring to is the bodys natural tendency to decrease water retention when salt intake is reduced. Avoiding foods with high salt content can prevent water retention and the bloated feeling associated with it.
Dairy intolerance is the most common cause of bloating. Nearly 10 percent of adults suffer from some form of dairy intolerance. While calcium is a required nutrient for the bodys health and well-being, it can be sourced from other foods besides those containing lactose. There are also many lactose-free alternative dairy options.
A Gastroenterologist In North Texas Can Help If You Have Symptoms Of Gastritis
If you are experiencing symptoms of gastritis, it is important to follow up with a specialist right way who can conduct an endoscopy to confirm your diagnosis. Digestive Health Centers can help, and were ready to have a conversation with you about gastritis or any other digestive issues you have. Contact us today for more information.
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Watch Your Fiber Intake
Fibrous foods such as whole grains, beans, and legumes can be a common cause of bloating. While these foods are promoted as healthier than their refined counterparts, their high-fiber content leads to bloat in some people.
Fiber is an important part of a heart-healthy diet, but you should gradually increase the amount you eat. For example, instead of switching from refined white grains to whole grains all at once, try replacing one product at a time to see how your body reacts.
Bloated Stomach After Eating Anything
If you experience stomach bloating after eating or drinking anything, even after eating very little or only a small meal, you may want to look into the following common conditions known to cause bloating:
Trying to manage bloating without identifying the causes of the bloating can be very frustrating. Whatever you do, you get bloated stomach after eating, even when drinking or eating very little. This is also very common, , yet often overlooked.
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How To Improve Your Gut Health
Finding the foods that work best for your unique body and your community of gut bacteria starts with understanding which bugs are living in your gut right now, and which foods will help them thrive.
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Want to learn more about your unique microbiome and discover your responses to food? Join the ZOE Program today and start your journey towards a healthier gut.
What Foods Trigger Gastritis
Diet does not generally cause chronic gastritis, but some foods can make the symptoms worse, including fried, fatty, spicy, and highly acidic foods, such as citrus fruits or tomatoes. Other triggers include alcohol, coffee, and fruit juices.
There are a number of foods and drinks that can help ease symptoms of gastritis and promote good digestive health, including:
- High-fiber foods: whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans
- Low-fat foods: fish, lean meats, and vegetables
- Low-acidity foods: vegetables and beans
- Non-carbonated drinks
- Caffeine-free drinks
The Helicobacter pylori bacteria is the most common cause of gastritis, so eating healthy, probiotic foods can help as well, such as yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha.
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Slow Down: Eatings Not A Race
Eating is a marathon, not a sprint. Inhaling your food is not good if you want to avoid bloating after lunch. Thats because when you gulp down your food, youre also taking in lots of air, resulting in lots of gas after eating. It can also result in belching.
You can beat the bloat by eating slower and chewing your food. Not only will that reduce the air youre taking in, but it can also help to make you feel fuller so you take in less unnecessary food. And thats a win-win for your waistline.
Reasons Why You Feel Bloated All The Time
Being bloated is no fun, and weve all been there. Whether it was an ice cream sundae bar or Chinese buffet, theres been a time that we just ate too much and had to loosen the belt a few notches just to get some extra relief. However, bloating can happen for a number of reasonssome not related to foodand Matt Hoffman, FNP, clinical assistant professor with the Texas A& M College of Nursing, breaks down why youre feeling uncomfortable and a little extra puffy in your midsection.
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Does Lemon Water Help With Bloating
As a bonus, lemon juice helps to loosen the toxins floating around in your GI tract, relieve the painful symptoms that accompany indigestion, and even reduce the risk of burping and bloating resulting from excess gas production in your gut. Lemon water can keep your digestive system purring like a kitty all day long.
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.
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Causes Of Stomach Bloat
Overeating. Eating too much is a major cause of belly bloat. You should be able to help prevent the problem by eating smaller portions at meals.
Eating too quickly. When you eat too fast, you can swallow air, which may contribute to bloat. Slow down savor your food and pay attention to your bodys signals of when youre full.
Eating certain foods. A number of foods can cause your belly to bloat. These include carbohydrate-rich and fatty foods, dairy products, legumes, certain fruits and vegetables , and artificial sweeteners. You dont have to cut out these foods altogether, but notice if they cause problems and eat them in moderation.
