Why Is My Stomach Bloated
The most common cause of stomach pain and bloating is excess intestinal gas. If you get a bloated stomach after eating, it may be a digestive issue. It might be as simple as eating too much too fast, or you could have a food intolerance or other condition that causes gas and digestive contents to build up. Your menstrual cycle is another common cause of temporary bloating. Sometimes a bloated stomach can indicate a more serious medical condition.
When Gas Is A Symptom Of Something Else
If excessive gas is persistent or severe, consult your doctor it could be a sign of a more serious digestive condition, such as:
- Lactose intolerance This is the inability to digest lactose, the sugar found in milk and milk products. I test with a milk challenge, says Bickston. The patient drinks a pint or two of milk it can be any percent fat. What follows tells the patients whether they should limit their milk intake. If avoiding milk reduces your symptoms you may be lactose intolerant.
- Irritable bowel syndrome Patients who meet the diagnostic checklist for irritable bowel syndrome suffer more pain at the lower levels of the abdominal cavity, he says.
- Colon cancer Excess gas is rarely the main symptom of patients with colon cancer, Bickston notes. But it does trigger my reflex to remind patients to get screened for colorectal cancer.
- Upper gastrointestinal disorders Occasional belching is normal, but frequent belching may be a sign of an upper gastrointestinal disorder. These include peptic ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease , or gastroparesis, also called delayed gastric emptying.
Also, warns Bickston, if you’ve had abdominal surgery, a hernia, or significant weight loss or weight gain, never dismiss your gas-like symptoms as normal. Get them checked out.
As annoying as it might be, some gas is a natural by-product of the bodys digestive system. But if your gas is excessive, painful, or chronic, talk to your doctor about possible causes and remedies.
Can Certain Diets Help With Ibd
IBD treatment is aimed at healing any damage that has happened to the gut and improving IBD symptoms. Today, IBD is usually treated with drugs that reduce inflammation. In serious cases, surgery may be performed to remove areas of the gut that are damaged. However, researchers are now studying how certain diets can treat IBD.2
Researchers reviewed many different diets to see which is the most effective. They found that an exclusion diet tailored to each person was the most helpful. If you would like to try an exclusion diet, it is best to work with a dietitian or nutritionist. They will make sure that you are still eating enough vitamins and nutrients.
This diet begins with eating only those foods that do not trigger IBD symptoms. As time goes on, new foods are introduced. If any new food triggers symptoms, it will be removed from the diet.2
The exclusion diet is beneficial because it is specific for every person. However, some people find that it can be too restrictive. An IBD specialist or nutritionist can help you alter your diet so it works best for you.2
There are non-dietary strategies that may be helpful as well. Staying active by taking short walks throughout the day or exercising can help you digest and move gas through the intestines. Massaging your stomach from right to left may also release any air that is trapped there, relieving bloating.1
If you have more questions about IBD or would like to try a change in your diet, speak to your doctor or nutritionist.1
Don’t Miss: Are Peaches Bad For Heartburn
How I Do I Know If My Wind Burping Flatulence And Bloating Is Normal
The average person breaks wind up to 40 times a day. Anything less than this is normal. Often people believe that they have excessive flatus is because an embarrassing incident like a loud or smelly fart in public has led to the belief that something is wrong. However, if these events are severe, ongoing, troublesome or if you are worried about them you should discuss your concerns with your doctor.
In addition, if you develop burping associated with chest discomfort, especially discomfort associated with exertion, or if you have difficulties in swallowing you should seek medical advice.
If bloating is persistent or associated with weight loss, abdominal pain or diarrhoea you should see your doctor as it can be a symptoms of more serious bowel conditions.
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.
Read Also: What Foods Stop Leaky Gut
What Is Bloating What Does Feeling Bloated Mean
Why am I so bloated? Abdominal bloating or “feeling bloated” is a very frequent and familiar symptom most people have experienced at some time in their lives. There are many reasons you may feel bloated. Most causes are simple, harmless, and easily treatable with over-the-counter or home remedies. Very rarely, abdominal bloating is caused by something more serious, leading to a rapid worsening of uncomfortable symptoms.
The definition of “bloated” is swelling or distension, and it usually refers to abdominal bloating, which is a distended belly. Bloating may be accompanied by burping , gas , abdominal discomfort, and a feeling of fullness. People sometimes refer to abdominal bloating as a “bloated stomach” or “bloated belly.”
When To See A Doctor About Excessive Gas
Excessive gas treatment ultimately comes down to trying to figure out whats actually behind all that burping and farting. In the case of a potential food sensitivity or allergy, an underlying gastrointestinal condition, or anxiety, its often helpful to get a doctors input to help you get to the root of your issue, Dr. Farhadi says.
