Food Intolerance And Bloating
Food intolerance can lead to bloating when:
- your bowel does not empty properly
- the food causes gas to be trapped
- too much gas is produced as a reaction to the food
The most common foods to cause problems are wheat or gluten and dairy products.
The best approach if you have a food intolerance is to eat less of the problem food or cut it out completely.
Keep a food diary for a couple of weeks, noting everything that you eat and drink and when bloating troubles you most. But do not get rid of food groups long-term without advice from your GP.
Find out more about food intolerance.
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.
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?
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.
Explained: The Link Between Stress And Stomach Problems
If you are experiencing stomach problems, then you may also be feeling stressed. When we experience high levels of stress, our gut also feels this stress. Stress and anxiety have been linked to chronic health problems such as heart disease, depression, and obesity. There is also a connection between stomach gurgling and bloating, constipation, and stomach pain. Further symptoms of stress induced stomach gurgling include:
- Bad Bacteria Grows, Good Bacteria Dies
- Leaky Gut
- Reduced production of Serotonin
If your stomach gurgling is a symptom of stress, there are many things you can do to change your behavior and response to stress. In general, most of us will often respond to stressful events in a poor way. We will wait and hope that the source of our stress goes away by itself, excessively shop, drink alcohol, treat ourselves to something we want, or gamble. As a result, we then experience more stress and get stuck in a vicious circle.
There are far better ways to handle stress, including:
- Remove the Source of Stress
- List Ways to Solve the Problem
Learn these 3 simple steps to boost digestive health in the morning from BIOHM Health:
How do you manage stomach disturbances? Are you experiencing persistent stomach growling after eating? Lets talk about gut health in the comments below. Up Next:
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You Could Be Lactose Intolerant
When you have lactose intolerance, youre not able to fully digest milk sugars, known as lactose. When these undigested sugars reach your colon, they can make people very bloated and crampy, Dr. Fisher says. It can take just 30 minutes after consuming lactose-rich foods for bloating and other symptoms, like diarrhea, gas and stomach cramps, to start. Lactose intolerance affects about 65% of the population, and it can develop or worsen with age.
Can You Bloat In Your Upper Stomach
Upper stomach bloat causes a very uncomfortable sensation that makes you feel full even if youve only eaten a small amount of food.
Some popular foods that can cause bloating are cabbage, beans, broccoli, cauliflower, and bran cereals.
If your stomach and gut arent functioning correctly, its challenging for your body to digest these high-fiber foods.
Additionally, people that are lactose intolerant often struggle with bloating in the upper stomach area.
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My Stomach Pains Last Days
Edson Chace, 74, is a retired credit manager from Portsmouth, Hants.
Abdomen exam: Normal
Diagnosis: Reflux disease or hiatus hernia requires further tests
Edson says: I suffer from excessive burping about an hour after eating, which started around 10 years ago, but has got worse recently.
I also get bouts of tummy ache which can last several days. I take Omeprazole every day or Im in considerable pain.
Mr Wests assessment: Despite his discomfort, Edsons had no change of bowel habit, which is reassuring.
But hes in a higher risk age group and, given his previous history of reflux symptoms, Im recommending he has a gastroscopy to see if he has gastroesophageal reflux disease .
This occurs when stomach acid flows back into the oesophagus causing heartburn.
Or it could possibly be a hiatus hernia when part of the stomach squeezes up into the chest through an opening in the diaphragm, causing stomach acid to flow back up.
You Might Have Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic condition affecting the large intestine and routinely impacts those suffering from it with symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain and gas. Dr. Fisher explains that IBS can affect people differently some have more problems with constipation, but others experience diarrhea more often. Either way, bloating is common with IBS.
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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.
Hard Stomach During Pregnancy
Generally, you expect a hard stomach when youre pregnant. Your hard-feeling stomach is caused by the pressure of your uterus growing and putting pressure on your abdomen.
The hardness of your stomach while pregnant can be more pronounced if you eat a low-fiber diet or drink a lot of carbonated beverages.
