Can Bloating Be Prevented
To keep your digestive system working well, follow a healthy diet and eat at least 30g of fibre every day. Cut down on processed and fatty foods, and drink less alcohol. Drink plenty of water and take any medicines as directed by your doctor.
Dont overeat, and try to eat more slowly. Eating regularly will help to prevent digestive problems.
Regular exercise is also important for your gut because it strengthens the muscles in your tummy and stimulates the digestive system to push food through. It also helps with stress, which affects the nerves in the digestive system and can slow down digestion.
Smoking is very bad for your digestion. If you smoke, try to quit now.
Look At Your Fiber Intake
Fiber is essential for proper digestion, yet too much of a good thing can be bad. Too much fiber can cause bloating because it remains in the body for a relatively long time. Because your body cannot completely break down the fiber found in foods such as apples, garlic, and bananas, these compounds pass through the upper part of your gastrointestinal tract undigested.
Bacteria can feed on this undigested fiber and cause gas. However, too little fiber can also cause bloating as well as constipation because this can slow down your digestion and give your food more time to ferment while in your digestive tract. Keeping a food diary can help you find just the right balance to keep everything moving along as it should.
Eating And Drinking Certain Kinds Of Food Items May Result Into Bloating:
Eating things like grams, beans and lentils, vegetables broccoli and cabbage, heavy meat like steak which may not be completely cooked may result in gas formation to some people. Keep a check on what you consume that causes you bloating and try to avoid the same. Also your eating pattern matters. The basic lessons learnt in school are important to be reminded off over here which is to chew the food well while you eat. Do nut gulp down your food too quick. Take your time. Drinking excessive alcohol may also result in bloating.
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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.
When To Ask Your Doctor About Bloating
Temporary bloating is common and nothing to worry about. But if youâre troubled by bloating on a regular basis, talk to your doctor.
Physical obstructions such as scarring of the stomach opening can make it hard for food to pass through the digestive tract normally. If your doctor diagnoses a physical obstruction in the stomach or small intestines, surgery may be required to correct it. Bloating can also be caused by impaired muscle function in the digestive tract. When muscles that normally move food along donât work properly, gas can build up in the small intestines, causing bloating. In some cases, gas in the intestines may go the wrong way, returning to the stomach.
Persistent bloating or distention may also signal potentially serious conditions, such as enlargement of one of the abdominal organs or a malignancy.
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When To Visit A Doctor
- Over-the-counter remedies or changes in eating habits don’t help
- have unexplained weight loss
- have chronic or frequent constipation, diarrhea, or vomiting
- have persistent bloating, gas, or heartburn
- your stools contain blood or mucus
- there have been major changes in your bowel movements
- your symptoms makes it difficult for you to function
- abdominal pain is severe
- you have a high fever
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Do I need a test to diagnose lactose intolerance?
- Why do certain foods cause my bloating when they never used to?
- What can I do if I have diabetesand my medicine or artificial sweeteners cause bloating?
- Could my bloating be a sign of something more serious?
- What kind of tests will I need?
- What kind of over-the-counter medicine can I try?
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Serious Causes Of Bloating:
Apart from the common and medical causes which could be treated over time, there are some serious causes of bloating. These could be the result of no proper diagnoses or treatment of an underlying disease for a long period of time.
Serious causes are to be taken care asap and treatment or surgery performed immediately to save a life. Some serious causes are as follows :
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.
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Having An Undiagnosed Condition
There are a few conditions that can cause bloating. Heart and liver disease and venous insufficiency can cause excess fluid in the abdomen or limbs. These conditions come with more prominent and tell-tale symptoms, and your health care provider can help you identify them and other illnesses that can cause bloating.
Chronic conditions can cause swelling and bloating in certain areas, Hoffman said. If you have a history or concern of these conditions, then its best to talk with your primary care provider.
Other gastrointestinal conditions can also cause bloating and stomach ailments. Conditions such as ulcerative colitis, Crohns disease and irritable bowel syndrome can all cause bloating. Acid reflux, and the medications to treat it, can cause bloating and a feeling of increased gas in the abdomen, leading to belching.
