Swallowing Too Much Air
This is called aerophagia. You may not be aware of it but you may be swallowing air frequently or in large amounts. This often happens in people who are under stress. It can be aggravated by chewing gum and smoking. Usually, air swallowed in this way passes into the gullet and down into the stomach.
However, sometimes air is sucked into the back of the throat and is burped out before it reaches the oesophagus. This is known as supragastric belching.
Some people swallow air deliberately to cause belching, as they find this helps to relieve symptoms of indigestion.
Probiotics For Bloating Gas And Distention
When it comes to bloating, probiotics can help improve the balance of bacteria in your gut , which often corrects the underlying cause of the bloating.
Research supports this hypothesis. According to a meta-analysis published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, Probiotics were associated with less abdominal pain compared to placebo . A randomized, controlled trial in the study showed probiotics significantly reduced abdominal pain and distention in IBS patients [39
Potential Harms Of Laxative Use
Laxatives may cause potential problems if used incorrectly.
Signs and symptoms like bloody stools, severe abdominal cramps or pain, weakness, dizziness and constipation longer than seven days may all be attributed to laxative abuse.
Various laxatives pose certain health risks based on how they function in the body.
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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.
Summary: The Best Laxatives For Constipation
Laxatives are an important and effective treatment option for those suffering from constipation.
However, its important to recognize potential harms and safety practices as they are typically not intended for ongoing use. Always speak with your doctor first.
Start with bulk-forming laxatives like psyllium husk fiber to bulk and soften stool in cases of mild constipation. If this doesnt work, seek more aggressive treatments, like polyethylene glycol , which is safe for daily use.
Improving your diet and lifestyle by eating fiber-rich foods, staying hydrated, exercising regularly and taking probiotics are also important ways to prevent and treat chronic constipation.
With the right treatment you can get back to feeling like your old self once more.
About Erin Peisach
Erin Peisach, RDN, CLT attended the University of Maryland, College Park for her Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics. She is now the owner of Nutrition by Erin, a San Diego-based virtual nutrition private practice specializing in gastrointestinal disorders.
Learn more about her on the About page.
Joe Leech, Dietitian
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What Causes Bloating And Constipation
Before deciding what to take for constipation and bloating, you need to find out what causes bloating and constipation in your body. While taking medicine for bloating and constipation can provide bloating and constipation relief, it may not treat the reason for these. To avoid chronic constipation and bloating that can become severe, you must address the source of the problem.
Bloating and constipation can be caused by different reasons, each may need a completely different treatment. The tables below show the most common causes of bloating and constipation. We also included the suggested bloating and constipation treatment.
See if these common causes of bloating and constipation apply to you. You can also click on the links to the topics you wish to learn more about.
Important: chronic constipation and bloating may also be caused by an underlying medical condition. If after reading these causes of bloating and constipation you are unsure what is causing your bloating and constipation issues, we highly suggest that you consult your doctor.
Boosts The Happy Hormone Serotonin
Changes in the gut microbiome can have a profound effect on hormone production and neurotransmission in the central nervous system.
But more importantly, the neurotransmitter Serotonin has an essential role in digestive health including the stimulation of the peristaltic reflex.
90% of serotonin is produced in the gut
Its also important to remember that 90% of serotonin is produced in the gut. Therefore, the more serotonin is made available the greater improvement in intestinal motility.
Studies suggest that microorganisms in the GI tract can increase the production of tryptophan an amino acid thatâs converted into serotonin.
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The Role Of Visceral Sensitivity
Changes in visceral sensitivity have been proposed as the hallmark of IBS. Patients frequently describe marked symptoms in the absence of significant physiologic changes, so altered visceral sensitivity provides a ready hypothesis to explain the frequency and severity of the bloating that they experience. Most commonly, rectal hypersensitivity is observed in patients with IBS. Rectal hyposensitivity is also common, particularly in patients with constipation, and is associated predominantly with increased abdominal distension. Almost 90% of patients with no-urge constipation, which is associated with elevated rectal sensory thresholds, describe distension and bloating. In contrast, hypersensitive patients, in whom diarrhea-predominant IBS is more common, have increased symptoms of bloating in the absence of distension.
Alterations in visceral sensitivity may explain why symptoms of bloating and distension may be worse in women during the perimenstrual phase. Visceral sensitivity varies throughout the menstrual cycle and is generally most acute in the perimenstrual phase, the period when symptoms are usually worse. Visceral pain thresholds are also lower in the setting of psychological stress, perhaps explaining why patients commonly note exacerbations of symptoms during periods of stress.
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Food Intolerance And Bloating
Food intolerance can lead to bloating when:
- your bowel does not empty properly
- the food causes gas to be trapped
- too much gas is produced as a reaction to the food
The most common foods to cause problems are wheat or gluten and dairy products.