If your experience severe pain along with your hard stomach, you should see your OB-GYN or seek immediate medical attention. Sometimes severe pain in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy is an indicator of miscarriage.
Although more common in the third trimester, in the second or third trimester of pregnancy, discomfort can come from labor contractions or Braxton-Hicks contractions. Typically Braxton-Hicks contractions pass. If the contractions dont pass and become more persistent, it might be a sign that youre going into labor.
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Take A Warm Bath Soaking And Relaxing
The heat of the bath can provide relief for a sore abdomen. Relaxation can reduce stress levels, which may allow the GI tract to function more effectively and help reduce bloating.
Quick fixes are not always effective for some causes of bloating. However, people who have frequent bloating may find that certain lifestyle changes can tackle the causes and reduce bloating over time.
People can use these simple steps to try to prevent bloating in the long-term:
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth
The stomach and intestines are home to a variety of bacteria, many of which help the body digest food. Disturbing the balance of these bacteria can lead to an increase in harmful bacteria present in the small intestine. This is known as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or SIBO.
SIBO can cause bloating, frequent diarrhea, and may lead to difficulties digesting food and absorbing nutrients. For some people, SIBO can lead to osteoporosis or unintentional weight loss.
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I Just Cant Stop Myself Burping
Angie Chace, 66, is a retired accounts supervisor from Portsmouth, Hants.
Abdomen exam: Normal
Diagnosis: IBS with further tests recommended
Angie says: For the past three years, everything I eat or drink makes me burp, with pain and discomfort behind my sternum.
Recently Ive had a very bloated stomach and find both these symptoms get worse with foods such as onions, broccoli and bread. My bowels have never been regular.
Mr Wests assessment: Angie doesnt smoke, chew gum, drink fizzy drinks or take boiled sweets all of which can raise gas in an abdomen.
It may be her burping is due to acid reflux. I would recommend checking for gastroesophageal reflux disease and hiatus hernia with a gastroscopy.
Her bloating symptoms sound like IBS but because of their recent onset and her age, an ultrasound scan to rule out ovarian cancer would be wise.
Severe Stomach Pain After Eating A Fatty Meal
If you find yourself doubled over after eating a high-fat meal, you may be experiencing a gallbladder attack. Women are especially prone to gallbladder disease, says Hardeep Singh, MD, gastroenterologist from St. Joseph Hospital, Orange, CA. Overweight women in their 40s are at highest risk. The pain becomes worse after eating, lasts 30 to 60 minutes, and may come and go, becoming more constant and severe over time, says Singh.
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Fast For At Least 12 Hours
“Having a fasting stretch of 12-14 hours between dinner and breakfast can promote weight loss and encourage beneficial bacteria to thrive in the gut which can improve metabolism and balance hunger hormones,” says Jeannette.
“Its easy to do if you are eating nice and early say 7pm for dinner and then just having water between then and a 7am breakfast the next day.”
You Might Be Pregnant
The many hormonal changes that you experience during pregnancy can cause bloating, especially during the first trimester. Dr. Christmas says the bloating is mostly due to the increased progesterone production during pregnancy, which can slow down digestion. This can make you constipated or gassy. As the baby grows, starts to take up more space, and pushes on your organs, bloating may get worse.
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Why Does My Left Side Feel Bloated After Eating
Bloating occurs in the abdominal area. It happens when large amounts of air or gas build up in the gastrointestinal tract. Eating is a common cause of bloating because when the body digests food, it produces gas. People also swallow air when eating or drinking, which then enters the gastrointestinal tract.
You Have A Gut Disorder
Functional gastrointestinal disorders happen when the GI tract doesnt appear to have anything wrong with it, but you’re still experiencing uncomfortable symptoms, according to the Cleveland Clinic. It’s a situation that’s actually very common in the United States, Dr. Eugenio says.
For example, 25 to 45 million people in the U.S. have IBS, which affects the colon, reports the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Diseases. And functional dyspepsia, which affects the stomach and is otherwise known as indigestion, affects nearly 32% of the population, according to a 2004 study published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology.
