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:
When To Seek Medical Help
Most abdominal bloating should resolve itself with time when the excess gases, liquids, or food can move through the stomach and intestines. However, if your abdominal bloating and shortness of breath last longer than a day, seek medical attention.
The Healthline FindCare tool can provide options in your area if you need help finding a primary care doctor.
Also seek immediate medical attention if you experience the following symptoms along with shortness of breath and abdominal bloating:
Medical treatments for abdominal bloating and shortness of breath will address the underlying condition. For example, over-the-counter medications may help resolve abdominal bloating. Bronchodilators can help to open the airways and improve breathing.
Bloating 101: 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 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:
Possible Causes Of Bloating In Upper Abdomen
Abdominal bloating is a health condition in which the upper abdomen is gaseous, may be visibly swollen or distended, and feels uncomfortably full. Its a common complaint among both children and adults, and the symptoms can be difficult to live with. Moreover, it can also be accompanied by burping or belching, pain, excessive gas or flatulence,swallowing of air, and abdominal rumbling.
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What Causes Upper Abdominal Bloating
1. Gas-Inducing Foods
When eating, food is digested in the stomach and enters the small intestines where the enzymes break down the proteins, sugars, carbohydrates and sugars for energy. Gas-inducing foods are more difficult to digest, and can cause gas to build up during the digestive process. The amount of gas that different foods cause may vary from person to person and some examples of gas-producing foods are fried and fatty foods, vegetables such as broccoli, and Brussel sprouts, beans, some fruits, eggs, breads and carbonated or alcoholic drinks.
2. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
A common disorder called irritable bowel syndrome , affects the large intestine causing upper abdominal bloating and pain. Symptoms can also include diarrhea or constipation, and the condition affects more women than men. Irritable bowel syndrome may also be associated with depression, stress, anxiety, or a previous intestinal infection. The treatment for IBS could include anti-diarrhea medications, fiber supplements, pain medication, and dietary restrictions on gas producing foods.
3. Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is caused by inflammation of the lining of the small intestine that inhibits the body’s ability to digest gluten. Celiac disease sometimes causes people to become malnourished, despite eating what is otherwise a healthy diet. Although the cause of this disease is unknown, the condition is often hereditary.
7. Pancreatic Cancer
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 contain progesterone; 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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Coeliac Disease And Bloating
Coeliac disease;is a common digestive condition where your intestine cannot absorb gluten found in wheat, barley and rye.
If you have Coeliac disease, eating foods containing gluten can also trigger diarrhoea, abdominal pain and fatigue.
See your GP if you suspect you may have Coeliac disease.
There is no cure for Coeliac disease but, once the condition has been diagnosed, switching to a gluten-free diet should help.
Find out more about Coeliac disease.
You Could Be Lactose Intolerant
When you have lactose intolerance, youre not able to fully digest milk sugars, known as lactose. When these undigested sugars reach your colon, they can make people very bloated and crampy, Dr. Fisher says. It can take just 30 minutes after consuming lactose-rich foods for bloating and other symptoms, like diarrhea, gas and stomach cramps, to start. Lactose intolerance affects about 65% of the population, and it can develop or worsen with age.
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Wheres Your Abdominal Bloating And Pain
Pain in different areas of the abdomen can mean different things.
Abdominal pain can be anywhere between the chest and the pelvis. People often call it a stomachache. The pain can also be:
Causes of abdominal bloating and pain can vary from mild to severe. Most of the time, abdominal bloating and pain occur due to:
This kind of bloating or pain is usually normal and will go away within two hours.
In cases of the stomach flu, you may feel intense pain or bloating that comes and goes before each episode of vomiting or diarrhea. Stomach viruses usually go away with rest and home care.
This guide lists the organs associated with different locations of abdominal bloating or pain:
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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It Could Be An Early Warning Sign Of A Serious Condition
It’s rare compared to other reasons on this list, but bloating may signify another issue that has nothing to do with your lifestyle choices. Constant bloating that doesnt go away after your period, or new instances of bloating that are irregular, could be an early sign of ovarian cancer or colon cancer. Bloating could also signal a number of other serious gastrointestinal problems, such as a bowel blockage, ulcer or conditions like Crohns disease.
Pay attention to other symptoms that accompany your bloating, Dr. Christmas says. If you also have constipation, diarrhea, bloody stool, vomiting with blood, pelvic or abdominal pain, and abnormal uterine bleeding or vaginal discharge, changes in appetite, or start feeling full quickly, you should make an appointment with your doctor.
Any time you have any concern thats bothering you, especially if its something new, you need to be evaluated, she says.
