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.
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Replace Sodas With Water
Fizzy, carbonated drinks contain gas that can build up in the stomach. The carbon dioxide that makes soda and similar beverages fizzy can also cause bubbling and bloating in the stomach.
Sugars or artificial sweeteners in the diet can also cause gas and bloating. Drinking water eliminates these issues and helps to treat constipation as well.
Swollen Belly And Essential Oils
Did you know that essential oils can also help you to not be bloated anymore or at least to be much less? Of course, not all essential oils are effective against bloating and good for digestion. Among the most popular we can name:
- Peppermint essential oil
- Lemon essential oil
- Basil essential oil
These are all essential oils that can help you greatly reduce the unwanted and uncomfortable effect of bloating and gas. But if you had to make a single choice between the 3, I recommend that of basil which is really effective against bloating once well applied to the stomach.
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How Gastroenterologists Treat Bloating
If you are bloated, it means you are feeling a sensation of fullness or tightness in the abdomen. This may be accompanied by pain, gas, and belching. If you try to palpate your stomach, it may feel hard. In some cases, bloating can also be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, heartburn, and trouble swallowing, which indicates a gastrointestinal disorder, and is likely not just a one-off incident.
To receive specialized care, especially if you are frequently bloated, make an appointment with a gastroenterologist. This is a specialist who can treat complex gastrointestinal conditions that may be the underlying cause of your bloating.
Lets talk about how gastroenterologists treat bloating.
What Exactly Does It Mean To Feel Bloated
A common misconception about bloating is that its always the result of eating too big a meal. To doctors, it usually means an excess of gas in the gastrointestinal region, causing abdominal discomfort and distension.
Causes can range from an imbalance of bacteria, to eating too much fiber, to not eating enough. When you take antibiotics, the bacteria responsible for breaking down complex carbohydrates may fail and produce gas. The most common causes of bloating, however, are swallowing too much air and eating too fast.
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Slow Down At Mealtime
Eating too fast is a common cause of abdominal bloating because it results in swallowed air. Once that air reaches the intestines, you may feel pain and be bloated. The stomach stretches as you eat and sends signals to the brain alerting you that you are full. However, it takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to alert the brain, so you could be overeating and swallowing lots of air before you feel uncomfortably full. Slow down, chew thoroughly, and enjoy your meals. Drink enough water and stay hydrated to help ensure healthy digestion.
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Say Goodbye To Bloating
Sometimes, no matter what you do, you just cant keep the bloat from plaguing you. There are many ways you can combat bloating, including:
- Trying gas relief capsules. Anti-gas medication can move extra air out of your digestive tract.
- Taking a warm bath. There are two benefits to this method: The heat of the bath can relieve your sore abdomen, and the general relaxation a bath provides can help your gastrointestinal tract function better.
- Replacing sodas with water. You may love the jolt of caffeine you get from soda, but if your belly is suffering, its a good idea to switch to good old water for a while.
- Going for a walk. Physical activity gets your bowels moving and allows you to work the gas out of your body.
- Using peppermint capsules. Peppermint relaxes the intestinal muscles, allowing gas to work its way out of the system.
- Massaging your abdomen. When you massage in the path of your large intestine, you can get your bowels moving and relieve some of the bloating pressure. However, dont continue massaging if it is causing you any pain.
- Eating more fiber. If you choose to increase your fiber intake, do so over the course of several days. When you eat too much fiber in a day, that can actually cause even more bloating.
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Look At Supplements And Medications
Some supplements, such as iron, can cause constipation and other symptoms of indigestion. This can increase bloating. Potassium, on the other hand, may reduce bloating by helping to balance the bodys sodium levels .
Medications may also cause side effects that affect GI function or cause indigestion. If this happens, a doctor or pharmacist can suggest alternatives that are more gentle on the digestive tract.
A Doctors Tips To Help Beat Bloating
- Reviewed by:
- Dr Rhianna McClymont, Lead GP, Livi
Need to speak to a GP today?
Weve all experienced the uncomfortable bloated feeling, where your tummy seems stretched and full. Usually this feeling will come and go as its affected by things in our day-to-day lifestyle.
