What Is A Low
FODMAP is an acronym for a certain class of carbohydrates, called fermentable short-chain carbohydrates, which are more difficult for people to digest. The low-FODMAP diet temporarily restricts these carbohydrates in order to relieve uncomfortable symptoms and give your digestive system a rest. Removing irritants gives your gut lining a chance to repair itself and can help restore a healthy balance of gut flora. If your symptoms improve, you can use the low-FODMAP diet to figure out which foods to limit in the future.
How To Treat Stomach Pain And Bloating
Simple abdominal bloating without symptoms of concern may respond well to self-care at home. Some things you can try include:
- Drink more water. Increasing your fluid intake can flush your system and help with conditions such as constipation.
- Simplify your diet. Avoiding spicy foods in favor of more bland ones, like rice, applesauce, and toast, can alleviate stomach and GI troubles that cause bloating, like diarrhea, and minimize flares from conditions like Crohn’s disease. Avoid foods that you may not tolerate well, such as gluten or dairy.
- Consider medications. If gas is causing you to bloat, digestive enzymes or simethicone medicines , may help. If you have pain in. your abdomen, avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or aspirin until your physician has ruled out a stomach condition like an ulcer. These drugs could increase bleeding.
Food Triggers For Bloating
Certain foods can trigger bloating, usually because of over fermentation, or because your body is having difficulty breaking them down.
Fermentable foods: Foods that we cannot fully break down ourselves, and instead broken down/fermented by our gut bacteria can lead to bloating, because gas production is a byproduct of this. This is a normal process, but it can cause abnormal bloating and gas if you have a bacterial overgrowth, have slow motility , or bacterial imbalances. The most common food triggers for bloating and gas are high FODMAP foods and some carbohydrates and sugars.
Raw vegetables can be harder to digest for those with gut dysfunction as they contain a high amount of insoluble fiber and are just more difficult to break down. This can lead to bloating, gas, cramping, and changes to your bowel movements. If youre having difficulty with raw vegetables, you may not be producing enough digestive enzymes, or have imbalances in your gut bacteria that need to be addressed.
Red meat can be difficult to digest in some cases. Usually if it is in large chunks, contains a lot of fat, or is not chewed properly. It sits in the stomach longer, slowing down the transit of other foods. This leads to gas building up, resulting in wind and bloating. Again, this is usually linked to your bodys digestive fire, or you have overgrowth of bacteria in your gut impacting things like stomach acidity.
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Natural And Home Remedies For Bloating And Gas Relief
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.
You can try natural remedies to relieve bloating and gas.
Talk with your doctor or other health care professional before using any natural or home remedies because they may have unwanted side effects or interactions with medications you currently take.
How To Get Rid Of Gas
Often, your gas is caused by what you eat. Food is digested primarily in your small intestine. What is left undigested is fermented in your colon with bacteria, fungi, and yeast, as part of digestion. This process produces methane and hydrogen, which are expelled as flatus.
For many people, changing dietary habits is enough to alleviate gas and its accompanying symptoms. One way to determine which foods are giving you gas is by keeping a food diary. Common culprits include:
- foods with high fat content
- fried or spicy food
- artificial ingredients commonly found in low-carbohydrate and sugar-free products, such as sugar alcohol, sorbitol, and maltitol
- beans and lentils
- cruciferous vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli
- prunes or prune juice
- foods containing lactose, such as milk, cheese, and other dairy products
- fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols molecules found in a wide range of foods, such as garlic and onion, that may be hard to digest
- over-the-counter fiber drinks and supplements
Once you figure out what food is causing the gas, you can modify your diet to avoid the culprit.
If changing your diet doesnt completely do the trick, you have several options to try.
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When To See A Doctor
You may need medical assistance if bloating and flatulence persist for days or weeks, despite proper dietary and lifestyle modifications.
If your stomach feels unusually heavy, full, and tight for a prolonged period and the problem fails to subside even after adopting a healthy lifestyle and good food habits, it can be a warning bell for some major health disorders, such as:
- Kidney ailments
- Some type of cancers
Moreover, you should visit your doctor if the gassy issues are accompanied by other serious symptoms such as:
- Fluctuating appetite, feeling more or less hungry than usual
- Stools that are dark red or maroon in color
- Is it natural to have some amount of bloating and flatulence?
- Is the problem completely resolvable?
- Can I change my diet to decrease bloating?
