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When your gastrointestinal tract fills up with gas or air, you’ll likely experience abdominal bloating. Your abdomen may feel tight, full, or sometimes swollen. Bloating rarely comes alone and often brings along:

  • pain
  • burping
  • flatulence
  • abdominal rumbling

Bloating can victimize both adults and children. Bloating can be bad, and it can hinder your day-to-day tasks, and you may not want to join your social circle due to the embarrassment.

What are the reasons behind bloating?

Gas and air

The main reason behind bloating is gas and mostly happens when undigested foods break down in the digestive tract or when you happen to swallow air. It’s not uncommon to swallow air while drinking or eating, but some individuals ingest a greater amount. This can happen more to people who:

  • eat or drink rapidly
  • chew gum
  • smoke
  • wear loose dentures

There are two ways by which your body gets rid of swallowed gas: excessive farting and burping. Deferred discharge of the stomach along with the accumulation of gas can also be the reason behind bloating.

Medical reasons

Other causes of bloating may be due to medical conditions. These include:

  • heartburn
  • eating disorders
  • weight gain
  • Crohn’s disease
  • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • hormonal flux (especially for women)
  • food intolerance
  • certain medications
  • stress, depression, anxiety, and more

These conditions become the source of causes that adds to bloating and gas, such as:

  • overgrowth or shortage of GI tract bacteria
  • abnormal abdominal reflexes
  • constipation
  • altered gut motility
  • gas accumulation
  • impaired gas transit
  • food and carbohydrate malabsorption

What are the treatments to avoid or relieve bloating

Make changes to your lifestyle

Most of the time, it’s possible to minimize or prevent the symptoms of abdominal bloating. One such way is shedding some weight if you are overweight.

To alleviate swallowing excessive air, do the following:

  • Avoid chewing gum as it can cause you to swallow extra air, which can result in bloating.
  • Eat slowly
  • Avoid using a straw to drink
  • Avoid foods that cause gas, such as dried beans, lentils certain veggies.
  • Cut down your intake of carbonated drinks.
  • In case you’re lactose intolerant, use lactose-free dairy products.

You may not know, but probiotics can also help with the regrowth of good gut bacteria. Although more research is needed to prove the effectiveness of probiotics, according to the available resources, probiotics can be of great help in relieving bloating and related symptoms.

Medications

If you have tried bringing changes to your lifestyle and diet plan but still there’s no positive effect on the abdominal bloating, consult your physician or a gastroenterologist in the Tomball and North Houston areas. If your doctor suspects that the bloating is due to a medical cause, he/she may ask you to go for medical treatments. The prospective treatments may include antidepressants, antibiotics, antispasmodics, and it mainly depends on the condition of an individual.

When to see a doctor

Visit your doctor if you’re experiencing bloating along with:

  • diarrhea
  • high fevers
  • blood in the stools
  • unexplained weight loss
  • worsening heartburn
  • vomiting

To schedule an appointment with Gastroenterology Diagnostic Center, call at (281) 357 1977.

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