Bloating is common with both of these disorders, although youll usually experience other symptoms alongside it, Dr. Eugenio says. Upper stomach pain or feelings of fullness paired with bloating may be indicative of dyspepsia, for example, whereas lower abdomen cramping and a change in bowel habits could point to IBS. Both are worth speaking to your doctor about, and treatment can include diet changes, psychosocial therapies, and other lifestyle changes, reports the Cleveland Clinic. Of course, your doctor will want to rule out other potential causes first, like colon cancer, pancreas disorders, or liver disease, so it’s important to open up about any and all symptoms you’re experiencing.
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Other Reasons For Bloating
There are also functional reasons that can cause bloating: You may have low levels of digestive enzymes, bile, or gastric juices which prevents efficient breakdown of your food.
The more undigested food that ends up in your intestines, the more gas and bloating you will experience. Digestive enzyme supplements can help these issues and as for increasing your stomach acids, your best bet is to limit the use of antacids.
An imbalanced gut microbiome can also influence digestive function and health. Undigested foods that make it to your gut will be broken down by bacteria, but not always the beneficial ones.
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SIBO, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, is a similar problem that commonly causes gas, burping, acid reflux, and bloating. SIBO can result from a lack of stomach acid or when the resident bacteria grow out of balance.
Probiotics can help to regenerate a healthy balance, but you also need to avoid foods that trigger disruptions in the digestive tract.
How Long Should Bloating Last
Bloating in the upper abdomen is a common condition that generally only lasts for 1 to 2 hours.
Bloating can be felt in your upper stomach, lower chest area below the rib cage, and sometimes even in your throat.
It often goes away after youve eaten foods that are easy to digest.
Drinking lots of water throughout the day can also help with bloating because it keeps food moving through your digestive tract before too much gas builds up in there!
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Bloating: Causes And Prevention Tips
How often do you hear yourself or friends complain about bloating? We often just say we’re bloated when we feel full, but for many women, the problem relates to a chronic underlying condition. If you feel bloated often, you may have a condition like irritable bowel syndrome , which affects up to 24 of women.
Here are some common causes of bloating and tips on preventing this uncomfortable condition.
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
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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.
Why Is The Left Side Of My Stomach Bloated And Hard
When your stomach swells and feels hard, the explanation might be as simple as overeating or drinking carbonated drinks, which is easy to remedy. Other causes may be more serious, such as an inflammatory bowel disease. Sometimes the accumulated gas from drinking a soda too quickly can result in a hard stomach.
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.
Diagnosing Cramps With No Period
Always call a doctor if you have cramps that wonât go away, whether or not you have your period.
Your doctor will want to know if your pain is sudden or ongoing. The more details you can give, the faster they may be able to diagnose and treat you. Youâll be asked questions about your symptoms and your periods.
Your doctor may do tests or procedures to learn the cause of your cramps. If your doctor suspects it is related to your uterus, or ovaries, common tests are:
Laparoscopy, a type of exploratory surgery to look at the structures inside your pelvic area, including your uterus, cervix, ovaries, and fallopian tubes.
Your doctor may refer you to someone who specialize in stomach or intestinal disorders or a urologist if they suspect that cramps are caused by any of those areas .
Johns Hopkins Medicine: Pelvic Pain.
Glencoe Regional Health Services: Possible causes of ovarian pain.
St. Lukes Health System: Ruptured Ovarian Cyst.
Kruszka, P.S. American Family Physician, July 15, 2010.
KidsHealth: Pregnancy Calendar: Week 4.
KidsHealth: Pregnancy Calendar: Week 5.
WomensHealth.gov: Irritable Bowel Syndrome Fact Sheet.
Center for Young Womens Health: Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.
Christiana Care Health System: Pelvic-Floor Muscle Dysfunction.
UpToDate: âPatient information: Chronic pelvic pain in women .
UpToDate: Patient information: Irritable bowel syndrome .â
American Cancer Society: âWhat Is Ovarian Cancer?â
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