- What effective preventive measures help with extra gaseousness?
- What is the specific reason behind my flatulence?
- For how long have you experienced bloating?
- Do you have any concurrent disease or medical condition?
- Are you on any medication?
- Are you trying any special diet?
- If not, what are your dietary habits?
- Are you pregnant?
Which High Fodmap Foods Are The Best To Avoid
This is the question that youll need to answer for yourself during the process of the low-FODMAP diet. The answer will be different for everyone. The point of the diet is not to deprive you of bad foods but to find out if your symptoms are related to FODMAPs or not and if they are, which ones. Some people may not improve at all on the elimination phase. If you don’t, theres no reason to follow through to the next phase. But if you do, it will be very important to reintroduce foods in a systematic way to separate the real offenders from foods that you can tolerate. Many people find in the end that its only one or two of the FODMAP food groups that bother them. The ultimate goal of the diet is to widen your dietary options as much as possible.
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How Can I Prevent Stomach Bloating
If your stomach bloating is caused by diet or alcohol, you can help prevent it by making some lifestyle changes. Some good general guidelines include:
If the cause of your bloated stomach is something more specific, such as specific food intolerance, perimenopause or a medical condition, you might need a little help with diagnosis, treatment and prevention. Some options include:
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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How Are Abdominal Bloating And Nausea Treated
Abdominal bloating and nausea related to foods you eat will typically resolve after your body has had time to digest whatever has upset your stomach. Common food intolerances include lactose and gluten. Avoid eating any foods that you determine are causing abdominal bloating and nausea.
Your doctor may prescribe medication if you have underlying conditions such as acid reflux or constipation. More serious disorders, such as congestive heart failure or dumping syndrome, may require prolonged treatments.
Miscellaneous Causes Of Gas And Bloating
Most upper gut air in healthy individuals results from aerophagia. Aerophagia occurs during negative intrathoracic pressure and is worsened by gum chewing, smoking, or oral irritation. After laryngectomy, air swallowing for esophageal speech may elicit gaseous complaints. Inferior myocardial infarction can lead to excess eructation. Medications produce gas by effects on gut motility.
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How Do I Care For Abdominal Bloating And Nausea At Home
Resting in an upright position can reduce abdominal bloating and nausea related to acid reflux. This position reduces the acids flow up your esophagus. Physical activity can worsen symptoms when you feel nauseated.
Drinking clear fluids that contain natural sugar, such as sports drinks or Pedialyte, may help settle your stomach. However, drinking artificially flavored beverages and those made with sugar alcohols may contribute to abdominal bloating.
Food Intolerances And Allergies
If your body has difficulty digesting food, your bowel may not empty properly. This sometimes leads to the production of too much gas and this excess air may get trapped.15
Foods that are more likely to cause problems are:
- FODMAPS Our bodies can find it hard work to digest the sugars in this group of foods This leaves some of us with more gas in our digestive system.
- Wheat. If youre sensitive to gluten or have problems digesting it, foods containing wheat can cause a painful bloated stomach.
- Dairy. If you dont have a sufficient supply of the enzyme to break down lactose in your gut, eating dairy foods can cause a bloated belly.
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What Can I Do At Home To Prevent Abdominal Distension
Prevention is easier if you know the cause. If you notice that abdominal distension occurs after you eat, you may be able to change your eating habits to prevent it. For example:
- Identify food sensitivities and change your diet accordingly.
- Eat smaller amounts more slowly. Wait longer between meals.
- Drink more water and eat more fiber to prevent the accumulation of waste.
- Try digestive enzymes and probiotics before meals.
Diagnosing Abdominal Swelling And Bloating
Often, abdominal bloating is non-specific in location, and pain can radiate from its source to another area. Because abdominal swelling and bloating have many causes, the diagnosis often has to be speedy. This can help you get prompt treatment for certain serious causessuch as bowel obstruction or appendicitis.
The first thing your healthcare providers will do in assessing your abdominal bloating and swelling is take your medical history and perform a physical examination. You will be asked about the duration, pattern, and location of your pain, as well as any associated symptoms you are experiencing and whether anything makes it better or worse.
Your physical examination includes an assessment of whether you are in distress, your temperature, pulse, blood pressure, and breathing rate.
Your provider will examine you to determine whether you have a specific location of pain or swelling. For example, a sense of bloating in the upper abdominal area could be associated with a peptic ulcer, while swelling in the lower abdomen on one side is more likely to be associated with an ovarian cyst.