The best approach if you have a food intolerance is to eat less of the problem food or cut it out completely.
Keep a food diary for a couple of weeks, noting everything that you eat and drink and when bloating troubles you most. But do not get rid of food groups long-term without advice from your GP.
Find out more about food intolerance.
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Bloating: Causes And Prevention Tips
How often do you hear yourself or friends complain about bloating? We often just say we’re bloated when we feel full, but for many women, the problem relates to a chronic underlying condition. If you feel bloated often, you may have a condition like irritable bowel syndrome , which affects up to 24 of women.
Here are some common causes of bloating and tips on preventing this uncomfortable condition.
Functional Abdominal Bloating With Distention
Stephen Norman Sullivan
1Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
2Island Medical Program, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada
Ten to 25% of healthy persons experience bloating. It is particularly common in persons with the irritable bowel syndrome and constipation. While the cause of bloating remains unknown old explanations such as a excessive intestinal gas, exaggerated lumbar lordosis and psychiatric problems have been disproved. New suggestions include recent weight gain, weak or inappropriately relaxed abdominal muscles, an inappropriately contracted diaphragm and retained fluid in loops of distal small bowel. No treatment is of unequivocal benefit but a low FODMAPs diet, probiotics and the non-absorbable antibiotic rifaximin offer some hope. Treatment by weight loss, abdominal exercise, prokinetics and girdles need more study.
Bloating is the symptom and distention is the sign. Not a pretty picture! What do we know about this highly prevalent problem and perhaps the most bothersome symptom for persons with the irritable bowel syndrome, especially of the constipated variety?
There have been several recent exhaustive reviews of the topic and important new research . This is a brief summary of the relevant science and some of the art. For a historical perspective I highly recommend the classic paper by Alvarez of the Mayo Clinic .
3. The Clinical Picture
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What Else Can Cause Bloating
Constipation isnt the only bloating cause. There are many contributing factors that can lead to a buildup of excess gas in your digestive tract. These include:
- Intestinal bacteria. Sometimes bacteria cant break down all the excess carbohydrates in the stomach and small intestine. When the undigested carbohydrates reach the large intestine, the bacteria located there release excess air.
- Medical conditions. Several medical conditions can increase the occurrence of bloating. These include irritable bowel syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux disease, lactose intolerance, and celiac disease.
- Swallowing excess air. Swallowing too much air by chewing gum, drinking carbonated drinks, eating or drinking very quickly, or even wearing loose-fitting dentures can increase the amount of air building up in your gastrointestinal tract.
In addition to these bloating causes, there are many foods known to contribute to bloating:
While you dont need to avoid all of these foods , avoiding consuming an excess of them can help.
You can also try reducing your intake of certain groupings to see if your symptoms improve.
You should talk with your doctor or other healthcare provider about your constipation and constipation-related bloating if you have the following symptoms:
- frequent bouts of constipation
- sudden changes in constipation symptoms
- unexplained weight loss
Your healthcare provider will be able to recommend different treatments that can help you address your specific symptoms.
Next Seek Out Hyperosmotic Laxatives
If psyllium doesnt produce a response, then the next step is to try hyperosmotic laxatives, like milk of magnesia, at the lowest possible dose.
One study comparing milk of magnesia to bulk-forming laxatives in 64 geriatric patients found it to be more effective at treating constipation. Due to the high intake of magnesium, do not use this treatment option with impaired kidney function .
Polyethylene glycol is also an effective treatment option for normalizing bowel frequency and stool consistency. Its considered safe to use daily for up to 24 weeks. Nine controlled studies in over 500 patients show conclusive evidence in its positive effect for CC .
Lactulose treatment, while highly effective, should not be used until other less risky treatments like PEG are attempted first. It hasnt been studied for long-term use, nor specifically in patients with IBS-C.
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Causes Of Stomach Bloating
It can be challenging to determine the cause of stomach bloating. Some known causes of stomach bloating include:
- Excess gas in the intestine
- Small intestinal bacteria overgrowth
- Irregular amounts of microorganisms in the bowel
- Sensitivity or intolerance to food
- Sensitivity of perception to digestive tract
- Spinal curvature of the lumbar spine resulting in lessened abdominal capacity for gas
- Gastroparesis, a motility disorder that delays the stomachs ability to empty itself
- Anxiety, depression, and other gut-brain connections
Fixes For Bloating And Gas
Stop swallowing air: Unfortunately, there isnt a magic medicine to make gas dissolve into thin air . But you can easily change behaviors that unknowingly produce gas. Anytime you consciously or unconsciously swallow air by doing things like chewing gum, smoking, drinking through a straw or eating quickly you may increase gas within your GI tract.