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:
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When To See A Healthcare Provider
As noted earlier, the symptom of abdominal bloating is most commonly caused by conditions that are more of a nuisance than life-threatening. That said, it is often the first symptom of ovarian cancer which is the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths in women and often diagnosed when it is “too late,” at least to be curable.
Whether your symptoms are due to a “serious” cause or not, it is important to see your healthcare provider. So-called “nuisance symptoms” can interfere with your quality of life, and by that measure, are not just a nuisance.
If your symptoms do not improve with whatever treatment is recommended, talk to your healthcare provider or seek out a second opinion. In our overworked, over-busy society, it’s important to be your own advocate in your medical care, no matter what your symptoms or the condition that is responsible.
Is Bloating A Sign Of Something More Serious
Watch Out for Other Symptoms
Simple bloating is usually not a cause for concern, but it may be a warning sign of a more serious health condition in some cases. If you experience other symptoms, including diarrhea, nausea, fever, abdominal pain, weight loss, weakness, loss of appetite, or blood in the stool, see your doctor to rule out potentially more serious conditions. The doctor may order a stool sample or take images of your small intestine to assess for digestive problems and other conditions. Tests are available to check for lactose intolerance, celiac disease, ovarian cancer, liver disease, and other health problems.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Gas
Gas symptoms vary from person to person. Common symptoms of gas in the digestive tract include belching, bloating and distention, and passing gas. Having some gas symptoms is normal, especially during or after meals.
Gas symptoms may be a problem if they occur often, bother you, or affect your daily activities.
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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Causes Of Bloating During Perimenopause And Menopause
Menopause symptoms can begin several years before you reach menopause. This time is known as perimenopause. Menopause is defined as the lack of a menstrual period for 12 concurrent months. This happens because your ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone. After menopause, you can no longer get pregnant.
Most women experience menopause in their early 50s, though you can go through it earlier or later. Once you havent experienced a period for 12 months, youre considered postmenopausal.
Bloating may occur more frequently in perimenopause than during menopause or postmenopause. During perimenopause, your hormones are changing rapidly. That can lead to higher levels of estrogen. Estrogen causes your body to retain water, which can lead to bloating.
Bloating isnt the only symptom experienced by women going through perimenopause and menopause. Fluctuating hormones can also lead to:
- hot flashes
- swallowed air
- another health condition
Its likely that bloating after menopause is related to one of these factors rather than hormones. Thats because after you go through menopause, your hormones dont fluctuate as much as they did during perimenopause and menopause.
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.
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Things To Tell Your Doctor:
- Is the symptom located in the upper or lower abdomen?Is it in a concentrated area?
- Is your bloating or distension associated with burping?
- Do you experience nausea or vomiting?
- Is the symptom associated with pain in your abdomen?Upper or lower?
- Does the bloating or distension relate to passing gas or a change in your bowel habits ?
- Are your symptoms related to food? Which ones?
- Do they occur right after eating?
- Do your symptoms increase during the day or improve during night hours?
Bloating And Ovarian Cancer
Even though ovarian cancer is certainly not the most common cause of abdominal bloatingand is down on the listit is an important cause of abdominal bloating. Among people who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, it’s been found that this bloating is often attributed to something else, such as middle-age spread or winter weight gain.
While ovarian cancer isn’t the most common cause of abdominal swelling and bloating, these symptoms are one of the more common symptoms of ovarian cancer. It is also a symptom that is most ignored. The bloating may be so bad that one can’t button their pants, or even have to go up a size.
Symptoms of ovarian cancer may also include pelvic pain, pain with intercourse, and frequent urination, but it is also considered the silent killer. In the early stages, the only symptom may be a feeling of being full quickly when eatingin other words bloatingso it is important to make sure you get your symptoms evaluated thoroughly.
