Bloating Distended Abdomen Feeling Of Fullness: Causes And How To Prevent It
A feeling of fullness after eating is not uncommon. According to the motto: Full, fuller, feeling of fullness, sumptuous meals can lead to the unpleasant discomfort as a distended abdomen.
However, a constant feeling of fullness and a fat belly can possibly also indicate complications that should be taken seriously, such as reduced mobility of the stomach or a bile outflow disorder.
If the complaints last longer, are very pronounced or are accompanied by other symptoms, an examination by a doctor makes sense. In the treatment, doctors & patients rely in particular on changes in lifestyle and probiotics.
The most important facts in brief:
- Bloating can occur in conjunction with flatulence, nausea, diarrhea and constipation.
- Often, there are harmless causes behind distended abdomen, such as unfavorable eating habits or an incorrect colonization in the intestinal flora.
- The underlying cause must be eliminated, for example by changes in lifestyle and treatment of an underlying disease.
- Proven home remedies include caraway seeds, abdominal massages and apple cider vinegar.
- Probiotics can help counteract bloating.
Greasy Or Fried Foods
Foods high in fat like those that are fried or greasy, can wreak havoc on your GI tract. Fats take longer to digest, which means food stays in your GI tract longer.
When we eat foods super high in fat like fried chicken or a greasy slice of pizza, it can really slow down the digestive process in our guts.
When this happens, the food and subsequent build-up of gas take longer to pass through, as explained by the Cleveland Clinic. This can leave you feeling bloated and uncomfortable.
Bloating : Why You Feel Bloated
Bloating, gassiness, and abdominal discomfort arenât limited to the occasional holiday feast. One in 10 Americans say they suffer from bloating regularly, even when they havenât eaten a large meal. In some cases, bloating can become severe enough that it causes distention, or a perceptible swelling of the abdomen. Bloating and gas are usually tied to what and how you eat, so a few simple changes may help.
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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.
Dont Eat Foods That Give You Gas
Some high-fiber foods can make people produce large amounts of gas.
Major players include legumes like beans and lentils, as well as some whole grains.
Try keeping a food diary to figure out if certain foods tend to make you more gassy or bloated than others.
Fatty foods can also slow down digestion and the emptying of the stomach. This can have benefits for satiety , but can be a problem for people with a tendency to bloat.
Try eating less beans and fatty foods to see if it helps. Also, check out this article on 13 foods that cause bloating.
If certain foods make you feel bloated or give you gas, try cutting back or avoiding them. Eating fatty foods can also slow digestion and may contribute to bloating for some people.
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What Causes Gas After Eating
Feeling like your belly is fit to burst or experiencing bad gas after eating is unpleasant, but understanding the cause could help to prevent it.
Digestive distress is an unpleasant symptom of bloating. Picture it: youve finished eating and your stomach feels full to bursting point, or youve got so much gas after eating anything that you dont know what to do with yourself.
Although a little tooting here and there can be humorous, too much of it can be painful. In fact, severe symptoms can really take it out of us. For example, dealing with cramping and pain can lead to fatigue, greatly impacting on our personal and social lives.
If that wasnt enough, excessive gas production from your rear end can be continuous, making it pretty difficult to go to work or socialise. Alternatively, the stench could leave you feeling horrified with yourself! But there could be several explanations for its occurrence.
Does rice expand in your stomach? No. If you cook your rice before eating it, it should be soft and chewy because it has absorbed all the moisture it can.
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.
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HOW MUCH FOOD IS TOO MUCH FOOD FOR MEN AND WOMEN?
If youre thinking men can, well, stomach more food than women, not really. The stomach capacity of women appear to be similar to that of men, said Dr Gwee.
The adult stomach, when it is contracted, has a volume of only 75ml, he said. But the stomach can expand to as much as four litres. Furthermore, it has been found that people who are used to binge eating may have a bigger stomach capacity than those who are not.
Maximum capacity aside, bloat can also be determined by how sensitive your stomach is. Some people feel bloated with a little food, but some will not feel bloated even with a lot of food, said Dr Siah.
LACTOSE INTOLERANCE ADDS TO THE BLOAT
As much as 90 per cent of Singaporeans may have varying degrees of lactose intolerance. This is a situation when we may feel bloated, nauseous, and could even experience abdominal pain, diarrhoea and flatulence, said Dr Gwee.
That is a lot of people feeling gassy on a regular day because which Singaporean doesnt love his or her kopi, teh tarik, bubble milk tea or ice cream? Even if youre one of the lucky few who can tolerate milk and cheese, feasting on large amounts of dairy-laden Christmas food and drinks might induce lactose intolerance. And yes, you can even develop it later in life.
RUSHING WORK BEFORE THE YEAR-END HOLIDAYS ALSO LEADS TO BLOAT
EAT SLOWER, DONT WOLF DOWN YOUR FOOD
HOW TO FEEL BETTER FROM THE BLOAT
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.
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Tips On How To Stop Bloating After Eating
If you want to learn how to stop bloating after eating, this article will show you tricks you can use right now to debloat and prevent bloating in the future.
Being bloated sucks! A bloated belly doesnt just make us feel uneasy, it can be a confidence killer, especially in social situations.
Most times, bloating is caused by eating certain foods, but stress, hormonal imbalance, PMS, and poor digestive health can also cause a belly bloat.
If you want to stop bloating for good, the best thing is to take preventive measures. But before we look into that, heres how you can fix a bloated belly.
Bloating: Causes And Prevention Tips
How often do you hear yourself or friends complain about bloating? We often just say were 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 percent of women.