If youre experiencing frequent or persistent bloating, or your bloated tummy comes with other worrying symptoms, its worth speaking to a GP to rule out any digestive problems, issues with your diet or other medical conditions, advises Dr Rhianna McClymont.
Although bloating can sometimes be caused by food intolerances, the menstrual cycle or medical conditions like irritable bowel syndrome , most cases of feeling bloated can often be managed by daily self-care.
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These Steps Will Show You How To Reduce Bloating
When you’re trying to ease the pressure off of your bloated tum , you’ll want to rely on these digestion-promoting methods to help you reduce bloating in just 24 hours. Here, we help you identify which habits and foods can help reduce bloating and rev up your metabolism along the way.
Hopefully, after you follow a few of our 25 tips on how to reduce bloating there will be minimal instances of trying to squeeze into your favorite pair of jeans.
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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How To Prevent Constipation Bloating
There are several lifestyle changes you can make that can help you prevent constipation-related bloating:
- Slowly increase your fiber intake. Fiber adds bulk to your stool, making it easier to pass. However, if you add too much too quickly, you can experience worsening bloating.
- Increase your water intake. Drinking more water can also add bulk to your stool, reducing constipation.
- Stop smoking. Smoking can increase many gastrointestinal symptoms, including constipation.
- Take part in regular physical activity. This will help keep your bowels moving.
You can also make dietary changes to help reduce bloating.
What To Take For Bloating
When women are passing through the menopausal transition, various symptoms may evolve that they never had prior issues with due to drastic hormonal fluctuations, including symptoms affecting the gastrointestinal tract. Discover more about what to take for bloating to finally liberate your guts and allow for enjoyable, well-digested eating.
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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.
What Is Dog Bloat
Basically, bloat occurs in dogs when their stomach fills with gas, food, or fluid and expands. An extended stomach puts pressure on the surrounding organs and may impact their effective functioning. For example, when the stomach squeezes into the lungs a dog may find it more difficult to breath.
That said, a simple case of bloat in dogs is not usually life-threatening. It can mean a distended stomach and several other symptoms of bloat that may resolve within hours. While your pooch might look extremely uncomfortable, pant, drool, and be restless, gastric dilation may be short-lived and theyll be back to normal soon.
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Can I Prevent Ovarian Cancer
There is no way to prevent ovarian cancer completely. You may be able to decrease your risk of getting cancer later in life by maintaining a healthy weight and practicing good lifestyle habits . Currently, there are no screening tests that can positively identify ovarian cancer. Many women dont realize they have it until symptoms have started.
However, knowing your family history can help you prepare for any heightened risk of developing ovarian cancer. If this type of cancer runs in your family, talk to your healthcare provider about it. If you have a genetic mutation such as BRCA mutation, risk reducing surgery to remove your ovaries and tubes before they become cancerous may be warranted.
Chronic Bloating: How To Manage It And When To Speak With Your Doctor
Bloating is an uncomfortable but common occurrence for many women. That familiar abdominal discomfort and gassy feeling is often just a natural part of the body’s digestive process. But if it never seems to go away it might be chronic bloating.
Chronic bloating can be caused by many things including various foods lifestyle decisions and even diseases. Fortunately there are several steps you can take to relieve the discomfort. Learning more about bloating can help you find out if it’s time to speak with your doctor to discuss your symptoms and concerns.
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Recovery And Management Of Bloat In Dogs
After proper diagnosis, dogs with simple bloat tend to bounce back into their normal lives and routines 1 to 2 days after receiving fluids and taking frequent walks.
Following GDV surgery, a dog will remain in the hospital until pain is controlled, blood tests indicate normal enzyme levels, and the dog is eating and drinking well on their own. Length of time in the hospital depends on the dogs health history and severity of bloat, and may be anywhere from 1 to 2 days, to up to 7 or more.
Regardless of the type of bloat or treatment a dog experienced, vets suggest the same steps to lower the risk of bloat in the future:
Never leave large bags or bins of food accessible to your dog to avoid overeating.
Do not use raised food bowls unless advised by your veterinarian
Wait at least 1 hour after a meal or drinking a large amount of water for any exercise or playtime.
