Bloating happens when the stomach feels full, tight, and uncomfortable, most probably due to gas. People may confuse bloating with a noticeable belly, abdominal wall looseness, or laxity. Bloating is common among older women and those who just had a pregnancy. However, there are multiple other reasons for bloating and measures to ease it over time.
Symptoms of bloating
- Stomach feels larger than usual
- Constant stomach pain
- Rumbling noises from the stomach
- Releasing gas more than normal
- Digestive issue
Reasons for bloating
One of the most common reasons for bloating is gas in the gut. Specific food, drinks, or swallowing air while eating can also be a reason behind bloating. Some digestive problems can cause bloating; they are:
- Food intolerance
- Coeliac disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
Some women might feel bloated during their menstrual cycle. But on rare occasions, bloating can also signify ovarian cancer.
How to lower bloating?
- Regular exercise
- Chewing with mouth closed
- Be hydrated, drink water
- Consuming food with high fiber
- More frequent meals in smaller quantity
- Massage stomach from right to left to remove trapped air
What not to do during bloating?
- Avoid fizzy drinks, caffeine, or alcohol
- Avoid food that known for gas
- Avoid large portions of meals before bed
- Avoid processed, fatty, spicy foods
Consult a doctor for bloating?
Consult a doctor if you come across any of the following:
- Stomach bloated for three weeks or more
- Constantly bloated stomach
- Often changing diet but still, feel bloated
- Bloating along with diarrhea, abrupt weight loss, blood in stool, or constipation
- When bloating stops you from regular activities
Call for an emergency when you feel bloated along with:
- Sudden severe stomach pain
- Blood vomiting or ground coffee color vomiting
- When the stool is black
- Unable to pee or release gas
- Uncomfortable to breath
- Severe chest pain
- Stomach pains while touching
Treatment of bloating
Often bloating doesn’t require any treatment, but if you need one, your doctor might prescribe a dietitian for healthy diet tips or refer specific tests to figure out why the bloating is happening.
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD
Page last reviewed: 23 JUNE 2022