Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth
The stomach and intestines are home to a variety of bacteria, many of which help the body digest food. Disturbing the balance of these bacteria can lead to an increase in harmful bacteria present in the small intestine. This is known as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or SIBO.
SIBO can cause bloating, frequent diarrhea, and may lead to difficulties digesting food and absorbing nutrients. For some people, SIBO can lead to osteoporosis or unintentional weight loss.
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I Get So Bloated I Look Pregnant
Hannah Lewis, 36, is a model, who is single and lives with her eight-year-old son in Ascot, Berks.
Abdomen exam: Normal
Hannah says: Ive suffered from excessive bloating for more than 10 years and can look pregnant after eating certain foods.
I also get terrible stomach cramps, constipation and severe flatulence. My GP hasnt offered much help.
Some days my tummy is so bad I dont want to go out. If I have an important event to attend, I either dont eat at all or just eat crisps which dont cause me to bloat. Ive tried over-the-counter medicines, but none have helped much.
Mr Wests assessment: Hannah has classic IBS symptoms. Her mother apparently suffered from it and it can run in families.
I reassured her it isnt associated with a higher risk of any other more serious conditions.
Treatment for Hannah is all about symptom control, as her bloating gets worse with certain foods including roast dinners and curries.
Ive advised her to avoid these and keep a food diary to spot other triggers.
Following a low FODMAP diet, avoiding gas producers like onions, broccoli and apples, can improve IBS.
What Is A Bloated Stomach
A bloated stomach is first and foremost a feeling of tightness, pressure or fullness in your belly. It may or may not be accompanied by a visibly distended abdomen. The feeling can range from mildly uncomfortable to intensely painful. It usually goes away after a while, but for some people, its a recurring problem. Digestive issues and hormone fluctuations can cause cyclical bloating. If your bloated stomach doesnt go away, you should seek medical care to determine the cause.
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Check For A Food Intolerance Or Allergy
Occasionally, a wheat allergy or lactose intolerance results in a lot of undigested food that can be acted on by bacteria and cause bloating, says Dr Chopada.
If you want to reduce bloating consider food intolerances, says Claire. The most common intolerances are lactose , fructose , wheat and gluten, and eggs. You can do this by cutting out food you think you might be intolerant to and seeing how your body reacts. If you arent sure, find a specialist who can test you, she advises.
Over the counter medications like Deflatine tablets can help, adds Dr Chophada.
Drinking enough water can actually reduce bloating, rather than cause it.
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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How To Stop Stomach Bloating
REMOVE: Food sensitivities and infections/bad bacteria
REPLACE: HCL, enzymes, bile
REPAIR: Glutatmine, zinc, omega-3, quercetin, marshmallow, aloe
REBALANCE: Manage stress, sleep, exercise
If you are interested in a more personalized approach to help you get to the root of your problem, schedule a 15 minute free consult with Toni.
Toni is a wife, a mom to three amazing and very active boys, a wellness warrior who lives with and successfully manages three autoimmune diseases and an ultra passionate Family Nurse Practitioner certified in Functional Medicine through the Institute for Functional Medicine. Her dream has always been to reach the masses with this root-cause, personalized medicine that saved her life.
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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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.
Red Flags For Swollen Stomach And Back Pain
Bloating causes a distended stomach when the abdomen fills up with gas or air. This discomforting sensation can also cause pain that may be felt in the back. Together, a swollen stomach and back pain can make you feel not only distressed but perhaps a bit self-conscious as well.
The two symptoms are tied together because the back provides support and stabilizes the body. However, abdominal bloating causes pressure and pain in the area which can spread to the back. The pain may vary in severity and type from sensations of dull throbbing to sharp and pinching pain.
When the two symptoms are experienced separately they are fairly common and not usually a cause for concern. But in instances where a bloating stomach pain is also accompanied by back pain, they could be indicative of a more serious condition. These should not be taken lightly as they can include the following:
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How Long Does A Bloated Stomach Last
If your bloating is due to something you ate or drank or to hormone fluctuations, it should begin to ease within a few hours to days. If you are constipated, it wont go down until you start pooping. Water, exercise and herbal teas can help encourage all of these things along. If it doesnt go away or gets worse, seek medical attention.
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.
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What Are The Symptoms And Causes Of Indigestion
Most of us have experienced indigestion and its symptoms, for example, upper abdominal pain and cramping, bloating, belching, nausea, vomiting, and the feeling of fullness after only eating a few bites. There are common causes of indigestion like GERD or pregnancy. More serious causes include cancers or heart attack.
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.
Stop Smoking Chewing Gum Or Wearing Dentures
According to the charity Guts UK!chewing gum, smoking or wearing loose dentures all promote air swallowing and can cause bloating. Avoid using gum and quit smoking. Visit the NHS Stop Smoking Service, or call the Smokefree National Helpline on 0300 123 1044 for help. If your dentures are loose see a dentist.
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Coeliac Disease Aka Gluten
Could be the cause if: You often feel tired youve lost weight for no apparent reason you are suffering from abdominal pain.
Coeliac disease is an adverse reaction to gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye and all foods containing them everything from pasta and bread to pies and some gravies and sauces.
It is an autoimmune condition where the body mistakes substances in gluten for a threat and attacks them, leading to damage to the surface of the small bowel, which then affects your ability to absorb nutrients from food.
It used to be mainly diagnosed in children, but its now known people can go undiagnosed into middle age.
If you have these symptoms, see your doctor and ask to have a blood test for coeliac disease. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines state that anyone with bloating and other IBS-type symptoms should be tested for it.