Food sensitivities or allergies. Lactose and gluten can trigger stomach bloating in some people.
If you experience chronic bloating, talk with your doctor about possible causes and solutions. Learn more at the UPMC Digestive Disorders Center.
You’re Eating Foods That Cause Gas
As you can guess, it’s not just how you eat that affects how you feel after a meal, but also what you eat. Common foods that can cause bloating include certain vegetables, artificial sweeteners and items with fructans, a specific type of sugar that can be hard to digest, Niket Sonpal, MD, a New York City-based, board-certified internist and gastroenterologist and faculty member with Touro College of Medicine, tells LIVESTRONG.com.
Cruciferous veggies:“We’ve all heard the song about beans being the ‘magical fruit,'” quips Hooper. “But in this case, it may be magical ‘veggies’ that are doing the trick.” She notes that bloating is common with cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and bok choy.
Artificial sweeteners:“This is something most people don’t know artificial sweeteners such as aspartame remain unchanged in the digestive system,” Hooper tells LIVESTRONG.com. “As in, they don’t break down like regular food.” That becomes a problem when your gut bacteria try to feed on them. The fact that your gut bugs can’t break them down causes gas and bloating.
High-fructose foods:“Fructose, a natural sugar added to many processed foods, is difficult for many people to digest,” Dr. Sonpal says. According to a January 2014 paper in Current Gastroenterology Reports, it’s suspected that as fructose has become more common in our diets today, more people are unable to digest the sugar properly.
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Why Is My Stomach Bloated
The most common cause of stomach pain and bloating is excess intestinal gas. If you get a bloated stomach after eating, it may be a digestive issue. It might be as simple as eating too much too fast, or you could have a food intolerance or other condition that causes gas and digestive contents to build up. Your menstrual cycle is another common cause of temporary bloating. Sometimes a bloated stomach can indicate a more serious medical condition.
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.
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You Have A Gastro Issue
And no matter what you eat, or how you eat, a gastrointestinal disorder such as lactose intolerance, IBS or Celiac disease can also cause bloating, or make it worse, Dr. Sonpal says.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS is an “extremely common” gut disorder affecting between 10 and 15 percent of all people in the U.S., according to The American College of Gastroenterology .
Up to 96 percent of people with IBS report bloating as their main symptom, per a September 2014 report in Gastroenterology & Hepatology. Other common symptoms, according to the ACG, include recurring abdominal discomfort or pain along with constipation, diarrhea or both.
IBS tends to be more common in women, and although there are no exact tests to diagnose IBS or exact treatment options, it can often be managed with things like diet, lowering your stress levels and certain lifestyle changes. That’s why it’s important to speak with a doctor about regular bloating or other abdominal symptoms you may be having.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease lists bloating, or a feeling of fullness in the abdomen, as the first symptom for Celiac disease, which is a digestive disorder that damages the small intestine and is triggered by gluten, a protein in wheat, barley and rye.
Drinking Too Much Soda
Carbonated beverages, such as soda or sparkling water, are a common reason for bloating. The fizz in your favorite sodas can cause gas to get trapped in your stomach, which can lead to bloating and belching.
Try limiting the amount of soda you drink and switch to a healthier alternative. Water with cucumber or lemon can offer a flavorful drink with your meal, and black tea can provide the caffeine kick you may need in the early afternoon. If youre already feeling bloated, peppermint tea is a common remedy that can be used to help reduce the discomfort.
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Be Aware Of Food Intolerance And Allergies
Bloating is a typical symptom of a food intolerance or allergy. Intolerances and allergies can cause excessive gas production or gas to become trapped in the gastrointestinal tract. The foods most likely to cause this are wheat or gluten.
No reliable tests exist to identify a specific food intolerance or allergy, so the best way to identify them is through trial and error. It can help to keep a food diary to track which foods are causing symptoms, such as bloating.
Does Drinking Water Help With Bloating
While it may seem counterintuitive, drinking water may help to reduce bloat by ridding the body of excess sodium, Fullenweider says. Another tip: Be sure to drink plenty of water before your meal too. This step offers the same bloat-minimizing effect and can also prevent overeating, according to the Mayo Clinic.
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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.