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 My Stomach So Bloated All The Time
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Full Stomach Feeling Without Eating
A feeling of stomach fullness without eating is usually due to some irritation of the stomach as is seen with gastritis and peptic ulcers. It may also be due to a lack of appetite which is a common symptom of many diseases. Abdominal distention can also contribute to feeling a full stomach despite not eating.
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Can A Tight Stomach Be A Symptom Of Something Else
Rather, its a symptom of an underlying condition. Conditions can range from minor, annoying ones to potentially serious ones. A tight stomach is often described as a sensation in which the muscles in your stomach feel tight for a period time. It may feel similar to abdominal bloating, and is often accompanied by other symptoms such as cramping.
Sometimes stomach tightness can be a symptom of a more serious underlying condition. If you ever have any of the following symptoms along with stomach tightness, seek medical attention immediately: If your stomach feels tight from time to time, its likely not a cause for alarm. Keep track of your symptoms and see a doctor if the feeling persists.
Causes Of Serious Bloating You Need To Know About And What To Do About Them
1. Ovarian cancer isnt the most likely, but it is one of the most lethal. Although ovarian cancer is only the fifth most common cancer in women, it causes more deaths than any other reproductive cancer mostly in women over 50. Risk factors include never having children or having them late in life, obesity, a family history of ovarian cancer, certain genetic abnormalities, and long-term treatment with hormone replacement therapy. Persistent bloating, feeling full faster, and pelvic pain are typical symptoms.
What to do if youre concerned about ovarian cancer:
A thorough pelvic exam or transvaginal ultrasound is the best way to diagnose ovarian cancer. The blood test CA-125 isnt a reliable screening test, but it can be helpful for following the course of treatment after diagnosis.
2. Uterine cancer. In addition to bloating, uterine cancer can cause abnormal vaginal bleeding, a watery or blood-tinged vaginal discharge, pelvic pain, or pain with intercourse or urination. But its important to know that sometimes bloating or a change in bowel habits may be the only initial signs of uterine cancer. Important risk factors include taking tamoxifen taking estrogen supplements that dont also contain progesterone radiation therapy a family history of uterine cancer or a family history of a form of inherited colon cancer called Lynch syndrome.
What to do if youre concerned about uterine cancer:
What to do if youre concerned about colon cancer:
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Get Relief From Bloating
The most obvious way to reduce bloating is to avoid any foods that are your gassy triggers. Some foods that are high in certain carbs such as garlic, onions and other vegetables arent easy for the body to absorb and can bring on bloating. A low FODMAP diet is often recommended for anyone with irritable bowel syndrome because those foods dont cause as much gas. Foods in a low FODMAP diet include:
- Fruits such as bananas, cantaloupe, oranges and grapes
- Grains such as quinoa and rice
- Lactose-free dairy products
When you eat, consume smaller meals and allow your body time to digest. Drink plenty of water to help your digestive system run smoothly. If high fiber foods make you bloated or constipated, staying hydrated can help soften bowel movements, making them easier to pass.
Activity also can calm that bloated feeling. Although exercise may not sound appealing when you feel bloated, mild physical activity can stimulate the digestive system. Gentle yoga movements that relax the abdomen can help relieve belly swelling, too.
To combat occasional gassiness, try over-the-counter antacids.
If these DIY remedies dont help, talk with your doctor. Although rare, chronic pain and lethargy could be symptoms of inflammation or other conditions.
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 .
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:
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What Causes The Stomach To Feel Full
Although it has been determined that the full stomach feeling is normal after a meal and sometimes stronger than normal with overeating and drinking carbonated beverages, there are times when this sensation can be considered abnormal. It may occur even without eating. It may arise after having a few small bites which would not normally satisfy a person. Sometimes a full stomach feeling is one of many symptoms that occur in certain disease. In these cases it may be accompanied by symptoms such as nausea, abdominal pain or vomiting.
The more likely causes of full stomach feeling includes :
The Way You Eat May Lead To Bloating
If you chew with your mouth open, eat super quickly, or talk exceptionally fast and you regularly suffer from bloating you may have a condition called aerophagia. But don’t worry! It’s nothing life-threatening. Rather, it simply means you’re a person who tends to swallow a lot of air. And that swallowed air can leave you feeling bloated.
WebMD described aerophagia as a disorder that occurs when you swallow enough to make you burp frequently or to upset your stomach and leave it feeling bloated or uncomfortable. An estimated 25 percent of the population will experience the condition at some point in their lives. Symptoms of aerophagia include stomach pain, a swollen midsection, and frequent belching sometimes several times within a single minute.
People who have anxiety or depression are especially at risk. However, antacids can help if the condition is caused by acid reflux. Changing the way you eat and making an effort to eat slower are behavioral modifications that help the problem to go away.
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What Causes A Heavy Feeling In The Stomach
The swelling can cause a heavy feeling along with symptoms like: bloating, pain, bruised feeling and cramping. The abdomen can also feel very tight. 2. Bowel Obstruction Obstructed bowels can lead to food waste backing up in the colon. This can cause a heavy feeling along with: pain, gas, bloating and stomach upset. 3. Injuries
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.
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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.
Does Persistent Mild Nausea Need Medical Attention
If youre concerned about your nausea, by all means, see a doctor. Your doctor may tell you youre fine but in some cases, nausea and vomiting are common symptoms of more serious issues, so its worth checking out.
Again, gastrointestinal infections, lectin poisoning, and food poisoning are just a couple of the usual suspects. Even if youre experiencing mild nausea, but its persisting you should seek medical attention and talk with your doctor.
