What Is Bloating – Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

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Having a bloated stomach is uncomfortable to sit or even stand. Bloating is usually a digestive issue, although hormones and stress can create it as well. Sometimes there can be an underlying medical condition, but that is when you find you are having severe and repeated episodes of bloating without relief. But exactly what is bloating, how is it caused and what can you do about it?

What is Bloating?

Bloating is the buildup of gas in the stomach and intestines.  It happens when your gastrointestinal (GI) tract is filled with air or gas.

The GI tract runs all the way from your mouth to the anus (bottom). It includes your entire digestive system.

Symptoms of Bloating

A bloated stomach feels tight, full and often painful. You can feel as if you’ve eaten very large meal and there is no room left in your stomach.  It can be very uncomfortable and even painful. Your stomach may actually look a bit bigger and swollen, making your clothes fit and feel tighter.

You may also burp or belch frequently or have abdominal rumbling or gurgling.

Severe bloating can occur with other serious symptoms, such as:

  • Blood in your stool
  • Noticeable weight loss (without trying)
  • Vaginal bleeding (between your periods, or if you are postmenopausal)
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Heartburn that progressively gets worse
  • Fever (from a possible infection)

If you have any of these symptoms along with bloating, call your doctor.

What Are the Causes for Bloating

As mentioned above, bloating happens when there is a buildup of gas in the stomach and intestines. Bloating most often happens from non-serious situations such as drinking carbonated beverages, eating a large meal, menstruation, constipation, or gas.

Other simple causes for bloating include:

  • Swallowing air (this can happen when you chew gum, smoke, or eat too fast)
  • Constipation
  • Overeating
  • Reflux (GERD)
  • Weight gain
  • Menstruation (in some women)

However, there could be more serious issues and those could be:

  • Infection
  • Inflammation (such as a condition called diverticulitis)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Liver disease (abnormal buildup of fluid in your stomach or pelvis)
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Blockage in your bowel or bladder
  • Cancer (ovarian, uterine, colon, pancreatic, or stomach)
  • Mental health factors, such as anxiety or depression
  • Some medicines

If you are having severe bloating and a recurrence of bloating, you should just consult your doctor or seek medical assistance.


Treatments for Bloating

There are a few quick treatments for bloating that may work for you.

You can try:

  • Foods to Eat to Get Rid of Bloating
  • Natural Ways to Help Relieve Bloating
  • Medicines to Reduce Bloating

Check out “How To Get Rid of Bloating” with these different ways to help reduce your bloating.

How to Avoid Bloating

While bloating can happen quickly and unexpectedly, there are some ways you may be able to help prevent and avoid bloating:

  • Eat more slowly
  • Reduce or avoid drinking carbonated drinks (such as soda)
  • Avoid dairy products if you notice they cause gas and bloating.
  • Eat more high-fiber foods to prevent constipation or try a fiber supplement
  • Avoid foods that commonly cause gas including cabbage, brussels sprouts, turnips, beans, and lentils.
  • Avoid chewing gum
  • Avoid using straws for drinking
  • Reduce or avoid artificial sweeteners, as in foods that include fructose or sorbitol
  • Eat more high-fiber foods to prevent constipation or try a fiber supplement
  • Quit smoking


Related Article:

How To Get Rid of Bloating – Treatments and Remedies








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