More than just beans: Another solution is to decrease the amount of food that triggers gas production.
Dairy in the form of milk, ice cream and yogurt is a big source of gas production. People that reduce or eliminate these items from their diets often see benefits within a week. Pasta, wheat, bran and food items sweetened with artificial sweeteners, such as gum and hard candy, also produce gas.
In addition, fruits and vegetables to watch for include stone fruits , pears, raw apples, watermelon, beans, lentils, onions, garlic, green peppers, shallots, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and artichokes. These healthy foods can cause uncomfortable symptoms in the GI tract for many people. Similarly, fiber in whole grains and whole wheat bread ferments in the gut and causes gas.
Figuring out what to eat and what to avoid can be confusing, so we highly recommend working with a dietitian who specializes in GI health to determine what dietary changes are appropriate for you.
Constipation: This digestive tract issue can cause a great deal of discomfort. Fortunately, there are many ways to combat it.
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Yoga Poses To Smooth Away Belly Bloat
Whether its from something you ate today or just that time of the month, these yoga poses can soothe and relieve belly bloat.
While doing these poses, focus on deep breathing and contracting your core abdominal muscles.
These twists, inversions and contractions will all help bring blood flow and stimulation to your digestive tract to remove gasses or fluids that may be trapped, soothing your belly bloat.
Do you struggle with bloating, gas, constipation, or other digestive issues? Weve created a FREE guide to healing your gut naturally.
Do each of these poses one time through, spending about 30 seconds to one minute per pose.
If you feel like you need more, repeat the circuit one more time.
How To Get Rid Of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Your doctor may recommend changes in your diet to help treat symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome . Your doctor may suggest that you Different changes may help different people with IBS. You may need to change what you eat for several weeks to see if your symptoms improve. Your doctor may also recommend talking with a dietitian.
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Side Effects Of Abdominal Bloating
Some of the side effects and complications of a bloated abdomen that call for immediate medical attention include:
- A pain or pressure in the chest
- Breathing difficulty
- Vomiting blood or some black substance
- Severe and intolerable abdominal pain
- Rapid pulse
- Signs of jaundice such as yellow skin or eyes
If you experience any of the above-mentioned side effects, visit your doctor immediately. This is because it can have a serious impact on your health if left unattended for too long. However, for mild to moderate cases you can go ahead and try out these effective home remedies for bloated stomach. And yes, do let us know if this article helped you by posting in the comments section below.
This Pose Offers A Way To Apply Your Own Form Of Compression
Yoga for constipation provides effective cure by practicing yoga asanas, yoga breathing and bandhas. Constipation is a common complaint, but yoga poses can help by stimulating the digestive system and relieving gas. Using yoga for constipation is a great alternative to laxatives. But bloating, abdominal pain and constipation symptoms can be seen in ibs.
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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.
Diagram Naming The Parts Of The Gut
There is always a certain amount of gas in the bowel. Most of this comes from air swallowed whilst you are eating or drinking. It can also happen during smoking or when swallowing saliva. Larger amounts can be swallowed when you eat quickly, gulp down a drink or chew gum. The swallowed air goes down into the gullet .
If you are sitting up, the air tends to go back up the oesophagus and escapes again through the mouth in the process of belching. If you are lying flat, the air tends to pass downwards causing gas in the stomach. This can result in bloating after eating and a hard, swollen tummy. The gas eventually enters the small bowel and escapes through the back passage . People often refer to this as ‘farting’ or, more politely, ‘passing wind’ or flatulence.
Gas can also be produced due to germs acting on partially digested food in the gut. This is more likely to happen with some foods than others. Broccoli, baked beans and Brussels sprouts are well-known culprits. The number of germs in the bowel also has an effect on the volume of gas produced. The gas that is made is mainly composed of carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane. It may contain traces of a chemical called sulfur. This is responsible for the unpleasant smell experienced when you pass wind through the back passage.
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How To Treat Constipation And Bloating
Constipation and bloating can feel similar in some ways, but they are in fact very different and have their own causes. Although they usually disappear with time, sufferers are understandably keen to treat them as quickly as possible. Keep reading to find out more about constipation and bloating and how to relieve yourself of them.
The Role Of Gas Handling And Clearance
Rather than excessive gas production, it seems more likely that altered or dysfunctional gas handling and clearance are to blame. Intestinal transit is altered in patients who experience bloating their prokinetics and colonic transit times are slower than those of healthy individuals, and distension directly correlates with transit times. The positive effect of prokinetics on bloating is testament to this. Furthermore, the proximal clearance of gas appears to be impaired in these patients, resulting in increased residual gas following attempted evacuation. This is most likely the consequence of altered reflex modulation of gas clearance.
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