Linda Lee, M.D., explains common causes of bloating and what you can do to prevent this uncomfortable condition.
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How To Avoid Bloating After Eating Fruit
Aside from limiting or avoiding fruits that are high in fructose, here are some tips to help prevent bloating after eating fruit:
If you limit or avoid fruit and the discomfort continues, Dr. Sonpal said to make sure to speak with your primary doctor or gastroenterologist to determine what foods or lifestyle choices could be causing this uncomfortable issue. You definitely shouldn’t live in pain or discomfort!
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Matthew Kelly
Microbiotics Are A Good Idea When You Feel Bloated
There are numerous helpers in the intestine. The intestinal bacteria are of particular importance. There are good and bad representatives of these in the digestive tract. As long as the good bacteria have the upper hand, well-being is assured.
If this delicate balance is upset by medication, stress, illness or unfavorable living conditions, numerous complaints can result. These include bloating, flatulence and nausea.
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Put Away The Salt Shaker
By now, you know that eating too much salt can cause a slew of long-term health problems, including high blood pressure. In the short term, an extra salty meal may lead to water retention, which causes bloating.
Dont Overdo It On Fiber
While there are numerous health benefits to adding fiber to your diet, its a good idea not to eat too much at once.
Spreading out your fiber intake throughout the day can help prevent bloating after eating, says Acharya.
Theres some science to back that up: One study found that a reduced-fiber diet helped relieve bloating in people with idiopathic constipation.
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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.
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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Using Milk Alternatives With Carrageenan In It
Well, heres something you may not know. Many people switch from dairy milk because of lactose intolerance, but they choose soy milk or other alternative varieties with carrageenan. What is carrageenan? Well, its a thickening agent that can cause you to bloat and have digestion issues.
There are many alternatives to dairy products on the market these days, and most of these products are good. However, you need to make sure you read the labels as you may be sensitive to carrageenan.
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.
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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.
Food Allergies And Intolerances
Researchers estimate that 15 million people in the U.S. are living with a food allergy. In total, 1 in 5 Americans face food allergies or intolerances. When you eat something you’re either allergic to or have an intolerance to, your body releases histamines, compounds that help tame allergy symptoms. The higher concentration of histamines causes your digestive system to produce more gastric acid and increase smooth muscle contractions, and these changes can equal some uncomfortable symptoms, including indigestion and bloating.
How to Prevent It: The only real way to know if you have a food allergy or intolerance is to talk with your doctor. They may order a series of tests to check for allergies or signs of sensitivity to specific foods. These issues cannot be self diagnosed, and you may end up eliminating foods that are healthy and entirely safe for you to eat if you try. Keep a food diary if you suspect food is your bloating culprit. A food diary will help you and your doctor eliminate possible problem foods and identify a list of troublesome options quickly.
“It might seem hard to narrow down the culprit, but the more information you can gather about your reactions to different foods and circumstances, the better idea you’ll have as to what triggers your symptoms,” says Josh Axe, D.N.M., C.N.S., D.C., founder of Ancient Nutrition.
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Ease Into A Yoga Pose
Once the dessert is cleared, find some space to give your body a nice stretch. Gentle yoga poses like Childs pose or Cat/Cow can help relieve abdominal discomfort associated with bloating, Doyle says. Hold each pose for five deep breaths , and continue repeating until you feel some relief, she says. Allow your belly to expand fully with each inhale, Doyle says. This helps to activate your bodys parasympathetic nervous system, or rest and digest mode, which is calming and will allow you to better digest your food.
How To Prevent Bloating After Eating
Weve all experienced an uncomfortably full tummy.
There are lots of things that can contribute to this bloating. Happily, theres also a lot you can do about it.
You may find the feeling of bloating passes after youve had time to digest a big meal. Or your bloating may be persistent and severeleading to stomach pain, gas and nausea.
As well as following a meal, bloating can gradually get worse towards the end of the day. Up to 50% of people who complain of bloating find that it causes their tummy to stick out .
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Tip #: Wear Lose Fitting Clothes When Bloated After Eating
Clothes that are too tight won’t benefit you! They’ll be physically uncomfortable and they can contribute to that mental discomfort and feeling like you’re judging your body for doing it’s normal digestion duties. I have a rule of thumb for clothes shopping that if I couldn’t be comfortable in an outfit after eating a large meal, I don’t buy it! Give those gas bubbles some room to move around. That way you can pass them and feel LESS full and bloated!
Feeling Bloated After Eating Only A Small Meal: What To Do
1. See a Doctor for Clear Diagnosis
If you consistently find you are feeling bloated after eating a small meal, your first step should always be to consult your doctor. He or she will listen to your symptoms, and may then refer you for further tests which might include physical examinations and blood testing. Depending on your personal history and symptoms, they may also refer you for some or all of the following:
- UGI, which is an upper gastrointestinal series of X-rays
- Endoscopy, which will allow your physician to view your digestive tract via a small camera
- Abdominal ultrasound, which is a form of non-invasive medical imaging
- Stool test to check for the presence of blood and rule out an intestinal bleeding
- Gastric emptying scintigraphy, which will allow your physician or radiologist to see how fast food passes your stomach
- Smart pill, an ingestible capsule which traces gastrointestinal motility
- A gastric emptying breath test to measure the speed at which your stomach empties
2. Treat Underlying Causes
3. Try Some Home Remedies
Feeling bloated after eating only a small meal can be very uncomfortable. After consulting your doctor, you can try these home remedies to relieve your symptoms.
- Fennel Seeds: You can chew on fennel seeds or add them to hot water . This is a highly effective way to relax muscle spasms in the digestive tract.
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