Because there are many possible causes of chronic nausea, a comprehensive examination should be executed.10
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Possible Reasons Of Feeling Full Without Eating
As mentioned, numerous things can cause you to experience feelings of fullness without eating a single bite of food. Here are a list of 10 possible cause.
1. Peptic Ulcers
One cause of feelings of fullness without eating is peptic ulcers. A peptic ulcer is a lesion within one’s stomach that can also cause discomfort, pain, belching, bloating, and regurgitation. These ulcers arise when the stomach acid in one’s digestive system causes damage to the stomach lining. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen and aspirin, when taken for more than a few days, can cause an increased risk of developing a peptic ulcer. This occurrence can be prevented by avoiding certain toxins, such as cigarette smoke and excessive amounts of alcohol.
Gastroparesis, also known as delayed gastric emptying, is a condition which affects one’s vagus nerve. This nerve is responsible for contracting the stomach to push food into the lower intestine, an important process within the digestive system. If the nerve sustains damage, it is unable to function correctly, meaning that it takes much longer to digest food. This can leave you feeling full without eating, as your body is still digesting the food you ate at last time. Causes of this include infections, vagus nerve surgery, certain metabolic disorders, and/or smooth muscle disorders.
4. Liver Disease
6. Hormonal Fluctuations
7. Ovarian Cancer
9. Coeliac Disease
When To See A Doctor
Bloating is rarely a sign of a serious medical problem. However, bloating that is chronic and doesn’t respond to changes in eating habits or OTC treatments sometimes is associated with certain diseases and conditions.
Bloating that is accompanied by abdominal pain, bloody stools, persistent diarrhea, or vomiting are especially concerning and can be a sign of any of a number of serious diseases and conditions, including colon cancer, bowel obstruction, celiac disease, and irritable bowel syndrome .
If you notice you’re frequently or constantly bloated or that you become bloated after eating certain foodsespecially those that contain wheat or dairymake an appointment to see your doctor. It will be helpful for them if you jot down when you’re most likely to experience bloating and under what circumstances.
Eating More Calories Than Usual
Lets face it. When youre off your schedule, sometimes the most interesting thing you can do is bake. But consuming excess calories especially those found in cookies, cakes and bread can pack on the pounds and cause your belly to bloat.
If cooking is your jam while sheltering in place, reserve high-calorie recipes for special occasions, or cut it back to one meal a week.
Bloated Feelings Can Be Caused By Specific Foods You Eat
It’s no surprise that beans can leave you feeling gassy, but according to experts at Harvard, there’s a whole other group of foods out there that can also leave you bloated. The foods in question all fall into a group nutritionists have tagged with the unwieldy acronym FODMAPs, which stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols.
All you really need to know is that foods that fall within this group including foods with artificial sweeteners, milk, wheats, rye, garlic, onions, chickpeas, lentils, pistachios, cashews, asparagus, artichokes, and honey all contain unique sugars that the body can have a hard time digesting.
“We all have an increased amount of gas in the body after eating them, but some of us react to them more severely than others,” explained Kyle Staller, a gastroenterologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. When Dr. Staller suspects certain foods within a person’s diet may be making them feel bloated, he generally puts the patient on a very basic diet, free of most FODMAPs. Foods are then gradually added back into the person’s diet until the offending bloat-producing culprit is identified.
Your Bloated Feeling Might Be The Result Of Stress
Whether you’re feeling anxious and stressed over everyday problems or more personal issues, one thing is abundantly clear: Stress can have a huge impact on the health of your body. And its negative effects can hit you just about everywhere: your brain, your heart, and even your digestive system. The American Psychological Association reported that stress can have a serious impact on the connection between our brains and the hundreds of millions of neurons that control the cells throughout the digestive system. Effects of stress in this area can trigger pain, bloating, and other gut discomfort.
“Stress is associated with changes in gut bacteria which in turn can influence mood,” the association explained. “Thus, the gut’s nerves and bacteria strongly influence the brain and vice versa.” The stomach is especially prone to the effects of stress, the APA cautioned. Excessive stress can promote vomiting, loss of appetite, and can even make the stomach more sensitive to a variety of sensations, ranging from pain and nausea to bloating making these feelings all feel stronger and more severe.
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Does Ginger Really Work To Help Relieve Nausea
It may seem like a myth just waiting to be busted, but if your mom ever gave you ginger ale for an upset tummy, she wasnt wrong to try it. You see, though ginger ale typically doesnt contain enough ginger to effectively settle an upset stomach, ginger itself is often advocated as a helpful treatment for nausea. And according to recent studies, it works.14
Most people think of the ginger you eat as a root, but thats actually not quite right. Officially, the ginger you eat is the rhizome part of the Zingiber officinale plant. The rhizome is the stem piece the roots grow from.
So, the compounds that make ginger so helpful are called gingerols. These are the bits that give ginger its sweetly spiced flavor and aroma.
Of course, ginger tea can be a great way to get your ginger when youre struggling with stomach pain or mild nausea symptoms. And its quite easy to make.
How to Make Ginger Tea
- Simply peel the rhizome and slice off a few slivers of ginger .
- Let them rest in hot water for about 20-25 minutes.
- Now, ginger does have a bit of bite, but youll likely acquire a taste for it quickly if you dont already love it.
And if tea isnt your thing, you can actually just shave off a piece of raw ginger and chew on it for a bit. Of course, you dont want to eat the whole thing, but just chew on it, and let the juices calm your symptoms.
Maintain Good Eating Habits
You can help your digestive system by simply changing how you eat, which, in turn, can improve your health. Try eating five to six small meals each day and be sure to chew each bite slowly and completely. Consume water throughout the day and 30 minutes before and after meals. Do not drink water during the meal.
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