Diagnostic tests can include:
Additional tests may include minimally invasive tests. During an endoscopy, a tube is placed into the throat, and during a colonoscopy, a tube is placed in the colon so your doctor can view areas of potential disease.
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What If It Doesnt Work For Me
Its an experiment, and it may not work. But if you follow the diet under expert guidance, its safe to try. Your healthcare provider will keep an eye on your general nutrition and any deficiencies or weight loss that may occur. Theyll tell you when its time to stop and try something else. The low-FODMAP diet has a high predicted success rate for people with IBS, but up to 25% may not benefit. For all other conditions, research is more limited, but theres reason to believe it may help with symptom management in cases of SIBO, IBD and functional dyspepsia. If it doesnt, your journey isnt over there are other kinds of elimination diets, tests and therapies to try.
A note from Cleveland ClinicThe low-FODMAP diet is a specific approach to identifying and reducing foods that may be irritating your gut and causing you gastrointestinal distress. If you have chronic symptoms or food sensitivities, you might benefit from following the systematic elimination process. Although its strict in the short term, this is not a lifestyle diet. The intent is to isolate your food triggers and then reintroduce as many foods as possible. Many of the foods identified as FODMAPs represent a normally healthy diet. They include nutritious vegetables, fruits and whole grains. These arent bad foods but eliminating the ones that trouble you can help you enjoy the ones that dont.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 02/24/2022.
Are Fodmaps Bad For Everyone
Not at all. In fact, our digestive systems are designed to process some foods that we cant fully digest ourselves for example, dietary fiber, which has an important place in digestive health. And feeding the bacteria in our gut is part of our symbiotic arrangement with those bacteria. But some people with sensitive guts experience a level of indigestion from these foods that significantly impacts their quality of life. For these people, the byproducts of fermentation cause chronic symptoms of gas, bloating, abdominal pain and distension. The extra water drawn by the small intestine may cause diarrhea in excess, or constipation if there isnt enough.
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Right Side Of The Abdomen
The upper right side of your abdomen contains the gallbladder, liver, and first part of the small intestine.
The gallbladder is a small sac that stores bile made by the liver. The duodenum, known as the first portion of the small intestine, is where food empties from the stomach into the small intestine.
The center right side of the abdomen contains the ascending colon and the transverse colon. Food then passes from the ascending colon to the transverse colon.
The cecum of the large intestine with the appendix and the small intestine are in the lower right side of the abdomen. The cecum is the first part of the large intestine that the end of the small intestine connects to.
Some experts believe the appendix plays a role in the immune system. Others think it has no purpose.
If your doctor performs a physical exam and then suspects a medical condition is causing your abdominal bloating or pain, theyll run various medical tests.
The types of tests they order will depend on your medical history and physical exam results.
Some common tests for abdominal problems include the following:
Foods That Cause Bloating
Bloating is when your belly feels swollen or enlarged after eating.
It is usually caused by gas or other digestive issues (
Although bloating may be a symptom of a serious medical condition, it is usually caused by something in the diet .
Here are 13 foods that can cause bloating, along with suggestions on what to eat instead.
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When To Seek Medical Attention
Seek emergency medical attention if you have chest pain, blood in your feces, a severe headache, neck stiffness, or youre vomiting blood. These are all symptoms of conditions that require emergency care, including a heart attack, stroke, meningitis, and gastrointestinal bleeding.
Symptoms that may warrant a trip to your physicians office include:
- dizziness or lightheadedness when standing
- symptoms that do not subside in one to two days
- unexplained weight loss
- worsening symptoms
Contact your doctor if you experience any other symptoms that are out of the ordinary for you or that make it hard to perform daily tasks.
Wheres Your Abdominal Bloating And Pain
Pain in different areas of the abdomen can mean different things.
Abdominal pain can be anywhere between the chest and the pelvis. People often call it a stomachache. The pain can also be:
Causes of abdominal bloating and pain can vary from mild to severe. Most of the time, abdominal bloating and pain occur due to:
This kind of bloating or pain is usually normal and will go away within two hours.
In cases of the stomach flu, you may feel intense pain or bloating that comes and goes before each episode of vomiting or diarrhea. Stomach viruses usually go away with rest and home care.
This guide lists the organs associated with different locations of abdominal bloating or pain:
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