When To See A Doctor
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
- Barrett, J. S., & Gibson, P. R. . Fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols and nonallergic food intolerance: FODMAPs or food chemicals? Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology, 5, 261268
Remove Artificial Sweeteners From Your Diet
Artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols are hiding in many new-age healthy foods. These include sugar-free foods, chewing gum, energy bars, cereal and keto snacks.
Heres a quick story.
I found a delicious, low-sugar chocolate bar at costco. I couldnt believe how delicious it tasted without any sugar.
The issue was, this chocolate bar gave me tremendous gas and bloating. I checked the label, and it was filled with artificial sweeteners.
As soon as I stopped eating the bar, the symptoms went away like magic.
Sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners are generally recognized as safe sugar replacements.
However, many of them cause serious gas and other digestive issues.
This is because your gut bacteria produces excess gas to try and digest them .
Here are some common artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols to test.
You dont necessarily need to avoid them if they dont cause issues.
Eat Several Small Meals
To keep your metabolism revving throughout the day, focus on small, protein- and fiber-packed snacks or small meals every 3 to 4 hours. You will not only burn more calories eating a series of smaller meals, but also avoid the afternoon crash and end of the workday slump.
Eat This! Tip: Use your smartphone or computer to remind you of these intervals. Some go-to healthy snack ideas include:
- Apple with peanut butter
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Get Rid Of Constipation Fast At Home Long
If you have a little bit of time, you can try a laxative the night before.
The two most commonly used, natural laxatives include senna leaves and isabgol.
Senna leaves work by contracting the colon, so your waste moves.
Isabgol adds more mass to push your waste. Isabgol side effects can be painful so itss better to find an alternate.
Both are certified safe in small quantities, but will only provide temporary relief.
If you are looking to get rid of constipation at home, permanently, you may want to start by reading this guide.
Is your stomach
Changing The Gut Microbiota
Constipated people have more firmicutes, a group of gut bacteria that can absorb more calories from food than other groups. Whereas, regular gut movement tends to breed more of other gut bacteria groups, including bacteroidetes and actinobacteria.
When the stool stays longer in your large intestine, the gut bacteria has more time to extract more calories from the gut content. Therefore, if your goal is to lose weight or stay lean, it is important to restore regularity.
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What Else Can Cause Bloating
Constipation isnt the only bloating cause. There are many contributing factors that can lead to a buildup of excess gas in your digestive tract. These include:
- Intestinal bacteria. Sometimes bacteria cant break down all the excess carbohydrates in the stomach and small intestine. When the undigested carbohydrates reach the large intestine, the bacteria located there release excess air.
- Medical conditions. Several medical conditions can increase the occurrence of bloating. These include irritable bowel syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux disease, lactose intolerance, and celiac disease.
- Swallowing excess air. Swallowing too much air by chewing gum, drinking carbonated drinks, eating or drinking very quickly, or even wearing loose-fitting dentures can increase the amount of air building up in your gastrointestinal tract.
In addition to these bloating causes, there are many foods known to contribute to bloating:
While you dont need to avoid all of these foods , avoiding consuming an excess of them can help.
You can also try reducing your intake of certain groupings to see if your symptoms improve.
You should talk with your doctor or other healthcare provider about your constipation and constipation-related bloating if you have the following symptoms:
- frequent bouts of constipation
- sudden changes in constipation symptoms
- unexplained weight loss
Your healthcare provider will be able to recommend different treatments that can help you address your specific symptoms.
Try This Abdominal Massage For Belly Bloat
Abdominal massage can encourage your bowels to get moving. You should specifically focus on massaging the path of your large intestine.
Follow these steps:
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Supplements To Try For Bloating Relief
There are supplements worth trying to reduce your symptoms.
- Potassium: Potassium helps to regulate fluid balance and muscle contractions in your body. It also buffers sodium levels to reduce water retention.
- Chicken bone broth is a great natural source of potassium with 8% of your recommended daily intake per cup.
- Magnesium: Research shows that magnesium improves mood, reduces water retention in women suffering from premenstrual syndrome .
- Ginger: Not necessarily a supplement. Ginger gets things moving in your GI tract so that you can digest food properly. You can eat ginger or consume ginger tea.
Coeliac Disease And Bloating
Coeliac disease is a common digestive condition where your intestine cannot absorb gluten found in wheat, barley and rye.
