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Bloating is a common problem that you might have come across” Symptoms, Causes, Treatment & More

Bloating is a common problem experienced by most of us in our day-day lives. Experiencing short-term or temporary bloating may not be a matter of concern. However, if bloating happens all the time, it may require undergoing treatment. In this article, we will be discussing what is bloating, its symptoms, causes and treatment.

Bloating is a Gastrointestinal problem that arises when the stomach fills with air or gas. Bloating may cause a feeling of tightness in the stomach, usually observed after a heavy meal. Stomach may look more extensive due to which one cannot wear favourite clothes.

Symptoms of bloating

A person suffering from bloating may observe pain and discomfort in the stomach, which may be due to the build-up of gas, followed by burp, and abdominal gurgling or rumbling. Some other severe symptoms of bloating include:

Passing of Blood in Stool- Presence of blood in the stool can be an alarming symptom associated with bloating, requiring prompt medical attention.

Unexplained Weight Loss- Significantly losing weight without intentional efforts can be a concerning symptom linked to bloating, necessitating investigation into potential underlying causes.

Irregular Vaginal Bleeding- Women may observe unexpected vaginal bleeding between menstrual cycles, indicating a need for gynaecological evaluation alongside bloating symptoms.

Nausea and Vomiting Sensations- Bloating may contribute to feelings of nausea, and in some cases, individuals may experience vomiting, intensifying the overall discomfort.

Diarrhea- Diarrhoea can be associated with bloating, further contributing to digestive distress and prompting the need for proper assessment.

Burning Sensation in the Chest- Some individuals with bloating may experience a burning sensation in the chest, which can worsen due to acid regurgitation, indicating potential gastroesophageal issues.

Infection-Related Symptoms- In instances of bloating caused by infection, additional symptoms such as fever and abdominal pain may be present, signalling the need for medical attention to address the underlying issue.

Causes of Bloating?

Abdominal bloating can result due to simple indigestion problems, or due to building up of too much gas in the stomach and bowels. Some other causes of bloating may include:

  1. A build-up of gas in the stomach and intestines
  2. Indigestion is sometimes called dyspepsia, which results due to too much eating, and infection in the stomach.
  3. Consuming foods that produce more gas than others like broccoli, Brussels, cabbage, and lentils.
  4. People with lactose intolerance may also experience symptoms of bloating and intestinal gas.
  5. Some medical conditions like infection, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, cancer, liver cirrhosis, depression and anxiety.

Other simple reasons that may cause bloating include:

  • Gulping or Swallowing of air mainly occurs due to smoke, chewing gum, or eating too fast.
  • Stasis of the lower abdomen
  • Excessive food intake more than what is required
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD)
  • Obesity, overweight
  • Some women may experience bloating during menstruation.

Bloating diagnosis

Doctors diagnose abdominal bloating through physical examination, and by understanding the symptoms that are causing bloating if the symptoms are temporary, then it’s not a serious issue and can be catered through medications. However, if one observes frequent bloating symptoms, then a doctor may recommend taking a few other tests like X-ray, or CT scan to look inside the abdomen.

Treatments for Bloating

In occasional bloating, the Gastroenterologist in Delhi may prescribe over-the-counter medications like simethicone or charcoal caps that can help relieve gas and bloating. One may also consume probiotics that contain beneficial bacteria and certain herbal ingredients to provide relief from bloating.

Can bloating be prevented or avoided?

There are many ways to prevent and avoid bloating:

  • Stay away from foods that may cause gas and abdominal bloating. Make a checklist of foods that triggers bloating.
  • Please do not chew gum, or smoke as it may add to symptoms of intestinal bloating.
  • Avoiding using straws while drinking as it may capture some air when placed in the drink. The air captured travels to the digestive tract causing increased gas and bloating.
  • Carbonated drinks also increase the risks of gas and should be avoided.
  • Reduce or avoid eating and drinking foods containing fructose or sorbitol.
  • Chew food nicely, and do not consume more extensive meals, instead eat smaller meals to avoid gas use.
  • To prevent symptoms of constipation include high fibre foods in the diet. If foods alone do not help, consider taking a fibre supplement.
  • In the case of lactose intolerance, avoid dairy products as it may trigger abdominal gas and bloat.
  • Alcohol consumption also causes abdominal bloating, so avoid it.

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