If you feel like your gas is excessive, youve noticed an overall change in your digestive habits, your flatulence comes with other symptoms , or youre anxious about whether or not something is normal, its always worth checking in with a doctor who can help put your mindand your gutat ease. Ditto if it feels like excess gas is interfering with your life, like youre nervous to be in a car or room with someone else over fears that youll accidentally let one fly, Dr. Farhadi says.
Finally, know that gassiness is a normal part of life. Its a good time to remind you that passing gas is healthy, so if your belches and farts arent excessive, this might not be something you need to worry about. Its normal to expel about one to four pints of gas per day! So try to think of any lingering awkwardness as a sign that your digestive processes are humming along. Its important to understand that farting is normal, Dr. Balzora reiterates. But it shouldnt be ignored if youre having other symptoms.
Also Check: Can Align Probiotic Cause Nausea
You Ate Gassy Foods The Night Before
That big bowl of salad you ate for dinner last night could be bringing on your morning bloat and gas.
Gas-inducing foods such as beans, legumes, cauliflower and cabbage contain a lot of fiber and FODMAPs , which get fermented by gut microbes to make CO2, methane and other gases that give you digestive discomfort, Dr. Sharma says.
Spicy foods can make you fart too. Too much spiciness triggers gut motility, making you pass more gas, Dr. Sharma says.
âFix it:â To prevent painful morning gas, limit gas-inducing foods and drink lots of water, Dr. Sharma says. Taking probiotics is also helpful, he adds.
When your morning belly bloat is in full swing, you can turn to over-the-counter medications like simethicone â found in products like Gas-X â to decrease the discomfort caused by excessive gas, Dr. Sharma says. And check out six other natural remedies for gas.
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.
| Related: The Top 5 Vitamins You Need for Constipation Relief |
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.
Also Check: What To Take For Bloated Stomach
Conditions That Can Worsen Flatulence
Underlying health conditions: Some chronic conditions can cause flatulence, for example, Crohnâs disease, ulcerative colitis, or diverticulitis. Some types of cancer can lead to a blockage in the intestines. Anyone who experiences a sudden or worsening increase in flatulence should see a doctor.
Gallbladder problems: Gallstones and cholecystitis can cause additional gas.
Constipation: Feces can make it harder to expel excess gas, resulting in further accumulation and discomfort.
Gastroenteritis and other intestinal infections: A viral, bacterial, or parasitic infection of the digestive system, or food poisoning, can cause a buildup of gas. Examples include Escherichia coli infection, amebiasis, and giardiasis.
Antibiotics: These can upset the normal intestinal flora, or bacterial flora, in the gut, leading to flatulence.
Laxatives: Regular and excessive use of laxatives can increase the risk of developing flatulence.
If there are signs of poisoning or a blockage, or if there is blood in the feces, urgent medical attention is needed.
Flatulence is not usually a serious problem. In most cases, a change in lifestyle and diet is all that is needed.
How Much Gas Is Normal
When it comes to passing gas, its hard to define what, exactly, normal means, , board-certified internal medicine physician at Parsley Health New York, says. Because it varies so much from person to person, it makes more sense to think about whats not normal.
When you start to feel discomfort in your abdomen. When you feel bloatedmany people describe looking like theyre pregnant. Thats abnormal, Taw explains. Occasional flatulence is normal to have, but if you feel uncomfortable in your belly or have very stinky farts, that shows that theres something going on with your digestion. A change in your bowel habits can also signal that something is amiss. If youre having constipation or frequent loose stools, those are abnormal signs, says Taw. If youre particularly gassy after meals, thats also a good indication that somethings off with your digestion.
Recommended Reading: What’s Good For Bloating And Gas
What Causes Wind Gas And Bloating
Everybody has gas-related symptoms from time to time. In most cases, this is part of the natural working of the body and the symptoms soon pass. Some people complain they are feeling bloated all the time. As mentioned above, people are occasionally sensitive to normal amounts of gas in the tummy. The reasons for this are not entirely clear.
There are some conditions associated with larger than normal amounts of gas in the tummy:
Dont Miss:How To Treat Bad Stomach Pain
Behaviors Food Choices And Activity
Eating behaviors and other habits such as gum chewing, gulping foods and drinking with eating can cause us to swallow air. Bulky foods such as lettuce, cabbage, and dense breads not chewed into small enough pieces increase swallowed air.
Typically, swallowed air contains oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide. It tends to not have a foul smell, but it does contribute to the discomfort associated with gas.
People vary widely in how sensitive they are to gas production. Keeping a food record to document incidences of gas in relation to foods eaten can shed light on whether food or behavior may be aggravating the situation.