If you have Coeliac disease, eating foods containing gluten can also trigger diarrhoea, abdominal pain and fatigue.
See your GP if you suspect you may have Coeliac disease.
There is no cure for Coeliac disease but, once the condition has been diagnosed, switching to a gluten-free diet should help.
Find out more about Coeliac disease.
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What Causes Bloating And Constipation
Before deciding what to take for constipation and bloating, you need to find out what causes bloating and constipation in your body. While taking medicine for bloating and constipation can provide bloating and constipation relief, it may not treat the reason for these. To avoid chronic constipation and bloating that can become severe, you must address the source of the problem.
Bloating and constipation can be caused by different reasons, each may need a completely different treatment. The tables below show the most common causes of bloating and constipation. We also included the suggested bloating and constipation treatment.
See if these common causes of bloating and constipation apply to you. You can also click on the links to the topics you wish to learn more about.
Important: chronic constipation and bloating may also be caused by an underlying medical condition. If after reading these causes of bloating and constipation you are unsure what is causing your bloating and constipation issues, we highly suggest that you consult your doctor.
Take Essential Oils Like Peppermint Oil Capsules
Peppermint is an ancient remedy for digestive related problems including gas and indigestion.
Peppermint oil helps to relax your intestinal muscles. It will reduce spasms in these muscles which allows for food, water, gas and stool to move efficiently through your digestive tract .
Peppermint oil is also used to treat irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. .
Word of caution: if you have heartburn, do not take peppermint oil.
Peppermint oil can be found over the counter at most pharmacies and grocery stores.
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Make Time To Move Your Bowels
Try waking up earlier to eat breakfast and then move yourbowels. Food can stimulate the need to go, and you probably feel most relaxedin your home bathroom.
But dont get toorelaxed in there the more time you spend on the toilet, the more likely you areto strain for bowel movements. Do not take your cell phone into the bathroomwith you, or work on your computer or read a book, Dr. Zutshi advises.
And if you feel the urge to go when youre out an about,dont avoid using a public restroom. Delaying a bowel movement can actuallymake constipation worse.
Ways To Relieve Constipation Quickly And How To Prevent It
- Over the counter laxatives and stool softeners can relieve constipation
- and water like fruit, leafy greens, and prunes can help relieve constipation.
- Drinking lots of water and having a cup of coffee can also help relieve constipation.
Symptoms include dry, hard stools that are difficult to pass, feel uncomfortably full, and the constant feeling that you havenât fully emptied your bowels even after going to the bathroom.
âIncreasing fiber intake can help with constipation as fiber helps move food through the digestive system,â says Ayana Davis, MS, a registered dietitian nutritionist at the UCSF Cancer Center and the owner of Ayana Davis Nutrition.
You can try easily available over-the-counter laxatives for immediate constipation relief, such as stool softeners and fiber supplements. You can also encourage a bowel movement by elevating your feet on a stool.
Here are the foods you should consume and avoid and the laxatives you can take when youâre constipated.
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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:
Get Rid Bloated Stomach With Probiotics
The gut microbes play an important in maintaining a healthy digestive tract. The beneficial microbe prevents the colonization of harmful bacteria and can cause abdominal discomfort, cramps, and bloating.
Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus reuteri, and Saccharomyces boulardii maintain healthy gut microbiota and reduce gas production.
At home, you can find yogurt and buttermilk, which support gut health and helps in relieving gas, and supports digestion.
Yogurt and buttermilk are composed of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, which prevents the sticking of harmful bacteria to the gut. Both yogurt and buttermilk are easily digestible.
HOW TO USE
Consume yogurt or buttermilk as it is, and you can also find sachets of probiotics from a pharmacy. The sachets can be dissolved in water to drink.
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Rule Out Medical Conditions
In some cases, bloating may result from a medical condition. To get rid of this bloating, a person may need help from a doctor to diagnose and manage their condition.
Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis, may cause people to experience bloating. Irritable bowel syndrome , can also cause this symptom.
People with these symptoms should discuss them with a doctor, who will also want to know about any relevant family medical history and other medical conditions. The doctor may order diagnostic tests to look for any problems. These may include an X-ray, ultrasound, colonoscopy, or blood tests.
