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Bloating- Signs and Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

What is Bloating?

Ever felt an unusual feeling of being full in the stomach inspite of not having eaten anything substantial? That is exactly what we call the feeling of bloating. Your abdomen may begin to feel tight, full, hard, and also painful. If your’re experiencing all or any of these feelings, yes it’s bloating. Bloating is caused due to gas that fills up the gastrointestinal tract. Let us look at this problem in more detail by listing down the signs and symptoms of bloating.

Signs and Symptoms of Bloating:

1. Feeling of Heaviness in Stomach due to Bloating:

Your stomach begins to feel extremely heavy. In normal circumstances, you will not feel like you’re carrying weight in our stomach even after a meal. However, if you have a problem of bloating stomach, you may feel the weight building up on your abdomen.

2. Frequent Burping due to Bloating:

We’ve read the primary cause of bloating which is gas. The building up of gas needs an outlet. If you’re burping too much along with having an experience of other symptoms too, then it is a clear indication that gas has filled up the space in your gastrointestinal tract.

3. Pain in the Abdomen:

You may experience pain that steadily increases during a problem of stomach bloating. For some people, the pain suddenly shoots and becomes too severe, while for others, the pain remains the same throughout. This consistent feeling of abdominal pain is closely associated with bloating.

4. Excessive Flatulence due to Bloating:

You may feel excessive build up of gas in your stomach which is then passed through your system through farting. We may have associated farting with jokes but it is the body’s natural defense against build up of gas inside your tract. The elimination of this gas is extremely important for a healthy function of your abdomen.

These are very common symptoms of Abdominal Bloating and often treatable at home. However, you need to go and see a doctor without procrastinating if these symptoms are also accompanied with a few more serious symptoms listed herein after.

Serious Symptoms of Bloating:

5. Fever, Vomiting and Nausea:

Bloating accompanied with fever could be indicative of infection or inflammation. This could also be a premier symptom of Ovarian Cancer. Vomiting, Nausea and abnormal weight loss may also be indicative of stomach cancer.

6. Weight Loss:

An abnormal weight loss may be indicative of a buildup of tumor on your intestine. These tumors exert pressure on your intestine making you feel bloated and also prevent you from consuming normal amount of food that you need. As a result you may begin to lose weight.

7. Blood in your Stool or Urine with Bloating:

A persistent feeling of bloating with discharge of stools or urine is something that requires immediate medical attention. This may be indicative of colon cancer, Uterine cancer or even build up of fibroid in your uterus. Build up of fibroid in the uterus is a treatable problem and thus is not something you need to panic about. However, blood loss should not be ignored as a symptom when coupled with bloating.

8. Constipation with Bloating:

This is again a combination to be worried about. Simple bloating may averse you from food but if this is occurring more frequently, then you need to get tested for colon cancer. Consult your family doctor immediately of you experience such kind of symptom for a prolonged period. Passing stools is a sign of a healthy gut system and thus a healthy body. Constipation may indicate that your body is not so healthy as you may think it is.

9. Bloating with Jaundice:

If you have been affected with jaundice, you are in all possibilities under the surveillance of the medication provided by your doctor. Amidst all the other things that you may experience, it is extremely crucial that you let your doctor know about the bloating of abdomen if you are experiencing it. This may be indicative of pancreatic cancer or hepatitis. Be very clear and vocal about the slightest of discomfort that you go through so that your symptom may suggest the doctor to undertake further tests for your satisfaction. You may better be safe earlier than be sorry later.

Causes of Bloating:

1. Indigestion:

You may experience bloating due to undigested food build up in your system. Do not panic, just eat lots of fibrous food to ease off the frequent problem of indigestion. Fiber enhances the process of digestion in your gut system and thus keeps you away from feeling bloated. It is due to indigestion that gas begins to build up in your gastrointestinal tract.

2. Lactose Intolerance:

There are a lot of people whose system is not comfortable with digesting the sugars present in milk and milk products. These people are termed as lactose intolerant. Eating or drinking any of the milk products becomes extremely taxing for their digestive system. As a result, they may experience bloating.

3. Gall Bladder Stones:

You may feel bloated if you have stones built up in your gall bladder. These exert pressure and weight on your system and you will feel bloated literally all the time.

4. Bloating caused due to Pre-Menstrual Symptoms:

The time around your menstrual cycle is a riot of hormonal changes that your body undergoes. Due to the hormonal actions and interplay, you may feel bloated and may also not feel like eating anything. Even though your body does not signal any kind of hunger to you, you must keep nibbling on a few snacks at short intervals to relieve you off any further problems.

5. Bloating due to Stomach Infection:

One needs to be careful while eating outside especially in monsoon seasons. This season is the breeding time of various parasites and microbes which may enter your system and cause you discomfort. Food poisoning is the most common result of stomach infection. Drinking clean water and washing your vegetables well even while eating at home will help you prevent any kind of stomach infection.

6. Eating and Drinking certain kinds of Food items may result into bloating:

Eating things like grams, beans and lentils, vegetables broccoli and cabbage, heavy meat like steak which may not be completely cooked may result in gas formation to some people. Keep a check on what you consume that causes you bloating and try to avoid the same. Also your eating pattern matters. The basic lessons learnt in school are important to be reminded off over here which is to chew the food well while you eat. Do nut gulp down your food too quick. Take your time. Drinking excessive alcohol may also result in bloating.

7. Chronic Disorders:

Problems like irritable bowel syndrome, and Crohn’s Disorder may cause bloating. Crohn’s disorder is a disorder in which inflammation is caused in your digestive tract. Both IBS and Crohn’s can cause gas, diarrhea, vomiting, and unintentional weight loss.

8. Gastroparesis: 

Gastroparesis is a disorder that affects normal stomach emptying. The stomach muscles stop working properly, which causes food to pass much more slowly through the stomach and intestines.

9. Gynecological Disorders:

Gynecological Disorders like endometriosis may result in feeling of bloating and gas formation among women. It may also result in cramping. To briefly explain endometriosis, to someone who has this problem, the lining of the womb of such a woman attaches to the stomach. Referred pain from the pelvis may also resemble that of bloating.

Treatment and Home remedies for Bloating:

1. Consuming over the counter medicines:

Various common drugs and medicines are known for treating the problem of bloating. If the problem is not severe and also not persistent, you may consider taking these medications once in a while.

2. Consume fenugreek seeds:

Those with a consistent problem of gas formation must consider having fenugreek seeds at night everyday. Whenever you experience bloating, try this home remedy. It is harmless and has no side effects. It cuts down the gas built up in your tract and relieves you off the pain.

3. Do not eat heavy food for dinner:

Eating food items that infuse gas formation for dinner is a bad idea if you are aware the incapacity of your system to digest it. Even if you eat these food items, eat them for lunch. Eating these for lunch gives your body time to digest the food and you will not experience bloating due to indigestion.

4. Eat fibrous foods to relieve constipation:

Constipation problems can be dealt with. Consume enough roughage and fibrous foods to manage constipation effectively.

5. Drink Carbonated Water:

Aerated water with lemon in it is a very good solution for alleviating gas from your body. Your burps will let out the excess gas. Lemon is also extremely helpful for digestion.

Bloating is a common problem which can be cured with simple home remedies like different types of teas. However if it persists and causes more problems, it must be taken to your doctor. Just keep vigilant about what is happening to your body and how your body reacts to the changes.

Shabnam Vandeliwala

Venturing into writing is my second most admired hobby after litigating in courts. An advocate by profession, writing gives me immense sense of satisfaction especially in the time that I'm free from other work.

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