Causes Of A Distended Stomach
Distension may be generalized or localized. Generalized distension of the abdomen means that the entire abdomens is enlarged. Localized distension means that the enlargement is more prominent in one part of the abdomen.The causes of localized distension may differ depending on the location one of the four abdominal quadrants : right upper quadrant , left upper quadrant , right lower quadrant or left lower quadrant .
Diagram Naming The Parts Of The Gut
There is always a certain amount of gas in the bowel. Most of this comes from air swallowed whilst you are eating or drinking. It can also happen during smoking or when swallowing saliva. Larger amounts can be swallowed when you eat quickly, gulp down a drink or chew gum. The swallowed air goes down into the gullet .
If you are sitting up, the air tends to go back up the oesophagus and escapes again through the mouth in the process of belching. If you are lying flat, the air tends to pass downwards causing gas in the stomach. This can result in bloating after eating and a hard, swollen tummy. The gas eventually enters the small bowel and escapes through the back passage . People often refer to this as farting or, more politely, passing wind or flatulence.
Gas can also be produced due to germs acting on partially digested food in the gut. This is more likely to happen with some foods than others. Broccoli, baked beans and Brussels sprouts are well-known culprits. The number of germs in the bowel also has an effect on the volume of gas produced. The gas that is made is mainly composed of carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane. It may contain traces of a chemical called sulfur. This is responsible for the unpleasant smell experienced when you pass wind through the back passage.
Bloating And Ovarian Cancer
Even though ovarian cancer is certainly not the most common cause of abdominal bloatingand is down on the listit is an important cause of abdominal bloating. Among people who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, it’s been found that this bloating is often attributed to something else, such as middle-age spread or winter weight gain.
While ovarian cancer isn’t the most common cause of abdominal swelling and bloating, these symptoms are one of the more common symptoms of ovarian cancer. It is also a symptom that is most ignored. The bloating may be so bad that one can’t button their pants, or even have to go up a size.
Symptoms of ovarian cancer may also include pelvic pain, pain with intercourse, and frequent urination, but it is also considered the silent killer. In the early stages, the only symptom may be a feeling of being full quickly when eatingin other words bloatingso it is important to make sure you get your symptoms evaluated thoroughly.
It’s also important to note that sometimes people have two conditions at the same time. For example, someone could have both irritable bowel syndrome and ovarian cancer, so trust your instinct. If your healthcare provider does not seem as concerned as you are, get a second opinion.
Ovarian cancer is not a common cancer in women, but it’s the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths in womenmost likely due to the fact that the diagnosis is missed until it has progressed to the later stages of the disease.
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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.
Causes For Stomach Bloating
Stomach Bloating can be a troublesome issue to deal with. And though there are several ways you can treat the issue, understanding the causes for the same can help you deal with it better. Accordingly, here are some of the more common causes for stomach bloating in women.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS is one of the most common causes for bloating in individuals. And sadly, most of the time it gets mistaken for either indigestion or gas. More prominent in women, IBS can cause bloating in addition to causing other conditions like abdominal pain, extreme discomfort, gas and irregular bowel movements etc.
Eating Fatty Foods
Fatty foods do much more than just adding fat cells to your body. Accordingly, fatty foods can prolong digestion and just stay in the stomach for long periods without moving out. This can then cause severe bloating.
Drinking Less Water
In addition to ridding your body off impurities and other toxins, water helps to regulate digestion and takes care of gastrointestinal disorders as well. So if you are not drinking enough water on a daily basis, you may experience indigestion problems and severe bloating as a result of the same.
Increased Intake Of Dairy Products
Eating Foods That Are Reheated
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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.
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:
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Characteristics Of The Pain
When does the pain occur? Always? More often in the morning or at night? If the pain comes and goes, about how long does it last each time? Does it occur after eating certain types of foods or after drinking alcohol? Abdominal pain that occurs after eating may be due to indigestion. Does pain occur during menstruation? These are typical questions your doctor may ask that may help determine the cause. For example, abdominal pain that comes on suddenly may suggest a sudden event such as the interruption of the supply of blood to the colon or obstruction of the bile duct by a gallstone .
What Is A Bloated Stomach
A bloated stomach is first and foremost a feeling of tightness, pressure or fullness in your belly. It may or may not be accompanied by a visibly distended abdomen. The feeling can range from mildly uncomfortable to intensely painful. It usually goes away after a while, but for some people, its a recurring problem. Digestive issues and hormone fluctuations can cause cyclical bloating. If your bloated stomach doesnt go away, you should seek medical care to determine the cause.
