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.
Remedies And Treatments For Bloating
Once a cause of bloating is established, the symptom can be treated. Depending on your doctorâs findings, he or she may suggest one of the following remedies for bloating:
Eating too quickly causes you to swallow more air, which can lead to gas and bloating. Eating slowly can help reduce bloating. Additionally, slowing your eating can make you feel full, faster, helping you avoid overeating, which can lead to bloating.
Changing Your Diet
If you notice a trend in certain foods causing you to bloat, try reducing or eliminating those foods from your diet. Foods that commonly cause bloating are wheat, beans, lentils, garlic, onions, and asparagus. Milk and dairy foods can also cause bloating, as some people have a hard time digesting a sugar they contain called lactose.
Researchers have found that certain antidepressants can affect the way your body reacts to gas, keeping it from overreacting to its presence.
Eating too much fiber is one of the most common reasons for bloating. Fiber is an essential part of a healthy diet, but it can cause a lot of gas in your digestive system because your body cannot digest it. The key with fiber is to eat it in moderation. Foods high in fiber include beans, lentils, broccoli, whole wheat, apples, berries, and quinoa.
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, in a process called fermentation.
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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Peppermint Or Chamomile Tea
These teas can help food to pass through the stomach and relieve gas. Dried chamomile flowers are packed with good-for-you plant compounds like flavonoids and can help relax intestinal muscles and reduce bloating. The key to peppermints bloat-busting success is likely thanks to a cooling compound found in its leaves: menthol. Menthol helps relax the intestinal tract and relieve bloating.
Sip on your choice of iced or hot tea with a slice or two of lemon or ginger. Or give bloat the boot with these other teas known to relieve GI symptoms.
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?
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How Is Ascites Treated
Limiting sodium in your diet is crucial for treating ascites. For people with ascites, recommended sodium intake is less than 2,000 to 4,000 milligrams a day.
A dietitian can help create a healthy eating plan for you. You may also need to take diuretics . These water pills help fluid and sodium leave your body.
When Bloating And Gas Is Not Normal
In most cases, bloating and gas are just regular parts of the digestive process. Good bacteria in your gut ferment foods that are not fully digested in your small intestine.When you eat too many gas-producing foodsor too much fiber and not enough waterits normal to experience some abdominal pain, gas, and the distension that makes your tummy feel full and tight. Gas can also be caused by swallowing too much air, which can happen if you chew gum, eat too quickly, or drink through a straw.
If youre curious about how to get rid of gas and bloating, start by drinking plenty of water, eating smaller meals slowly, and ditching straws and gum. As youll see, eating foods that reduce gas, and avoiding certain foods that cause it can also help. However, there are two underlying gut issues that you should get tested for if your digestive symptoms are extreme and dont respond to these lifestyle measures.
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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.
How Can I Control Ascites
If you have ascites, these steps can help you control the condition:
- Weight checks: Weigh yourself daily. Call your healthcare provider if you gain more than 10 pounds, or more than two pounds per day for three consecutive days.
- Limit alcohol: Its best to avoid alcoholic beverages entirely to reduce your ascites risk.
- Limit NSAID use:Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and aspirin, affect your kidneys. They can cause your body to retain excess water and salt.
- Low-salt diet: Stick to a low-sodium diet, consuming no more than 2,000 to 4,000 milligrams per day.
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Causes Of Stomach Distension
By paying a little closer attention to your eating habits, you can help prevent excessive bloating. Heres a quick list of sneaky foods and habits that could be to blame:
Gum chewing. Your favorite breath-freshening pastime may be the number one cause for a straining waistband. When you chew gum, you swallow air which gets trapped in the GI system and extends the stomach.
Eating too fast. When you eat a large amount of food in a short period of time, your GI system doesnt have enough time to digest and dispel. A backed up system means a buildup of gas and fluid, causing distension.
Drinking from straws. When you go to sip a drink from a straw, you first suck in a straw-length volume of air, which ends up trapped in your stomach.
Not enough fiberor too much. Fiber is notorious for moving things along. When youre backed up, excess gas in your GI track cant escape, causing you to bloat. Next time you need a snack, reach for fibrous-skinned produce like apples and strawberries. Make sure to go easy on insoluble fibers like beans and lentils. Eating too much of these produces excessive gas.
Gas & Bloating Due To Sibo
In my clinical experience, the #1 cause of severe bloating and gas is SIBO, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. SIBO occurs when the bacteria from your colon and large intestine overgrow and colonize in your small intestine. These bacteria feed off of and ferment the undigested carbohydrates in your small intestine, causing a buildup of hydrogen and/or methane gas. If you have SIBO, you must overcome this gut imbalance before you can banish bloating and gas for good. Take this quiz to find out if SIBO is the root cause of your digestive symptoms.
Treating your SIBO is a 3-step approach that works to eliminate the overgrowth and restore your guts natural balance. My SIBO Breakthrough® Program is a step-by-step process to help you beat small intestinal bacterial overgrowth for good. With the SIBO Breakthrough® Program, not only do you get information, supplements, and a solution, you also get the support you need to take on these three steps and banish bloating and gas for good.
