Contributed by- Dr. Pooja Chaudhary
Bloating, gassiness and abdominal discomfort are common complains nowadays. These conditions are no more limited to the occasional holiday feast but have become a virtual epidemic these days. Causes range from benign yet bothersome conditions like lactose intolerance to serious diagnoses like cancer.
What is bloating?
Abdominal bloating occurs when the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is filled with air or gas. It is mostly described as a feeling of full, tight or swollen abdomen. Bloated is best defined when the abdomen may be swollen (distended), hard and painful.
Causes of bloating
Mostly everyone experiences bloating /gas but some people are troubled by it more than others. And, the troubled people always think why I am so bloated. Bloating is usually a problem with the digestion. There are various reasons which can cause bloating, these include:
- Overeating: This is the most common cause of bloating
- Eating rich and fatty food
- Eating too fast
- Pre-menstrual syndrome
- Digestive disorders
- Fluid retention: This can be caused due to a liver disorder
- Food allergies or sensitivities: example- lactose intolerance
- Bowel obstruction
- Hormonal changes
Symptoms of bloating /gas
Bloating is a feeling of having built-up gas in the digestive tract which makes the stomach protrude out uncomfortably. Excessive gas can become uncomfortable and can cause pain.
Temporary bloating is common and there is nothing to worry about. But, if bloating persists and following symptoms are felt, then it is advisable to visit a doctor:
- Severe belly pain
- Stools are black & tar-like or have streaks of blood
- Trouble swallowing
- Weight loss
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- A fast or uneven pulse
Treatment of bloating
How to get rid of bloating or a perfect “feeling bloated” remedy is what a person suffering from bloating /gassiness always wants. A good method to relieve bloating is to encourage passing gas and a proper bowel movement. Some simple changes in the diet can provide gas relief and also aid the digestion. But, if a person is not able to get rid of these symptoms, then various bloating remedies can be used including:
- Exercise: This can help the digestive system function optimally
- Drink enough water
- Reduce stress or anxiety levels, as they have an impact on the digestion
- Antacids can be taken
- Home remedies: There are various home remedies which can provide us relief during the bloating period
- Fennel Seeds (sauf)
- Ginger (adrak)
- Chamomile tea
- Caraway seeds (kaala jeera)
- Talk to a doctor: There are many different disorders, factors and illnesses that can cause a bloated stomach. Hence, it is always recommended to have some tests to find the digestive causes for bloating as advised by your a doctor. Hormonal tests are also recommended for females during the menopause or pre-menstrual phase, specially if you cannot figure out the underlying cause of your bloating.
Best and worst foods for bloating
Our diet plays a big role in regulating how much air and poop gets trapped inside our digestive tract. Some of the best food for bloating includes:
- Raw dairy
- Water rich fruits and vegetables
- Herbs, spices and tea
Some of the worst food for bloating includes:
- Sugar and sweetened snacks
- Most dairy products
- Refined grains and grain products
- Few veggies like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, onion and garlic
- Beans /legumes
- Carbonated drink
- Chewing gum
- Artificial sweeteners, sugars and alcohols
Occasional bloating/excessive gas is common, but if it continues to cause problem despite of making dietary changes and having over-the-counter medicine, then it is advisable to consult a doctor.
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