How Is Bloating Treated
Bloating will usually go away by itself if you adjust your diet for a while. Cut down on salty foods, carbohydrates and fizzy drinks. For some people, it can help to avoid foods that contain onion or garlic, wheat, rye, lactose products or stone fruit.
Bloating caused by constipation can be treated by eating more high-fibre foods, increasing the amount of water that you drink, and exercising regularly. Some people may need laxatives to treat constipation.
If you have a medical condition such as coeliac disease, you will need to follow a strict diet to prevent bloating and other symptoms. If you have IBS, following a high-fibre diet and the low FODMAP diet may help. This involves cutting out some dairy products, wheat and other grains, and some fruits and vegetables. Talk to a health professional such as your doctor or a dietitian before starting this diet to make sure it is right for you.
If you have a food intolerance, you may need to try an elimination diet to find out which food or foods are causing your problems. Your doctor or dietitian will advise you.
Some people find that probiotics containing lactobacillus and bifidobacterium can help with bloating by reducing the production of gas in the gut.
What Does Abdominal Distension Indicate
A distended abdomen is either an organic or a functional problem. An organic problem can be explained by physical evidence, like a disease. Functional problems are observable but unexplained.
Organic causes of abdominal distension might include:
- Menstruation, which causes water retention.
- Significant recent weight gain, which tends to be stored as intra-abdominal fat and may restrict digestion.
- An obstruction of the small or large bowel, causing a build-up of gas and waste matter.
- Partial paralysis of the stomach causing a build-up of digestive contents.
- Inflammation of the abdominal lining .
- A build-up of fluid in the abdomen caused by liver disease .
- Organ enlargement from inflammation or a growth.
- Internal bleeding .
Functional reasons for a distended abdomen tend to involve digestive problems that cause gas and/or digestive contents to accumulate. Causes might include:
- Constipation causing a build-up of feces and back-up of digestive contents.
- Urinary retention causing a build-up of urine.
- A disorder of the muscle contractions involved in digestion , causing digestive contents to back up.
- Abdominal muscle weakness, which causes the abdominal contents to sag outwards and downwards .
Journal Your Way To Finding The Culprit
If you get bloated often, say, more than once a month, its worthwhile to figure out what triggers your symptoms. Try keeping a food journal for a few days and write down everything you eat and drink. Be sure you include the ingredients in your meals in case one of those is the actual problem.
As you make that journal entry, note how you feel 30 minutes after you eat. Terrific? Overly full? Tired? Gassy? You may see some patterns that help you figure out if you have any food allergies or intolerances.
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If I Have Ascites How Can I Best Take Care Of Myself
People with ascites should work with a dietitian to plan a sodium-restricted diet. Check food labels, and avoid high-sodium foods.
You can use several salt substitutes. However, avoid substitutes with potassium, since the medicine you may be taking for ascites can also increase potassium. A dietitian can help you plan a healthy diet and provide recommendations for salt alternatives.
In addition, you should:
- Take your diuretics as prescribed.
- Record your weight every day.
- Stop drinking alcohol, which can cause further liver damage.
- Treat hepatitis B or C if necessary.
How Common Is Ascites
Fluid buildup rarely occurs in otherwise healthy people. It develops as a result of other diseases, most often cirrhosis. Ascites is the most common complication of cirrhosis. About half of people with decompensated cirrhosis will develop ascites. Cirrhosis accounts for about 80% of the cases of ascites.
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What Is Abdominal Distension
A distended abdomen is measurably swollen beyond its normal size. Its often accompanied by the feeling of being bloated with trapped gas or digestive contents. However, abdominal distension isnt always from digestive processes. Healthcare providers diagnose a distended abdomen in terms of the five fs: flatus , fetus , feces , fluid or fat.
A distended abdomen may be very uncomfortable, or it may simply be a symptom that you and your healthcare provider observe visually. It may be acute a sudden, unusual occurrence or chronic something that occurs and resolves itself repeatedly in a predictable way. Chronic abdominal distension accompanied by an uncomfortable bloated feeling is often related to a digestive problem.
Heartburn And Acid Reflux
Painful burning sensations in the chest that are caused by gastroesophageal reflux is known as heartburn. Reflux is the backflow of gastric acid juices from the stomach into the oesophagus. Heartburn has different triggers, including certain foods, medications, obesity, and stress. These triggers are different for each individual. Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD is a chronic condition that can lead to more serious complications like esophageal cancer. Treatment options are available to treat the symptoms and the condition, but there is no cure for the disease. Symptoms include burping, abdominal and stomach bloating, along with pain and discomfort. Heavy meals, lying down or bending over after eating should be avoided to help prevent reflux from occurring. The stomach bloating experienced with reflux is intense and will remain until the food is digested all the way.
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Working With A Doctor
It is important to speak openly and honestly with your physician to express a clear picture of your experiences and symptoms. FGIDs present special challenges when communicating, specifically because of their vague symptoms and sensitive subject matter.
There isnt a diagnostic test for bloating or distension however your doctor may run some tests to rule out underlying problems or associated disorders.
Treatment For Upper Abdominal Bloat
Treatment of upper abdominal bloaters includes treating the underlying condition if one is encountered.
- If H. pylorus is present, antibiotics and antacid treatment are recommended for 10-14 days.
- If gastroparesis is present, diet modifications and medication will help increase stomach contractions.
- If impaired stomach accommodation is present, there are prescriptions available that improve the relaxation of the stomach.
