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How to Get Rid of Bloating: Proven Tips

Bloating of the abdomen may happen when a gas buildup occurs somewhere in the gastrointestinal tract. It’s usually not caused by a serious health condition, however, it may be a cause for concern in certain situations. Read on to learn how to reduce bloating as well as its causes and symptoms.  

Bloating is a medical condition in which your stomach feels tight and full, often due to the accumulation of gas. There are many causes of bloating including the following:

Gas

An accumulation of gas in the intestines and stomach is one of the most common causes of bloating. Other symptoms of gas may include:

  • Excessive flatulence
  • Excessive belching
  • Feeling of nausea
  • Feeling an intense desire to pass stool

Gas may occur due to:

  • Eating certain foods, including cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower
  • Drinking or eating too fast
  • Swallowed air (aerophagia) 
  • Chewing gum
  • Wearing loose-fitting dentures
  • Stomach infection
  • Indigestion
  • Chronic medical conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease

In the majority of the cases, the accumulated gas gets better by itself after several hours.

Constipation

Constipation can also cause bloating. Some of the causes of constipation are:

  • Dehydration
  • Changing dietary habits  
  • Eating a diet that’s low in fiber
  • Pregnancy
  • Taking certain medicines (including laxatives, if overused)
  • Certain bowel disorders
  • Deficiencies of certain nutrients, such as magnesium

In the majority of the people, constipation may get better by itself or with lifestyle changes.

Indigestion

Indigestion, also called dyspepsia, is pain or discomfort in the stomach. Short episodes of dyspepsia may occur occasionally in most people.

It may occur due to:

  • Eating an excessive quantity of food
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Gastrointestinal infection
  • Taking medicines that irritate the stomach, such as aspirin 

If you get frequent episodes of indigestion that aren’t associated with the causes mentioned above, then it may indicate a serious illness. Some other possible causes are cancer, liver failure, or a stomach ulcer.

Infection

Infections of the gastrointestinal tract may lead to the occurrence of gas and also the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Pain in the stomach

Gastrointestinal infections are often caused by bacteria (such as Helicobacter pylori) or a virus (such as, rotavirus, enterovirus, and some types of flu). Gastrointestinal infections often get better by themselves after several days. You should visit a physician if bloating is accompanied by:

  • Blood in the stool
  • Fever
  • Frequent and severe vomiting

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)

Your digestive tract contains a wide variety of friendly bacteria that help in the digestion of food. A disturbance in the balance of this gut microflora may result in an overgrowth of some bacteria in the small intestine and inhibition of others — a condition referred to as SIBO. SIBO can cause bloating, difficulty absorbing nutrients and digesting foods, and frequent diarrhea.

Chronic disorders

Chronic inflammatory diseases of the gut such as Crohn’s disease and functional disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may also result in frequent bloating. These conditions may also cause diarrhea, gas, unintentional weight loss, and vomiting.

Gastroparesis

This is a condition of weak muscular contractions, which causes delayed emptying of the stomach and may cause:

  • Bloating
  • Reduced appetite
  • Constipation
  • Feeling full quickly after eating
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Discomfort and pain

Women are more prone to have gastroparesis. Medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism and diabetes, may also be associated with gastroparesis.

Gynecological disorders

Certain gynecological disorders may cause pain in the stomach. In some people, endometriosis causes bloating and cramping. Referred pain occurring from the pelvic region may also resemble pain caused by bloating.

Since a doctor has to identify the cause of bloating, the management of abdominal bloating depends on the diagnosis. There are several general ways to get rid of bloating that may help.

How to relieve bloating? Generally, changing your dietary habits is the initial step taken to reduce bloating. According to research, consuming a diet low in fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols (FODMAP) may reduce symptoms of bloating and gas. In a low FODMAP diet, you have to avoid eating gas-producing, fermentable foods including:

  • Oligosaccharides, present in onions, wheat, legumes, beans, and garlic
  • Disaccharides, including lactose present in yogurt, ice cream, and milk
  • Monosaccharides, such as fructose (the sugar present in honey), pears, and apples
  • Sugar alcohols or polyols present in apricots, plums, cauliflower, and nectarines, as well as many candies and chewing gums

Wondering how to stop bloating? Doctors often recommend a diet high in fiber, but this may cause bloating in some people. Removing wheat fiber from your diet may help reduce stomach distension and bloating. Other modifications in the diet that may help to reduce bloating are:

  • Limit your intake of fat.
  • Avoid consuming carbonated drinks and alcohol.
  • Exclude artificial sweeteners from your diet.
  • Try peppermint oil to reduce bloating of the abdomen.
  • Avoid consuming foods that cause gas, such as beans, lentils, and cruciferous vegetables.

What helps with bloating — you might be able to get rid of bloating by making certain changes lifestyle changes, such as losing weight if you’re obese. You can minimize swallowing excess air by:

  • Not chewing gum
  • Eating your food slowly
  • Not using a straw
  • Doing physical activity or exercise and sitting or standing in an upright position
  • Managing stress levels

There’s a limited number of medications available to manage the symptoms of bloating. Charcoal and simethicone are commonly used to reduce bloating, but they aren’t very effective. Probiotic supplements may be useful, but the research on their effectiveness is mixed. Your doctor may also suggest medicines, such as prokinetics, certain antibacterial agents, such as Rifaximin, and antispasmodics. These medications may be effective for several GI tract symptoms, including bloating.

You should see a physician if the following symptoms accompany bloating:

  • Prolonged or severe pain in the abdomen
  • Dark, tarry stool or blood in the stool
  • A high fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Worsening heartburn
  • Unexplained weight loss

If you need to know how to get rid of belly bloat, you first need to know what’s causing it. If the cause of bloating is mild constipation, then it may be relieved by gradually introducing fiber into your diet, drinking lots of water, and getting regular exercise. However, other problems such as Gastroparesis and Crohn’s disease may require medical treatment to relieve bloating. That’s why it’s important to consult your doctor about your symptoms of bloating if they’re persistent.

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https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/7314-gas

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