Abdominal bloating

An introduction to abdominal bloating

Before I go ahead to submit some of the common causes of abdominal bloating, I believe you should know what abdominal bloating is.

Abdominal bloating happens when the gastrointestinal (GI) tract becomes filled with gas or air. Bloating most times comes with a feeling of fullness, abdominal tightness, or and abdominal swelling, flatulence (excessive gas), frequent belching, abdominal rumbling, and pains.


Abdominal bloating can seriously affect the way you interact with others in the negative light. For instance, excessive abdominal bloating, your ability to relate with your coworkers are well as to engage in recreation.

Anyone can be affected. According to documented observation by North Carolina University, visits the hospital more often, affected people take medications and sick days than non-affected people.

The most common cause of bloating is gas in the digestive tract, particularly after eating. It accumulates during the digestion of undigested or when the air was swallowed. Some amount of air is normally swallowed when we drink or eat but it is possible to swallow more than is normal.

Delay during emptying of the stomach, which is otherwise called, slow transportation of gas, can also cause gas build up in the body.

Chewing gum, smoking, eating or drinking too fast, wearing loose dentures etc. predisposes one to bloat. There are two ways gas can leave the digestive tract are flatulence and belching.


Abdominal bloating

Photo Credit: Probiotics – Probiotic DIGEST


Medical-related causes of abdominal bloating are…

Intestinal parasite infection (giardiasis), hormonal fluctuations in women, mental health factors such as stress, anxiety or depression, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), weight gain, inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease and other functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs), eating disorders (e.g. anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa) and certain kinds of medications, overgrowth or deficiency of bacteria deficiency or their excess growth within the digestive tract

These can also cause gas and bloating; gas accumulation, impaired gas transit, food mal-absorption, constipation, altered gut motility, abnormal abdominal reflexes, hypersensitivity of the viscera (it is a feeling of bloating in small or even normal body changes can also induce gas and bloating.

There are certain conditions that are serious which can show off bloating as a symptom. They are; pancreatic insufficiency, ascites (abnormal abdominal fluid accumulation) due to ovarian cancer, kidney, liver failure or congestive heart failure, celiac disease and lastly perforation of the digestive tract which can cause the escape of gas, normal digestive tract bacteria, and other contents into the cavity of the abdomen.


Treatment for abdominal bloating

To treat abdominal bloating, you just have to know what caused it. A doctor will help with this.

This could be preventive or curative.

  1. Lifestyle changes: For one who is overweight, shedding off some pounds of flesh will help diminish or even prevent some of the symptoms associated with bloating.
  2. By avoid chewing gum, you can reduce the amount of air swallowed.
  3. Limiting penchant for carbonated drinks consumption can help prevent bloating.
  4. Abdominal bloating can also be checked by avoiding the eating certain foods e.g. vegetables from the cabbage family, lentils and dried beans.
  5. Eating slowly and avoiding as much as possible, drinking with a straw can help reduce the tendency of developing an abdominal bloating.
  6. Using lactose-free dairy products can be helpful if you are intolerant to lactose.
  7. Probiotics have also been found to help with replenishing the gut with healthy bacteria.

Although documented research has it that its effectiveness needs further investigation. Probiotics are present in Greek and kefir yogurt.

  1. Massages: Abdominal massages have been quite helpful in reducing abdominal bloating. A certain study on 80 persons with ascites revealed that a 15-minute massage on the carried out two times a day for up to three days, abdominal symptoms and general wellness were observed.
  2. Medications: Medical cause needs medical treatment. Talking to a doctor will be needed if a change in lifestyle and dietary interventions do not bring a relief. Antibiotics, antispasmodics, and antidepressants can be administered. The condition of the person is also taken into consideration.

You might be wondering when you should see a doctor. It is advisable to see one when you have been affected with bloating that is accompanied with unexplained weight loss, diarrhea, vomiting, worsening heartburn, high fevers, severe and prolonged abdominal pain or blood-stained and dark stools, kindly seek a doctor’s help.


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