For all patients, I recommend smaller and more frequent meals. If the patient frequently drinks coffee, carbonated beverages, and/or alcohol, I will ask them to scale back, says Dr. Gonzales. I regularly see patients with tremendous bloating who consume a few carbonated beverages per day.
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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.
Signs And Symptoms Of Abdominal Bloating
Abdominal pain and bloating are considered two different symptoms. That being said, you are likely to feel both at the same time. These symptoms refer to the ache or distention felt under the gastral cavity and above your pubic bone, also called the lower and upper abdominal regions.
Its important to note that a bloated stomach is not related to gaining fat mass around the stomach or water retention. It is mainly caused by air being temporarily stuck around the abdomen.
You may experience the following signs and symptoms alongside the gassiness, fullness, and stomach pain of abdominal bloating:Signs of an allergic reaction
- Swollen, painful lymph nodes in your throat, armpits, or groin
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Should I Visit A Gut Clinic
Upper belly bloating after eating may be an uncomfortable yet mild condition that could make it difficult for you to enjoy a meal. However, bloating may be a symptom of a more serious underlying gastrointestinal condition.
Getting in touch with a specialist at a gastrointestinal clinic may help you find out if your abdominal bloating is related to other gastrointestinal conditions.
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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When To Talk To Your Health Care Provider
Bloating can be normal, but it can also be a sign of serious conditions. Its important to keep track of what foods cause you to feel bloated, but also note if you experience other symptoms that have accompanied bloating.
If you notice a drastic change in weight or changes in your bowel movementssuch as changes in color or consistencyyou need to tell your provider that as well, as they can be signs of an underlying condition, Hoffman said. If you ate too much and are having trouble digesting your food, then you know that was the likely cause of your bloating and cramping, but if its come on suddenly with a healthy diet, you should err on the side of caution and visit your provider.
Media contact: Dee Dee Grays, , 979.436.0611
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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.
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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.
Middle Of The Abdomen
The upper middle part of the abdomen contains the liver, the cardiac region of the stomach, part of the body of the stomach, the pyloric region of the stomach, and the pancreas.
The liver filters blood and creates bile, which is a substance that helps in the breakdown and absorption of fat in the foods you eat.
The cardiac region of the stomach is where food enters from the esophagus.
The pyloric region of the stomach is the last part of the stomach before food enters into the duodenum of the small intestine.
The pancreas is a large glandular organ that releases digestive enzymes and hormones.
The urinary bladder is the organ that collects urine for excretion out of the body through the urethra.
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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:
How Long Should I Stay On A Low
Phase 1: Healthcare providers recommend at least two weeks and no more than six weeks for the elimination phase. It can take time for this phase to work and your symptoms to subside. If you have SIBO, the process of starving your overgrown gut bacteria may produce detox symptoms, making you feel worse before you feel better. But even if you feel great on the elimination phase, its not meant to be permanent. Its important to find out which foods you may be able to reintroduce and tolerate. A more moderate diet will be easier to maintain over time, and in nutrition, variety is always the best policy for getting all of your micronutrients.
Phases 2 & 3: The length of the reintroduction phase can vary depending on the individual, but the average time is about eight weeks. During this phase, youll stay on the low-FODMAP diet while reintroducing a high FODMAP food from each FODMAP category, one at a time. Youll spend a few days testing each food in increasing quantities to find your tolerance threshold. Between each test, youll spend a few days back on the strict elimination diet to avoid any crossover effects. Once you find out what works for you and what doesnt, you and your healthcare provider can put together a sustainable, nutritious diet plan that you can keep indefinitely, or until you want to retest.
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How Is Constipation Diagnosed
Your doctor will take a medical history and do a physical exam, most likely including a gentle rectal exam with a gloved finger. They will also likely prescribe a number of routine blood tests , as well as urine and stool tests. According to the Mayo Clinic, other diagnostic tests may include:
- A sigmoidoscopy to examine the rectum and lower colon
- A colonoscopy to examine the colon
- Evaluating how well food passes through your colon with a colonic transit study
- Taking an X-ray of the rectum during a bowel movement
- A procedure known as MRI defecography
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.
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Visit The Sydney Gut Clinic
The gastrointestinal specialists at the Sydney Gut Clinic are trained and experienced in treating a range of gastrointestinal conditions.
If you are concerned that upper abdominal bloating after eating may be a sign of an underlying health problem, schedule an appointment with our specialists and find out more about your treatment options.
What Can Be Done
Over-the-counter medications or a prescription from your doctor might help. Look for a medication containing alpha-D-galactosidase. It has an enzyme that breaks down indigestible sugars in vegetables and beans.
Tablets or capsules containing simethicone can also help alleviate symptoms of upper abdominal bloating. If youre a tobacco user, its a good reason to quit because it has been linked to heartburn, bloating, and other digestive problems. Fortunately, bloating is a very common affliction, and most people can find a remedy at the pharmacy. Other measures, such as a change in diet, the frequency and times between meals and a change in habits are all youll need to do to avoid bloating.
When to Worry
Usually, temporary bloating is very common and nothing to worry about. However, if the condition persists on a regular basis, or bathroom problems are a constant battle, there might be more serious medical conditions causing your discomfort, so youll need to consult your physician. There could be a physical obstruction in the stomach or small intestines, and if diagnosed by your health care provider, may need to be surgically corrected. Many people already know that gas-inducing foods can cause gas, but what most people dont suspect is an underlying chronic disease or cancer that could also be the cause.
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