Also Check: What Is The Best Probiotic On The Market
What Is Gas In The Digestive Tract
Gas in the digestive tract is created from:
The breakdown of certain foods by the bacteria present in the colon
Everyone has gas. It may be uncomfortable and embarrassing, but it is not life-threatening. Gas is eliminated by burping or passing it through the rectum. Most people produce about 1 to 4 pints of gas a day and pass gas about 14 times a day.
Most gas is made up of odorless vapors–carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, and sometimes methane. Bacteria in the large intestine release gases that contain sulfur and produce an unpleasant odor of flatulence.
Eat Foods That Reduce Bloating
You can do more with your eating habits than just avoiding foods that cause bloating. You can also eat with purpose! Make it a point to include bloat-reducing foods in your diet, such as
ginger, lemons, avocado, pumpkin, coconut, leafy green vegetables, berries , sweet potatoes, dark chocolate, and cucumbers.
These foods offer various benefits that can help regulate fluid retention and banish bloating. Berries are a great source of fiber, which enhance your gut health and help to soften your poop.5 Cucumbers are about 95% water, which also helps your body stay hydrated and keeps the digestive system moving.6
Bloating is common, however, it doesnt have to be your reality. Treating the root cause of your bloating can get you on the path to optimal digestive health. It could be as easy as changing your diet or you may have to put in the work to heal your gut infections. My No. 1 tool to support gut health is Leaky Gut Revive®. Regardless of what the cause of bloating is, you can take steps to reduce it.
Read Also: How To Survive Ib Junior Year
How Can I Reduce Bloating And Gas After Eating
Gut gas is normal and healthy, especially after eating lots of fibrous plant-based foods or a large meal. And many of us suffer from trapped wind or feeling bloated from time to time.
If feeling bloated and gassy after eating is bothering you, there are some things that you can try.
- Let it out! Holding in gas can cause pain and discomfort. Find ways to relax and let it out
- Gentle exercise like walking or yoga is also a good way of getting things moving through your gut
- Avoid taking in air when you eat by having smaller meals and eating more slowly
- Cut down on fizzy drinks and chewing gum, especially if itâs sugar-free
- Try using a food diary to spot likely triggers for gas and bloating
As a reminder, if you experience persistent bloating or pains that cannot be explained by a change in your diet or circumstances , you should speak to your physician. You should also speak with a health professional if youâre concerned that you might have a food allergy/intolerance or be sensitive to FODMAP foods.
Waking Up Gassy Here’s What Your Body’s Trying To Tell You
After a night of shut-eye, it’s not uncommon to wake up with a big gust of morning wind. After all, your body’s ready to release all the stored gas it built up overnight.
Video of the Day
But if you always start the day playing the butt trumpet, you might be wondering, âWhy am I so gassy in the morning?â While flatulence is a fact of life, frequent or excessive farts in the a.m. could be a sign that something’s going on in your gut.
Here, Rajiv Sharma, MD, an Indiana-based integrative gastroenterologist and author of âPursuit of Gut Happinessââ,â shares the seven most common causes of gas in the morning, plus what you can do to stop cutting the cheese at sunrise.
If you experience frequent vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty swallowing, unintended weight loss or sharp belly pain, or your stool floats, has a foul odor, is tough to flush or contains blood, see your doctor immediately as these can all be symptoms of a serious medical condition, Dr. Sharma says.
You May Like: What Does Ibs Mean In Slang
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.
What To Do About Excessive Gas
First things first: Go back to that first phase of digestion, says Taw. Make sure youre chewing your food well. She also suggests trying a supplemental digestive enzyme, which can help break down certain foods. If youve recently increased your fiber intake, try reducing it and see if that helps.
Managing stress and exercising regularly can be helpful, too. Stress is a major inhibitor of proper digestion, says Taw. When were in a state of stress, its not a priority for our bodies to spend energy digesting, so that can lead to digestive symptoms like gas and bloating and changes in bowel movements. Exercising is a great antidote for stress, and also just helps promote regular digestion, says Taw. And make sure youre . Drinking plenty of water is important for digestion. It does help to flush things through, says Taw.
An elimination diet can help rule out food sensitivities and lactose intolerance. We do it by removing many different foods, and then we reintroduce them one at a time, she explains. When eliminating dairy, the effect can be pretty immediate. Within a few days youll notice a decrease in gas if you have lactose intolerance.
If those things dont help, your doctor can test you for conditions like SIBO, yeast overgrowth, and underlying infections that could be causing your gassiness. By figuring out the root cause, you can receive the right treatment plan and finally get your gas under control.
Don’t Miss: Can Probiotics Cause Brain Fog