Waking up to a bloated belly is a well-known problem experienced by the majority of adults and sometimes even children. There are numerous reasons behind bloating and vary person to person. It can be as minor as lack of hydration and fluid intake in the body.
On the contrast, bloating may represent some serious health issues that need immediate attention. Though most people have a higher chance of bloating due to changes in diets and hydration, it should not be taken lightly if it continues to happen.
Secondly, bloating takes a lot of time to minimize for a majority of the people. A quick action is needed to prevent any further health hazard caused due to negligence such as the perpetual accumulation of gas in the stomach.
Gas and bloating go hand in hand. It can be embarrassing and be distracting especially if you are at work or anywhere in public. It can ruin any plans for the week or upcoming events when your clothes do not fit you anymore.
Whilst it is a good idea to visit a doctor when it starts disturbing other functions in your body and comes back constantly, bloating can be reduced at home in simple methods.
What Causes Bloating?
It can be anything from your nighttime rituals to bad choices in food. Some of them are even things that other people may do without having to bear swelling of the stomach, but you might not. The reason can change from one person to another but there are no rare situations that lead to bloating.
The habits of people that induce bloating are prevalent and can be easily detected. Some of them are:
Digestive problems and allergies
People suffering from digestive diseases, unfortunately, have a natural tendency to suffer from bloating. Gas, distention and bloating are linked to disorders such as IBS, Celiac disease, and Ulcerative Colitis. Studies have shown that 56 percent people having constipation and 23 percent to 96 percent of people with IBS experience bloating.
In addition, some people have food allergies and sensitivities, for example, Lactose intolerant people are unable to digest any food containing lactose like milk, ice cream, and coffee. Similarly, `gluten can cause bloating with vomiting in gluten-sensitive people.
There are various forms of food allergies which you can possibly have except the common one. If a specific food that you eat immediately makes you feel bloated, it is a possibility that you might be allergic to some ingredient in it.
Ascites or Edema
Water and fluids are sometimes stored around parts of the body which cause bloating. Commonly known as fluid retention, it can be temporary and because of serious health issues. A disruption in the function of Liver is by far the most shared reason.
Yellowing and tightening of the skin are signs of Hepatitis. You will experience nausea and pain around joints in case of a severe liver problem. Seldom, water retention can even indicate growth of a tumor.
If your bloating comes with severe pain, professional medical help should be taken as soon as possible.
Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances are the most shared reason behind bloating. In the modern day life, most people are too busy to even hydrate themselves properly or they opt for some other drink than regular water. On the other hand, a number of people complain about bloating even though they have a high level of fluid intake.
Salty foods, alcohol and unhealthy drinks lead to a lack of water in the body in cases of most people. Lack of water intake causes the body to store excess water, disturb digestion and food absorption thus swelling the abdomen.
The more water or a healthy substitute you drink, the lesser are the chances of dehydration. Switch to foods with lesser amounts of sodium. Processed foods are likely to induce bloating. Carbonated drinks and other unhealthy fluids do not help in hydrating the body.
The most visible bloating comes with constipation. Discomfort in the stomach area, sharp pains and gas are signs of constipation. Lack of fiber and liquid causes the stool to become hard. The process of excretion, as a result, becomes painful, storing the stool in intestinal areas.
More signs of a situation like this are is blood in excretion, hardened abdomen, and poor digestion. If you experience any of these with bloating, it can be an indication of mild to severe constipation that needs a change in diet or medical help.
Infections and Bacteria
Sometimes White Blood cells increase in number around the pelvic area because of irritation caused by infections. These infections are usually a result of contaminated or bad quality food in the diet on a daily basis.
Swelling, redness, fever and swollen lymph nodes serve as signs of a serious infection that are increasing in severity. If you are having to bloat due to an infection, the area around the urinary tract and gastrointestinal organs is the first place that will be inflamed.
Similarly, Dysbacteriosis or SIBO can trigger bloating. It is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine after an abundant amount of antibiotics are taken mostly by medication prescribed to treat a previous infection.
Additionally, some foods can be behind a SIBO attack because of food sensitivities such as FODMAPS that can halt the process of digestion in some people.
Bowel obstruction and tumors
Bowel obstruction can be a likely possibility when bloating is accompanied by vomiting and nausea. Bowel blockages can be the consequence of a growing tumor that presses against the lining or a healing tissue which was previously damaged.
The biggest sign of bowel obstruction is severe pain in excretion and generally in the gastrointestinal area when fluid and stool are unable to find a way out.
In the case of a tumor, it is usually treated with proper medication but bloating that does not go away can be an indicator of cancer. If you have stubborn bloating, it is important to see a doctor right away.
Bloating often accompanies hormonal shifts in the body. The most common example of this is the bloating, nausea and water retention that comes with changes in the menstrual cycle in women. The majority of women face bloating monthly due to hormone shifts that last for a few days after the change is complete.
Hormonal bloating is natural and harmless unless there are other symptoms of fibroids, excess bleeding, painful cramps and irregular menstrual cycle. If you see such signs, the problem can be related to various reasons other than hormonal changes.
What should you do?
Everyday bloating can be tackled with a little care in your daily food intake. Start by lessening salt-filled foods such as processed foods, microwavable and frozen food and street available delicacies. You do not have to completely cut them down, but it is always good to watch what you are eating.
An abundant amount of water will not only reduce bloating but also give you a good health overall. Always remember drinks such as coke do not count in fluid intake. Instead, such drinks can drain your body of hydration.
Stress can be a big factor behind bloating. If you have a busy lifestyle where you are not watching what you eat or drink, the chances of you being stressed and exhausted are higher. Take time to indulge in relaxing stuff and do not overwork your body and mind.
Even indulging in a yoga or meditation class once and a week or any other activity you enjoy will help in reducing the chances of bloating.
If your bloating is perpetual, do not waste time and go to your nearest doctor who will recommend you a variety of diagnostic tests to detect the actual problem that you might not know has been causing inflammation and bloating.
Keep in mind bloating can indicate some very serious conditions. Do not avoid it if nothing is working as it can further complicate your existing problem.