You’re A Big Fan Of Beans
Kidney, pinto, black, redbeans are an awesome source of high-quality plant protein. Unfortunately the carbohydrates in beans tend to be indigestible, and that’s what gives them their gassy, belly-bloating reputation, says Brill. Thing is, beans boost the health of so many dishes, from chili to soup to burritos, that it would be a nutritional crime to dump them out of your diet entirely. The solution: take an over-the-counter anti-gas product such as Beano along with your beans. “These contain the enzyme we’re missing that makes the carbohydrates digestible,” says Brill. “It’s safe to take, and it prevents the uncomfortable puffy feeling.”
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Create A Protein And Fibre Rich Body
The cultivation of a protein and fibre rich body can also help to reduce stomach fat over time. Protein is known to reduce unhealthy food cravings by 60%, for example, while also boosting metabolism by between 80 and 100 calories. A diet containing soluble and viscous fibres also triggers a slower and more effective digestion process, making you feel fuller for longer and maintaining a reduced, natural appetite.
Just remember that fibres are similar to carbohydrates in terms of their complexity, so you will need to determine which ingredients are the most conducive to fat and weight loss.
Whats The Best Treatment For A Bloated Stomach
Your treatment will depend on whats causing your bloating. There are lots of things you can try at home to get rid of trapped wind including changing your diet to limit foods that cause bloating and exercising more regularly. Read more about how to get rid of trapped wind and natural ways to beat bloating.
IBS and constipation can also also be treated at home, as long as you or a doctor are sure theres nothing else that could be causing your symptoms. For example, IBS usually gets better if you manage your stress levels and get more exercise. You can also keep a food and symptoms diary to try and work out what is triggering your IBS and then exclude those foods or drinks. This is helpful with food intolerances too.
But if youre finding that even with these changes, your bloated stomach isnt getting better, you may need treatment advice from a pharmacist or a doctor. This could include medications to reduce the acid in your stomach known as antacid medicines or laxatives to help with constipation.
For more serious causes like ascites or cancers, youll likely need treatment in hospital. This may involve surgery or medication like chemotherapy.
Read more about how to get rid of bloating.
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You Drink Through A Straw
Coffee, fruit smoothies, green juicethese days, all kinds of drinks are designed to be sipped through a straw. But as convenient as they are, straws force you to suck in lots of extra airand that can make you feel like an inflatable ball, says Middleberg. It doesn’t make a difference how slowly or deeply you sip; you’re taking in the air already trapped in the upper part of the straw, and it’s impossible to avoid. Whenever you can, sip your drinks from the rim of the glass.
Youre Not Getting Enough Exercise
Exercise can do wonders for your GI tract. Essentially, it gets things moving and decreases your risk for constipation and, therefore, bloating. Adults need 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week, along with strength-building exercises. Just by exercise and adhering to a plant-forward diet, like the Mediterranean diet, its beneficial for a lot of things and can help with bloating, as well, Dr. Christmas says.
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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.
Reasons Why You Feel Bloated All The Time
Being bloated is no fun, and weve all been there. Whether it was an ice cream sundae bar or Chinese buffet, theres been a time that we just ate too much and had to loosen the belt a few notches just to get some extra relief. However, bloating can happen for a number of reasonssome not related to foodand Matt Hoffman, FNP, clinical assistant professor with the Texas A&M College of Nursing, breaks down why youre feeling uncomfortable and a little extra puffy in your midsection.
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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.
What Else You Can Do About Bloating
If eliminating or reducing consumption of hard-to-digest foods doesnât solve your frequent bloating problem, there are over-the-counter medications that might help. Look for a pill or liquid containing alpha-D-galactosidase, an enzyme that breaks down indigestible sugars in beans and vegetables. Tablets or capsules containing simethicone can also help alleviate symptoms of excess gas.
If youâre a smoker, intestinal distress may be one more reason to quit. Smoking has been linked to bloating, heartburn, and other digestive problems.
Fortunately, bloating is rarely a symptom of serious trouble. For most people, the most effective prescription for bloating is simple: control portion sizes, go easy on fats, and eat slowly enough to give your body time to signal when youâve had enough. These sensible remedies should keep you from feeling overstuffed and bloated.
Grabitske, H. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition,âGastrointestinal Effects of Low-Digestible Carbohydrates,â 2009; vol 49: pp327-360.
Joanne L. Slavin, PhD, RD, professor of food science and nutrition,University of Minnesota.
American College of Gastroenterology:Belching, Bloating and Flatulence.
MedicineNet.com: Intestinal Gas .
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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 lower middle part of the abdomen contains the urinary bladder, rectum, and anus.
The urinary bladder is the organ that collects urine for excretion out of the body through the urethra.
The rectum goes into the anus, the final section of the large intestine that carries stool for excretion from the body.