Most of the people complain that they undergo bloating issues without even knowing what it is; whether is it really bloating?
Bloating occurs across any age group, and it may be due to either air or water retention in the abdomen. It sometimes may be painful to an extent where hospitalisation is required in the least for a day.
What really causes bloating
- DIET – People in this fast-moving world are not really conscious of what goes into their mouth. The following food and drinks can cause bloating:
- Any large intake of protein, so know your measurements before intake of protein products, be it through food or shakes.
- Carbonated drinks.
- Increase intake of simple carbohydrates more than complex such as root vegetables, fast food items like french fries, pizza, burger, etc.
- Sugar intake.
- Decreased intake of water. Sometimes due to dehydration, the stomach bloats.
- Food that produces heat like – mango, papaya, spinach, pineapple, etc.
- INTESTINAL DISORDERS – Many people battle with many digestive disorders, and they also develop intolerance and allergies in due process.
- Lactose intolerance
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Other food allergies
- Acute and chronic gastritis
- HORMONAL CHANGES – Women specifically undergo bloating every time, since the age of puberty, during their menstrual cycles. Some girls have it as premenstrual syndrome, and some rarely have it during the post-menstrual phase. But it is very much normal to have bloating during this time and not to worry about it. Just have a monitor over the food intake. It resolves on it own after the period.
- Distended abdomen
- Sometimes associated with pain, cramps and stiffness of abdominal muscles
- Difficulty in farting or excessive flatulence
- Belching/ burping excessively
- Gurgling of stomach
First aid remedies one can follow
- Drink enough water to coat the bowels and ease the gas and faecal movement.
- Cumin water or fruit salts can be taken.
- Any water containing vegetables and fruits can be taken.
- Go walking, jumping and running to activate the bowel movements.
- Hip movements like twisting and squatting and child’s pose in yoga can help with the same.
- Antacid medications can give quick relief.
- Oil massaging or plain rubbing over the abdomen and alternating it with hot pack application may help.
- In the end, if these quick remedies don’t work, one starts to have increased pain and discomfort to an extent where it can lead to obstipation without even vomiting. In that case, it is advisable to get an emergency aid as soon as possible, as one may require injective techniques to relieve the abdominal pressure.
In the hospital, one may be suggested to go ahead with a routine blood check-up, urine routine, X-ray of the Abdomen and Ultrasound scan side-by-side starting on the medications required.
For bloating as such there is no specific medications. One can only follow the lifestyle modification process which is a lifelong commitment to one’s health and body.
- To do regular exercises
- To have a balanced diet, if any intestinal disorders are present, such as IBD – one can try FODMAP (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols) diet after getting an opinion from both medical gastroenterologist and certified dietician.
- To drink adequate water. Avoid carbonated drinks
- To avoid the foods that cause allergy or intolerance. Eg: Lactose intolerance. It is advisable to avoid dairy products. One can research and try alternatives but with careful monitoring.
- Avoid high protein intake.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking.
- During menses, a girl can use a hot bag massage, but if the pain is severe, it is recommended to approach a gynaecologist for further management.
- Map out and spread your meals through the day.
- Can use pre and probiotics after medical opinion.
- It is advisable to see the doctor if the bloating is associated with liver disease (Ascites) or Kidney disease (dialysis period).
Bloating can be a simple issue, but if not mindful of it can turn into a major complication. If the home remedies are not working, there should be a prompt approach to a doctor as soon as possible as the cause may range from infection to perforation.
1. Could bloating be a sign of something more serious?
It can be if the symptoms worsen and persist too long.
2. Why do certain foods cause bloating when they are never used to?
A human body’s metabolism is never constant; it changes as one grows. Hence the same food can cause a problem at a later stage in life.
3. What relieves bloating fast?
No such thing is available as a fast relief. One should drink water first and foremost as soon as they feel any discomfort. The rest can be monitored and evaluated.