Feed small meals a few times throughout the day instead of 1 or 2 large meals
Avoid gorging on water when drinking
Discuss preventative surgery with your veterinarian for breeds at higher risk of bloat. This can often be performed during your pets spay or neuter procedure.
What Causes Bloating After Eating
Bloating occurs in the abdominal area. It happens when large amounts of air or gas build up in the gastrointestinal tract.
Eating is a common cause of bloating because when the body digests food, it produces gas. People also swallow air when eating or drinking, which then enters the gastrointestinal tract. Flatulence and burping usually help to relieve buildups of gas and air in the gut.
Bloating is a symptom of many health conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome or a food intolerance. However, most cases of bloating are avoidable.
Bloating after eating is a widespread experience and usually not a cause for concern. People with bloating can often treat their symptoms at home, such as by using one of the methods highlighted in this article.
However, bloating can sometimes also be a symptom of an underlying health condition that may require medical attention.
Anyone with bloating accompanied by other symptoms should see a doctor. These symptoms might include:
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Bloat Vs Gastric Dilatation
Bloat in dogs becomes life-threatening when it becomes gastric dilation-volvulus . Bloat GDV happens when a dogs stomach has rotated or twisted.
The gastric dilation pushes on large arteries and veins in the area, and this impacts the blood supply the stomach needs. The stomach is then unable to function properly and toxic substances build up. This causes stomach tissue to begin dying off.
In addition, gastric dilation causes further pressure on nearby organs and blood supply is decreased or cut off to them as well. The constricted blood vessels are unable to circulate blood supply throughout the body. When blood flow to the pancreas stops, this organ releases toxic hormones into the body that can easily cause heart failure.
As this process continues, its critical to realize that your dog can quickly go into shock. Thats when youll have a very grave medical emergency on your hands, and any delay in getting vet assistance can definitely compromise their survival.
Keep in mind that while your dogs risk of developing gastric dilation-volvulus from bloating are uncertain, the consequences of this condition should never be taken lightly.
Natural And Other Remedies For Gas
Many advertisements tout medications or remedies that reduce gas and bloating. Some have been shown to be of value in clinical studies, others have not yet been proven scientifically but are anecdotally helpful. Before trying anything, you may want to consult with your physician.
Two products on the market can help with food-related gas and bloating. Both products are packaged forms of the enzymes needed to break down the problematic carbohydrates. Lactase, found in products such as Dairy Ease and Lactaid, can be taken with dairy foods to help break down lactose and lessen gas. Beano helps digest the indigestible carbohydrate in beans and other gas-producing vegetables.
Natural remedies for gas include:
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Foods To Help You Debloat
Pass on the gas, and try these foods to give belly bloat the boot.
You know the feeling: You ate too much for dinner, and now youre so bloated you think youre gonna pop. Or maybe it was the way you had to wolf down that burrito at work between meetings. Or it could be PMS. Whatever the reason, youre feeling gassy, puffy and miserableand longing for stretchy pants.
Sound familiar? Abdominal bloatingsometimes described as feeling too fullaffects up to one-fourth of all healthy people, according to some surveys. Blame it on your period, or overeating, constipation, dining on gas-producing foods, gobbling your meals or even drinking through a strawthey all can cause a little belly bloat.
But theres good news. Just as some foods may blow you up like a balloon, others can help you deflate, naturally. Here are some proven bloat-fighters.
Recipe to try: Tinola
You probably already know ginger is a great natural remedy for motion sickness, nausea and many other ailments. Turns out this natural stomach soother can help bloating, too. Studies show it reduces swelling and stimulates the digestive muscles, making it easier for food to pass through. Try it brewed in hot tea, or add a little grated fresh ginger to a smoothie.
Symptoms That May Occur With Tightness In Stomach
It is important to note that the feeling of tightness in the stomach is not a sickness or disorderits merely a symptom of an underlying health issue. As such, it is often accompanied by other symptoms. You may experience any of the following discomforts in addition to the tightness.
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Imbalances In Gut Flora
Our digestion depends on our microbiome . You may experience unpleasant digestive symptoms, such as gas, bloating and feeling full, even if theres not been much food. In order to make things worse, yeast can cause more sugar cravings and simple carb cravings, which can lead to an even greater imbalance in the gut flora.