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Get More Active Every Day
Exercise helps your body move stool and gas out of the colon and may make bowel movements more regular. Exercise also releases extra sodium from the body through sweating, which can help to relieve water retention.
It is vital to drink plenty of water before and after exercising to stay hydrated, as dehydration can make constipation worse.
Have Better Eating Habits
Youre more likely to suffer from bloating if you have developed poor eating habits like not chewing properly or eating too fast, says Claire. We have to be super mindful of this try resting your cutlery between mouthfuls and chewing food until its semi-liquid, advises The Gut Stuff team.
Try to balance your blood sugars at every meal by making sure you eat protein and fats with your carbs, adds Claire. You might also consider taking a digestive aid. A magnesium supplement can also help, especially if youre constipated, she says.
Walking for a few minutes after meals helps a lot of people, recommends Dr Chophada.
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When Should You See A Doctor
Stomach bloating and lower back pain often go away on their own or are alleviated through OTC medication and home remedies. However, you should consult with your healthcare provider if your symptoms come on suddenly, are unexplained, or are persistent and severe enough that they interfere with your daily activities.
Stomach bloating and/or lower back pain may indicate a serious condition if accompanied by:
Urine that contains blood and/or pus, is cloudy, or foul-smelling
Painful urination or difficulty in urination
If you are pregnant, contact your doctor immediately about any worrisome or unusual symptoms.
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Make Friends With Digestive Enzymes
In a pinch, digestive supplements containing ingredients like amylase, lipase, protease, or HCL might help get rid of bloating quickly. These key ingredients are meant to aid the digestive process and can reduce gas production. Incorporating a high-quality capsule of digestive enzymes before big meals can make a world of difference in reducing bloating.
Essentially, enzymes are meant to aid your body’s natural digestion to better break down the food you consume and to minimize indigestion and, in turn, excess bloating and gas. Snyder likes Solluna’s Feel Good Digestive Enzymes . Hum’s Flatter Me supplement, $26, with a blend of 18 enzymes, also promises bloat relief.
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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.
Causes Of Serious Bloating You Need To Know About And What To Do About Them
1. Ovarian cancer isnt the most likely, but it is one of the most lethal. Although ovarian cancer is only the fifth most common cancer in women, it causes more deaths than any other reproductive cancer mostly in women over 50. Risk factors include never having children or having them late in life, obesity, a family history of ovarian cancer, certain genetic abnormalities, and long-term treatment with hormone replacement therapy. Persistent bloating, feeling full faster, and pelvic pain are typical symptoms.
What to do if youre concerned about ovarian cancer:
A thorough pelvic exam or transvaginal ultrasound is the best way to diagnose ovarian cancer. The blood test CA-125 isnt a reliable screening test, but it can be helpful for following the course of treatment after diagnosis.
2. Uterine cancer. In addition to bloating, uterine cancer can cause abnormal vaginal bleeding, a watery or blood-tinged vaginal discharge, pelvic pain, or pain with intercourse or urination. But its important to know that sometimes bloating or a change in bowel habits may be the only initial signs of uterine cancer. Important risk factors include taking tamoxifen taking estrogen supplements that dont also containprogesterone radiation therapy a family history of uterine cancer or a family history of a form of inherited colon cancer called Lynch syndrome.
What to do if youre concerned about uterine cancer:
What to do if youre concerned about colon cancer:
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How To Soar To Self
One of the herbs shown to have carminative effects is ginger, the subject of a review published in April 2015 in the journal European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Studies. It found that ginger helps speed digestion, which is important because if your stomach empties faster, gases can move more quickly into your small intestine to relieve discomfort and bloating.
Additionally, a study published in April 2015 in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that in people with functional dyspepsia, a condition of chronic or recurring pain in your upper abdomen, ginger combined with artichoke extract stimulated gastric emptying.
Other herbs and spices that may provide gas relief include:
A combination of caraway and peppermint oils is the active ingredient in FDgard, a nonprescription formulation designed to help manage functional dyspepsia some doctors recommend it for gas and bloating.
Lemond notes that you should always get approval from your doctor before taking an herbal supplement. She suggests trying to gain the benefit of carminatives from the food you eat rather than by taking supplements, which she says should be taken with caution. Some people think of herbal supplements as natural or straight from the earth, so they may be taken at will, but a lot of them have pharmaceutical effects and could interact with medication.
See A Doctor Or Pharmacist
If your problems persist and you cant find a reliable method to effectively treat your bloating or stomach pain, then its always worth getting a medical opinion from a doctor or pharmacist. Not only will this give you the most reliable advice, but it could also give you peace of mind if youre concerned that the problem may be more serious than it actually is.
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A Note From Cleveland Clinic
Ascites is a sign of liver damage. People who have cirrhosis may develop ascites. With the right treatments and diet changes, you can manage ascites and feel your best. Restricting your salt intake is one of the most effective treatments for ascites. Ask your provider about working with a dietitian to plan a salt-restricted diet and other treatment options for ascites that doesnt respond to diuretics.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/28/2021.
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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