If youre diagnosed, youll feel better once you start avoiding all foods containing gluten.
For more information about it visit www.coeliac.org.uk.
Could be the cause if: You are premenstrual or in the early stages of pregnancy.
During pregnancy, and just before your period, levels of the hormone progesterone are raised.
This can slow down gut motility or movement, which means food passes more slowly through the body, leading to bloating and possibly constipation.
You can beat the bloat. Exercise can help improve gut motility and walking for 30 minutes a day could be enough to make the difference.
Severe Stomach Pain After Eating A Fatty Meal
If you find yourself doubled over after eating a high-fat meal, you may be experiencing a gallbladder attack. Women are especially prone to gallbladder disease, says Hardeep Singh, MD, gastroenterologist from St. Joseph Hospital, Orange, CA. Overweight women in their 40s are at highest risk. The pain becomes worse after eating, lasts 30 to 60 minutes, and may come and go, becoming more constant and severe over time, says Singh.
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Youre Swallowing Too Much Air
Inadvertently swallowing too much air when you eat or drink, a condition known as aerophagia, may cause bloating and belching, Dr. Fisher says, So drinking through a straw or having carbonated beverages are things that tend to contribute to upper GI bloating.
Eating too fast and chewing gum may also cause you to ingest too much air, adds Stefani Sassos, M.S., R.D., registered dietitian in the Good Housekeeping Institute. Try your best to slow down when you eat, properly chew your food, and make sure youre staying hydrated throughout the day, she says.
Take A Warm Bath Soaking And Relaxing
The heat of the bath can provide relief for a sore abdomen. Relaxation can reduce stress levels, which may allow the GI tract to function more effectively and help reduce bloating.
Quick fixes are not always effective for some causes of bloating. However, people who have frequent bloating may find that certain lifestyle changes can tackle the causes and reduce bloating over time.
People can use these simple steps to try to prevent bloating in the long-term:
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Remedies For Stomach Bloat
Sometimes a simple diet change might be all you need. Sticking to foods that are high in protein or complex carbohydrates can help. Drink plenty of water and stay away from carbonated drinks. Making your meals last longer can help keep you from overeating so be sure to try eating slower and chewing your food more.
Another remedy is to try, in place of three meals a day, eating more frequent, smaller meals. This prevents the bloating that typically follows large meals.
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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When Should You See A Healthcare Provider For Bloating
Bloating is rarely a sign of a serious medical problem. However, bloating that is long-term and doesn’t respond to changes in eating habits or OTC treatments can sometimes be associated with certain diseases and conditions such as:
If you notice you’re frequently bloated or that you become bloated after eating certain foods, you may want to make an appointment to see your healthcare provider. Try to note what triggers your bloating and bring these notes to your appointment.
Bad Eating Habits = Bloating
Its no surprise that bad eating habits can contribute to bloating. Overeating or eating too quickly can cause that stuffed feeling because your digestive system slows down, trying to process a large or fast intake of food. When you talk while eating, drink through a straw or chew gum, you swallow air that can go into your digestive system, causing bloating.
Processed foods, such as hotdogs and chips, also can create bloating. Many processed foods are high in sodium, which makes your body retain water and can cause your stomach to feel bloated. Sugary foods and snacks break down in your body and can make you gassy.
Even what you drink can upset your stomach. Carbonated beverages like beer and soda contain bubbles with carbon dioxide, a gas that releases into your stomach.
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How To Get Rid Of A Bloated Stomach
One of the most effective bloated stomach remedies is improving your diet, since the foods you eat play a huge part in regulating how much air and poop is trapped inside your digestive tract.
To keep things flowing smoothly, you want to make sure to eat a high-fiber diet, aiming for about 2530 grams every day or even more.
This isnt too difficult when you eat plenty of whole foods, including veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes and ancient grains. It can certainly help you to track your symptoms after eating certain foods known to cause bloating, but remember that a bloated stomach is caused by your entire lifestyle, not just the food on your plate.
Some of the best foods for helping to battle stomach bloating include:
Now that you know what you should eat, lets look at some of the foods that might make your bloating even worse. More often than not, some of these foods might be the culprit:
How Do You Release Gas From Your Back
Here are some quick ways to expel trapped gas, either by burping or passing gas. Move. Walk around. Massage. Try gently massaging the painful spot. Yoga poses. Specific yoga poses can help your body relax to aid the passing of gas. Liquids. Drink noncarbonated liquids. Herbs. Bicarbonate of soda. Apple cider vinegar.
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Bloating And Diet Changes
Johns Hopkins Medicine describes bloating as when “your belly feels full and tight, often due to gas.” This can be caused by overeating, eating gas-producing foods and constipation. Common gas-producing foods include beans, whole grains, some fruits and vegetables, onions, dairy products and leafy greens many things that are part of a balanced, nutritious diet.
Diet changes can also contribute to constipation, which also can cause bloating. “For example, if someone is not used to eating high-fiber foods and suddenly switches to a diet full of salads and vegetables, they are very likely to experience at least transient bloating,” says Jesse P. Houghton, MD, the senior medical director of gastroenterology at the Southern Ohio Medical Center in Portsmouth, Ohio.
“On the flip side, say a person starts on a low-carb diet. This often involves restricting fruits and vegetables, which can lead to new-onset constipation. This in turn can cause gas and flatus to build up in the intestines, thus causing bloating,” Dr. Houghton says.
The specific causes of bloating will depend on what your diet had been like and what new things you have introduced or removed from your regular meal plan.