What is Bloating?
Bloating is a condition in which the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is filled with air or gas. This is also known as abdominal bloating. A bloated stomach may be due to an underlying disease or just a normal condition.
During bloating, the stomach may also look bigger in size. People often complain of a full and tight abdomen.
Bloating is in itself a self-explanatory symptom of various diseases. Other than that, people may also experience other symptoms during bloating:
- Stomach pain
- Gas in stomach
- Frequent belching
- Abdominal gurgling
In severe cases, people may also complain of the following symptoms:
- Blood in stool
- Fever in case of infection
- Vaginal bleeding
- Unintended weight loss
If someone gets the serious symptoms, it is advised to seek medical consultation as soon as possible.
Who is at Risk?
While anyone can suffer from bloating, there are some specific reasons that can increase your chances of getting a bloated stomach. The common ones are as follows:
- Age: People who are older in age have a higher risk of bloating
- Gender: Females are more prone to bloating than males.
- Mental Health: People with stress and anxiety are more likely to experience bloating
- Food Intolerance: Those who have a weak digestive system and food intolerance may suffer from bloating.
- Diet: People whose diet is rich on foods that produce more gas can easily develop stomach bloating.
Bloating causes may vary from mild to serious. In most of the cases, bloating occurs due to overeating or a person’s intolerance to dairy products. Other common causes of bloating are:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Food intolerance
- Hormonal influx (in women)
- Mental health problems such as anxiety and stress
- Eating disorders like bulimia nervosa
- Gastro paresis
- Lactose intolerance
- Certain medications
- Blockage in your bladder or bowel
Some serious causes of bloating include:
- Types of cancer such as ovarian cancer, colon cancer or stomach cancer
- Chagas disease
- Liver disease
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
How is Bloating diagnosed?
Bloating diagnosis usually involves a simple process. In most of the cases, people self-diagnose themselves and even treat the condition with over-the-counter medicines or simple home remedies for bloating.
However, if you feel severe symptoms, visit a doctor for a proper treatment. Below are some steps that the doctor may take during the diagnosis:
- Physical Exam: Firstly, the doctor will conduct a physical examination and ask for the symptoms as well. In some cases, the doctor may also ask you about your medical history to detect if there is any underlying condition.
- Tests: If you have serious symptoms, the doctor may recommend other bloating test such as an X-Ray and CT scan.
How is Bloating treated?
The treatment of boating depends on the intensity of the symptoms. For mild symptoms, you can follow bloating remedies done at home. However, in case the symptoms are severe and prolonged, the doctors may prefer some another bloating treatment like:
- Medication: The doctors may recommend various medicines to treat the condition.
- Lifestyle Changes: You may be advised to adopt some lifestyle changes such as limiting intake of carbonated drink or using lactose-free dairy products.
- Massage: Abdominal massage also helps to reduce bloating and relieves the pain.
Finding a bloating cure is easy if you consult an experienced doctor. We, at Care.Fit, have a panel of doctors who are highly qualified and experienced. Through our app and website, we also offer instant online consultation with top physicians. In addition to this, we also provide home collection for lab tests making it easy for you to keep a tab on your health.
How can Bloating be prevented?
Bloated stomach can be really uncomfortable and painful. Thus, it is best that you take preventive measures to avoid it. Some of the easy and common steps are listed below:
- Avoid food such as cabbage, turnips, beans and cauliflower that can lead to gas
- Reduce your carbonated drinks intake
- Eat high fibre food to prevent constipation
- Eat slowly and chew your food properly
- Quit smoking
- Stay away from dairy products if you are lactose-intolerant
- Avoid chewing gum