Probiotics For Gas And Bloating
Probiotics may also help aid digestion and reduce excessive gas. Probiotics are live microorganisms, mostly âgoodâ bacteria, similar to the bacteria found in the human gut. Theyâre available as dietary supplements, but Lemond notes that a number of foods also have natural probiotics, including:
And according to a review published in March 2015 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, patients with irritable bowel syndrome have experienced improvement in bloating and flatulence when taking probiotics.
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A More Serious Condition Such As Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a common condition that causes abdominal pain with bloating, diarrhea or constipation. The cause of IBS is unknown, but it may be brought on by certain triggers, including:
- Bacterial infections
- Food sensitivity
- Stressful events
If you think you may have IBS, reach out to your doctor for an evaluation. Many times, lifestyle modifications and medicines can help ease symptoms. You may also try some at-home techniques to relieve your bloating.
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Why Does Ibs Make My Belly Swell
Studies show that excessive gas is responsible for about 25% of the bloating associated with IBS and other functional gastrointestinal disorders.
Several underlying mechanisms are being investigated as possible causes of IBS bloating. It’s possible that many of them are interrelated.
Some possible underlying mechanisms include:
- Disruption of the brain-gut axis: A complex interaction between the brain and gut bacteria suggests that psychological stress can impact the balance of bacteria and vice versa.
- Increased intestinal permeability : Improper function of the intestinal lining may allow bacteria and small molecules of partially digested food to leave the digestive system, trigger inflammation, and interfere with the balance of gut bacteria.
- Intestinal immune activation: Low-grade inflammation may be due in part to abnormal activity of the immune system.
- Visceral hypersensitivity: People with this problem tend to feel bloated and have other symptoms when the digestive system is only mildly irritated. It usually occurs without distension.
- Gastrointestinal dysmotility : This causes gas to get trapped in the first and middle parts of the colon.
- Impaired abdominal wall response to pressure: This occurs with chronic bloating and distension, as the reaction of the diaphragm and abdominal wall muscles to pressure from gas is the opposite of what it should be.
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How Common Is Stomach Bloating
Between 10% and 25% of otherwise healthy people complain of occasional abdominal bloating. As many as 75% describe their symptoms as moderate to severe. About 10% say they experience it regularly. Among those diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome , it may be as much as 90%. Up to 75% of women experience bloating before and during their period. Only 50% of people who experience bloating also report a distended abdomen.
Minimise Or Treat Constipation
Constipation is a major trigger of bloating.
Hard stools in the digestive tract are believed to increase the diameter of the rectum, which slows down movement of food and gas through the digestive tract .
Constipation may also increase fermentation of carbohydrates in the gut, which can produce gas and further increase bloating. In fact, bloating is the number one symptom of constipation-dominant IBS, or IBS-C .
Regular bowel movements is the solution of course.
Drinking adequate fluids, exercising more, and eating low FODMAP fiber sources are some of the strategies that help you to stay regular.
Summary: Constipation is believed to contribute to bloating, either by slowing clearance of gas from the digestive tract or by increasing fermentation of carbohydrates. For many, treating constipation will fix bloating issues too.
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Side Effects Of Abdominal Bloating
Some of the side effects and complications of a bloated abdomen that call for immediate medical attention include:
- A pain or pressure in the chest
- Breathing difficulty
- Vomiting blood or some black substance
- Severe and intolerable abdominal pain
- Rapid pulse
- Signs of jaundice such as yellow skin or eyes
Abdominal bloating is characterized by enlarged stomach tissues due to indigestion, constipation, medications such as antacids, aspirin, opioid painkillers, and lactose intolerance. In addition, symptoms like stomach pains, recurrent burping or belching, rumbles, tight and full stomach, and gurgles from within the abdomen can be seen in abdominal bloating. Though most cases of this condition are not of much concern, it can point to an underlying medical condition in some cases. If you experience any of the above side effects, visit your doctor immediately. However, you can try out the home remedies mentioned in the article for a mild to moderate case of bloated stomach.
Only Drink Water Or Tea
When people are bloated, they tend to skimp on water because they think it will make their bloating worse. Since water retention is the bodyâs way of holding onto fluid so it doesnât dehydrate, the opposite is true. Drinking lots of water signals the body that it no longer needs to hold onto every last drop to stay hydrated. âFluids, specifically water, are absolutely key for optimal digestion,â says Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN, registered dietitian and founder of Isabel Smith Nutrition.
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