For some people, when they have a bloated stomach, their belly looks swollen or they might encounter intense abdominal pain. The reason may be abdominal bloating caused by something as mild as indigestion or too much gas forming up in the stomach and bowels. Fluid retention, irritable bowel syndrome, or infection are the possible causes of abdominal bloating. The cause of bloating is mostly harmless, and it can be treated at home by most people. However, abdominal bloating can be disturbing, especially when it is extremely painful.
Let us have a look at some of the causes and treatments to get stomach relief from bloating:
Causes of bloating
People who have various functional gastrointestinal disorders like IBS, ulcerative colitis and celiac disease have a bloating stomach. Studies show that stomach bloating is experienced by almost 23 percent to 96 percent of people with IBS.
Excess bloating and temporary weight gain can be caused by bodily fluids that are deposited around the body, including near the abdomen or pelvis area. Fluid retention in the abdomen is called the ascites and it can be a symptom of a more serious health condition. It can be due to an abdominal infection, liver disease or, evendue to cancer.
Dehydration pauses digestion. The more water you drink, the more you get bloated.
Another main reason for having a bloated stomach is constipation. Constipation causes the stool to settle in the intestines, thus leaving you with a hard-feeling stomach which causes pain, discomfort, and gas. The prominent reasons for constipation are the limited amount of fiber intake, not drinking enough water, or avoiding physical activity.
Food allergies, sensitives or lactose intolerance are other common causes of gas and bloating. The foods that trigger gas include dairy products, gluten-containing foods (most bread, pasta, rolls, cereals, etc.) and certain kinds of carbohydrates. Practicing an elimination diet will help you to find which foods cause bloating.
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
SIBO is induced by high levels of abnormal bacteria living in the digestive tract. They get accumulated after taking antibiotics or due to inflammation and poor digestion. Damage of the stomach lining can occur along with numerous symptoms when harmful bacteria take over. Some foods cause SIBO symptoms in the digestive tract which in some cases can ferment unnaturally during the digestion process.
You might feel bloated and swollen or develop ascites if you’re dealing with an infection. The infection causes inflammation levels to rise because of the white blood cell count elevation around the pelvis, urinary, and gastrointestinal organs.
Scar tissue or a tumor in either of the small intestine or the colon may cause a bowel obstruction which sometimes results in a severely bloated stomach. The bowels become blocked and hold in stool when these expand and push against the bowel. It is normally extremely painful and holds you from going to the bathroom ordinarily. Therefore, it is essential to consult a doctor and get the medical treatment right away if you show the symptoms of a bowel obstruction as this condition can lead to a ruptured bowel, which is a deadly medical condition.
Another cause of a bloated abdomen is PMS as it is likely to cause constipation and fluid retention. This is extremely common and there isn’t much to worry about unless you notice other symptoms like an irregular menstrual cycle, fibroids or severe cramping. Some women experience severe water retention for up to two weeks during their periods. Having a bloated stomach before or during your period differs depending on the menstrual cycle. During the follicular stage, that includes the early days of a woman’s cycle, estrogen levels rise while the uterine lining thickens. When ovulation occurs, more fluids and blood builds up, and this results in developing stronger bloating. A woman usually gets abdominal bloating relief after her period.
Even though it is a very rare cause, bloating can be a sign of cancer in the colon or uterus. Therefore, it is important to talk to a doctor if you have tried all the ways of reducing bloating and digestive issues but still can’t get a bloating stomach relief.
Treatments and home remedies
Usually, bloating can be safely treated at home. Keeping a food diary to monitor bloating can also be helpful. This will help to diagnose food intolerance and also help in adopting a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes simply avoiding certain foods will help in getting bloating stomach relief and other gastrointestinal health issues.
Applying heat pad to the stomach, drinking carbonated or eating peppermint helps in giving a quick relief. Drinking water helps in resolving dehydration which in turn helps in subduing bloating. If you have constipation associated with bloating, taking a laxative will be effective. Also, consuming over-the-counter medications is effective in getting bloating stomach relief.
Abdominal bloating can be uncomfortable, distressing, and painful. Mostly, the cause can be something mild and home remedies may help you to achieve bloating stomach relief. If the symptoms get worse or persist even after a few days, you should consult a doctor.