That uncomfortable feeling of fullness in your abdomen is bloating. It is a sensation that points to the abdomen being distended and it might also be painful to breathe. Most bloating pains are sharp and cause your stomach to cramp. Pain from bloating on the upper left side can be mistaken for heart pains and if you experience bloating and pain on the right side you might think you are having appendix or gallbladder issues. Bloating is rarely life threatening, but it can be annoying, point to other medical conditions, or lead to a diagnosis of improper food digestion.
Symptoms of Bloating
In addition to tender stomachs, boating can product flatus and burping. Gas is simply the breakdown of food into energy. Gas and burping conditions are embarrassing and bloating is irritating. A simple change of diet can reduce the symptoms. Do note that you may pass gas from six to twenty times per day and burping can be a normal condition after eating. If you pass gas or burp way beyond what is normal you might consider being checked out for ulcers or gallbladder problems. If you live in a culture that applauds burping and passing gas, be thankful and just show appreciation for the meal.
Causes of Bloating
- Causes of bloating include swallowing air. Swallowed air is usually burped up, but if not the air passes through your digestive system and releases as flatus. You may find that excessive air swallowing also causes hiccups.
- Foods and beverages can cause bloating. The amount and type varies from person to person. Culprits may just be carbonated drinks, caffeinated drinks, hot beverages, and foods you cannot easily digest. Fatty foods that delay stomach emptying are causes of bloating. Eating beans and broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage can cause bloating. Lettuce is often an offender and eating apples, peaches and pears may cause you stomach and bloating distress.
- Constipation is a cause of bloating but does not increase either burping or gas symptoms. Constipation can occur when stools are hard and very difficult to pass. Constipation can be painful and your stomach may feel tender to the touch. You might also notice that you feel full and your stomach is somewhat distended.
- Medicines and nutritional supplements can cause bloating and gas. The common perpetrators of bloating are aspirin, antacids and Imodium or Kaopectate ” “ common diarrhea medicines. If you take narcotic pain medicines you may notice bloating symptoms as well as constipation and gas. Fiber supplements are notorious for causing bloating. If you feel full after taking Fibrall, Cirtrucel, or Metamucil this is very normal.
- Vitamins and iron pills cause bloating. If you notice bloating when taking a medicine or supplement that is not prescription based, do stop taking it. If you need to continue taking over the counter medications to control different types of symptoms, let your doctor know about your bloating symptoms. He/she may be able to prescribe something that does not cause bloating.
- There are certain medical conditions that cause bloating. These include bowel obstructions or Crohn”s disease.
- Changes in hormone levels can be a cause of bloating. Women my experience bloating after or before periods. This is a symptom of your body retaining fluids.
Doctors describe bloating as dyspepsia that includes a feeling of fullness, burning in the upper abdomen and chest. This occurs after eating. With bloating you can also experience rumbling noises in your abdomen, increased flatus and poor appetite. Dyspepsia can be minor and annoying to serious and needing medical attention.
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To reduce belching, gas and bloating there are preventions you can follow. Eat and drink slowly and take your time swallowing. Try not to drink through a straw; this causes excess air to be swallowed.
Avoid carbonated drinks and do not drink beer. These drinks produce and release carbon dioxide gas inside your stomach.
Don”t chew gum and avoid hard candies. You swallow more than normal when you chew gum or suck on hard candies.
Avoid smoking. Inhaling smoke causes you to swallow air which gives you bloating symptoms, belching problems and gas.
If you wear dentures, check to see if they are fitted properly.
Heartburn issues definitely cause bloating. Use over the counter antacids or ask for a prescription from your doctor. If you have GERD you might need additional treatment to avoid the bloating symptoms.
Check with your doctor if you have diarrhea, constipation and severe or prolonged abdominal pain. Nausea or vomiting that show bloating or bloody stools reasons to make a doctor”s appointment. Bloating accompanied by weight loss, fever or chest pain are symptoms that might reveal an underlying digestive condition. Although bloating is not life-threatening it may point to other serious compilations that need immediate treatment.