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Causes Of Lower Back And Bloated Tummy
Pain in lower right back and abdomen can be a miserable and frightening experience when they occur together. The most common causes of this medical condition are usually the result of relatively harmless underlying diseases, but there are some rare factors that can be life threatening.
There are many causes of severe lower back pain right side and bloated tummy, see the following:
Various types of infections can cause gastroenteritis, including noroviruses, and food-borne diseases such as salmonella.
If you have gastroenteritis, you may experience severe cramps in your abdomen that quickly spread to your lower back.
Sometimes, this condition can cause severe and frequent vomiting, which causes pain in your stomach and back.
Some of the home remedies that you should try include restricting your diet to light, healthy, and easily digestible foods such as wheat bread to reduce vomiting, and drinking plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
- Back injuries
A wide range of back injuries, from simple muscle sprains, to more serious injuries such as discs, also known as herniated disks, can cause back pain.
Sometimes the pain spreads from a herniated disk to other areas of the body, including the abdomen, and distension.
- Hormonal changes in women
Hormonal changes that occur in women may cause pain in the lower back and abdomen, including:
- Kidney stones or kidney infection
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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Sudden Stomach Cramps With Diarrhoea
If your stomach cramps have started recently and you also have diarrhoea, the cause may be a tummy bug . This means you have a viral or bacterial infection of the stomach and bowel. It should get better without treatment after a few days.
Gastroenteritis may be caused by:
- coming into close contact with someone who’s infected
- eating contaminated food
If you have repeated bouts of stomach cramps and diarrhoea, you may have a long-term condition, such as irritable bowel syndrome .
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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What Are The Symptoms And Causes Of Indigestion
Most of us have experienced indigestion and its symptoms, for example, upper abdominal pain and cramping, bloating, belching, nausea, vomiting, and the feeling of fullness after only eating a few bites. There are common causes of indigestion like GERD or pregnancy. More serious causes include cancers or heart attack.
The best way to relieve and even prevent symptoms of stomach bloating and gas, is a healthy diet and regular exercise, however, there are many things you can do to prevent and relieve bloating and gas.
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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:
- Peppermint tea
Possible Causes Of Bloating In Upper Abdomen
Abdominal bloating is a health condition in which the upper abdomen is gaseous, may be visibly swollen or distended, and feels uncomfortably full. Its a common complaint among both children and adults, and the symptoms can be difficult to live with. Moreover, it can also be accompanied by burping or belching, pain, excessive gas or flatulence,swallowing of air, and abdominal rumbling.
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Other Causes Of Bloating
According to Michigan Medicine, another potential source of bloating is a group of carbohydrates known as FODMAPs .
FODMAPs are found in foods including wheat, onions, garlic, soy milk, most legumes, apples, pears and plums, according to researchers at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. You can try eliminating individual ingredients to see if that resolves the problem, or commit to a fully low-FODMAP diet.
However, Michigan Medicine notes that it can be difficult to transition to a low-FODMAP diet without assistance and recommends that you work with a registered dietitian if at all possible.
Bloating can also be caused by certain medical conditions. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians , bloating can be a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease , irritable bowel syndrome , pelvic inflammatory disease , Crohn’s disease, certain cancers, liver diseases and a bowel or bladder blockage. However, the academy notes that temporary bloating is typically not a sign of anything serious.
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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Middle Of The Abdomen
The upper middle part of the abdomen contains the liver, the cardiac region of the stomach, part of the body of the stomach, the pyloric region of the stomach, and the pancreas.
The liver filters blood and creates bile, which is a substance that helps in the breakdown and absorption of fat in the foods you eat.
The cardiac region of the stomach is where food enters from the esophagus.
The pyloric region of the stomach is the last part of the stomach before food enters into the duodenum of the small intestine.
The pancreas is a large glandular organ that releases digestive enzymes and hormones.
The lower middle part of the abdomen contains the urinary bladder, rectum, and anus.
The urinary bladder is the organ that collects urine for excretion out of the body through the urethra.
The rectum goes into the anus, the final section of the large intestine that carries stool for excretion from the body.
When To Talk To Your Health Care Provider
Bloating can be normal, but it can also be a sign of serious conditions. Its important to keep track of what foods cause you to feel bloated, but also note if you experience other symptoms that have accompanied bloating.
If you notice a drastic change in weight or changes in your bowel movementssuch as changes in color or consistencyyou need to tell your provider that as well, as they can be signs of an underlying condition, Hoffman said. If you ate too much and are having trouble digesting your food, then you know that was the likely cause of your bloating and cramping, but if its come on suddenly with a healthy diet, you should err on the side of caution and visit your provider.
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