Abdominal Bloating- Causes, Symptoms and Home Remedies
Dr Sheetal Bhatia
Domlur, Bengaluru Feb 9, 2017
Abdominal bloating is very common nowadays, and it is called an epidemic. It is a condition when your body feels swollen after eating.
The bloating occurs when the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is packed with air or gas. Most people explain bloating as feeling full, tight, or swelling in the abdomen. Your abdomen may also be inflated (swollen), hard, and uncomfortable. Bloating is often brought by:
Abdominal bloating can hinder your ability to work and engage in social or recreational activities. Bloating is familiar among both adults and children.
Causes of Abdominal Bloating
Gas is the most usual cause of bloating, especially after eating. Gas forms up in the digestive tract when the undigested food gets broken down or when the air has been swallowed. Everyone swallows air when they eat food or drink, but few people can swallow more than others, mainly if they are:
- too quickly eating or drinking
- chewing gum
- wearing loose dentures
Flatulence and burping are two ways assimilated air leaves the body. Delayed emptying of the stomach or slow gas transport along with the accumulation of gas can also begin bloating and intestinal distension.
Medical causes of Abdominal Bloating
Another cause of bloating may be due to medical conditions. These include:
- inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- other functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs)
- food intolerance
- weight gain
- hormonal flux (especially for women)
- giardiasis (intestinal parasite infection)
- eating disorders like anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa
- mental health factors such as stress, anxiety, depression, and more
- some medications
These conditions cause factors that add to gas and bloating, such as:
- gas buildup
- overgrowth or deficiency of bacteria within the GI tract
- changed gut motility
- damaged gas transit
- irregular abdominal reflexes
- food and carbohydrate malabsorption
- visceral hypersensitivity (feeling of bloating in small or even regular body changes)
Serious causes of Abdominal Bloating
Abdominal bloating can also be a warning of various serious conditions, including:
- perforation of the GI tract with the release of gas, normal GI tract bacteria, and other contents into the abdominal cavity
- pathologic fluid buildup in the abdominal cavity (ascites) as an effect of cancer (e.g., ovarian cancer), kidney malfunction, liver disease, or congestive heart failure
- celiac disease, or gluten intolerance
- pancreatic insufficiency, which is weakened digestion because the pancreas cannot produce sufficient digestive enzymes
Risk Factors of Bloating
- Eating too fast
- Eating too much
- Eating fatty foods
- Eating fatty foods that create gas in the intestinal tract.
- Lactose intolerance
- Menstrual period
- Drinking a lot of soda
- Liver disease
Foods that can Cause Bloated Stomach
- Fibre-rich food can cause bloating and gassiness, especially in them who are not used to eating them regularly. But if you eat them frequently, they can result in better tolerance and less bloating and gas.
- Beans and lentils
- Whole grains
- Apricots, apples, peaches, pears, and prunes
- Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, lettuce, onions
Symptoms of Abdominal Bloating
- Watery eyes, itchy throat
- Pain around lymph nodes
- Weight loss
- Brain fog & trouble concentrating
- Skin rashes or hives
- Vomiting or nausea
- Constipation or diarrhoea
- Blood in urine or stool
- Irregular periods
Natural and Home Remedies for Gas and Bloating
Several home remedies can benefit from controlling the pain and discomfort of bloating. The following prompt tips may help people to get rid of a bloated belly quickly:
1. Try yoga poses
Several yoga poses can position the muscles in the abdomen in a way that supports the release of excessive gas from the GI tract. This can lessen bloating.
Happy Baby Pose, Child’s Pose and squats can all benefit people to release a buildup of gas quickly.
2. Go for a short walk
Physical activities can get the bowels moving more systematically, which can help to release excessive gas and stool. Getting the bowels to move is particularly necessary if someone is feeling constipated. A short walk around the block can give quick relief from gas pressure.
3. Try gas relief medicines
Simethicone pills and liquid are anti-gas medicines that can assist in moving excessive air out of the digestive tract. It is necessary to always use medications according to the directions on the label.
4. Use peppermint capsules
Peppermint oil capsules may also be useful for indigestion, bloating and gas. Manufacturers generally market them as a remedy for the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), but people without IBS can also utilise them to reduce bloating.
Peppermint works by unwinding the intestinal muscles, which permits gas and stool to move along more efficiently. People should always go through the instructions on the packet. Anyone who is susceptible to get heartburn may be required to avoid peppermint.
5. Use essential oils
A study from 2016 examined the effectiveness of supplements comprising a mix of fennel and curcumin essential oil in 116 people who were with mild-to-moderate IBS conditions. Post 30 days, people reported an improvement in their IBS symptoms, that also included bloating and abdominal pain.
People should not take down essential oils without consulting a doctor first. This is because specific formulations may be toxic or can conflict with medication, and there is no regulation of dosages.
6. Get an abdominal massage
Massaging the abdomen can benefit you to get the bowels moving. A massage that maintains the path of the large intestine is remarkably effective. People can follow the below-mentioned steps to do this:
- Keeping the hands just above the right hip bone.
- Massaging in a circular motion with moderate pressure up approaching the right side of the ribcage.
- Massaging straight across the upper belly region toward the left rib cage.
- Moving gently down toward the left hip bone.
- Repeating as required.
If the rubbing causes any pain, it is better to stop it immediately.
7. Try a warm shower, soaking, and resting
The warmth of the hot-bath can give comfort for a painful abdomen. Resting and relaxation can decrease stress levels, which may support the GI tract to operate more efficiently and help reduce bloating.
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