It’s also important to note that sometimes people have two conditions at the same time. For example, someone could have both irritable bowel syndrome and ovarian cancer, so trust your instinct. If your healthcare provider does not seem as concerned as you are, get a second opinion.
Ovarian cancer is not a common cancer in women, but it’s the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths in womenmost likely due to the fact that the diagnosis is missed until it has progressed to the later stages of the disease.
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Bloating Due To Stomach Infection:
One needs to be careful while eating outside especially in monsoon seasons. This season is the breeding time of various parasites and microbes which may enter your system and cause you discomfort. Food poisoning is the most common result of stomach infection. Drinking clean water and washing your vegetables well even while eating at home will help you prevent any kind of stomach infection.
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 .
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:
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Causes Of Serious Bloating You Dont Want To Ignore
Bloating everyones had the feeling once before, especially all those pasta lovers out there.
Bloating is a common side effect of eating too many bloating foods like carbohydrates or downing your oh so good fizzy drinks.
But what about if youre experiencing chronic bloating where you get so bloated you look pregnant?
Perhaps youve ruled out pregnancy, cut back on the bloating food and drinks, but still feel as though you have a bowling ball in your stomach.
Usually are not too worrisome, but if your persistent bloating is accompanied by other symptoms this just might be the canary in the coal mine.
Persistent bloating along with other symptoms such as severe abdominal pain, fever, or blood in your stool might be a sign of a more serious health issue than just bloating from a bad meal.
Health issues such as cancer, liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and other conditions can cause severe bloating.
So differentiating between a simple case of bloating and severe bloating is important.
Covid And Excessive Gas: What Is The Best Safe Treatment
If you have COVID and are experiencing signs and symptoms of excessive gas, you may be wondering what treatments you can take to ease the pain. Currently, there have not been any contraindications to any over-the-counter gas relief medications. One of the best options to treat gas is taking simethicone. Simethicone acts as an anti-foaming agent to reduce gas bubbles in your stomach. For further information, read about simethicone in our FAQ. If you feel that your gas symptoms have been occurring longer than a few days, reach out to your healthcare provider for further care.
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When Should I Be Worried About Abdominal Bloating
See your healthcare provider if your bloated stomach:
- Gets progressively worse.
- Persists for more than a week.
- Is persistently painful.
- Comes with symptoms of illness, such as fever, vomiting or bleeding.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
A bloated stomach is not a pleasant feeling. While its a common experience and usually temporary, you may become weary of the cycle. Spending a little focused attention on the problem to identify the cause can be well worthwhile. Try recording your symptoms and possible triggers in a journal. Note diet, hormonal and stress factors. When in doubt bring your notes to a specialist for professional guidance. The different factors that contribute to bloating can be complex and difficult to parse, but medical testing can help. As always, seek medical attention if your symptoms are persistent or severe.
How To Prevent Bloating
Typically, the first line of treatment for preventing gas and bloating is changing your diet. Research has shown that a low fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols diet can reduce the symptoms of gas and IBS. A low FODMAP diet avoids fermentable, gas-producing food ingredients, such as:
- Oligosaccharides, which are found in wheat, onions, garlic, legumes and beans
- Disaccharides, such as lactose in milk, yogurt and ice cream
- Monosaccharides, including fructose , apples and pears
- Polyols or sugar alcohols found in foods such as apricots, nectarines, plums and cauliflower, as well as many chewing gums and candies
The small intestine doesnt always fully absorb these carbohydrates, instead passing them to the colon, where they are fermented by bacteria and produce gas, Lee says. Not everyone gets gas and bloating from every FODMAP foods. You might start by cutting out FODMAP foods and then slowly bringing them back into your diet one at a time to pinpoint problem foods.
In the long run, the key to preventing bloating is understanding its cause. If mild constipation is the problem, a fiber-rich diet, water and exercise may help, but these steps wont always work for chronic constipation. Chronic constipation and other conditions, such as IBS or gastroparesis, require medical treatment, so its important to talk to your doctor about your bloating symptoms.
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