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Bloating - Why It Happens?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Bharat Kumar Nara 93% (107 ratings)
MBBS, M.S (Gen Surg), M.Ch ( Surgical Gastro)
Gastroenterologist, Hyderabad  •  17 years experience
Bloating - Why It Happens?

The uneasy feeling in our abdomen, feeling inflated or growing in size is a common problem faced by people anywhere in the world. Medical professionals refer to this as ‘bloating,' i.e., a feeling of a full, tight, abdomen. The abdominal system includes organs such as the stomach, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, intestines, etc. It is when the gastrointestinal tract is filled with gas, pain due to bloating arises. Such bloating brings pain in different parts of the body (which would be continuously shifting) along with a feeling of a swollen tummy (though not physically swollen actually).

This article shares the common causes of bloating and tries to help its readers find a solution.

  1. OvereatingMany of us can recall exactly how many times we have ignored the level of consumption in a particular meal and then felt an irritable stomach pain. Overeating refers to the consumption of food more than the amount of energy an organism can produce in one process. Along with weight gain and obesity, bloating might also result from overeating. The fact is, overeating is completely voluntary, and hence, a person can choose to avoid over-consumption of food and thereby, the pain from bloating.
  2. Lactose intolerance: The terminology might not be familiar, yet over 65% of the global population is lactose intolerant. It varies with age and gender, and anyone has either of the four different types of lactose intolerance – primary, secondary, developmental, and congenital. Though lactose intolerance does not cause damage to the gastrointestinal system, inability to digest thesugar in milk (lactose) can cause abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, etc.
  3. Irritable bowel syndromePeople with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are yet to know what caused it in the first place. Though the exact causes of IBS are yet to be known, many doctors blame the miscommunication between the brain and the intestinal tract of a person which causes abnormal expansion and contraction of the intestinal walls. This results in irritable pain and abnormal bowel movement.

Two cases might arise due to IBS

  • The abnormal movement of the intestinal walls might speed up the excretion process and hence, the passage of stool – diarrhea.
  • The spasms might slow down the excretion process resulting in constipation.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can occur over the years, and the absolute cure is yet to be found. Additional symptoms of IBS are – bloating and excess gas, pain in the lower belly, mucus in stools, etc.

Solutions to bloating
Bloating can be easily taken care of if the person is ready to implement certain dietary changes. For example, avoiding gassy foods such as cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, reduces the formation of gas in the stomach. Limiting the amount of fatty foods and foods with high fiber content, quitting milk products (if lactose intolerant), can help a lot. A diet plan, getting active and regularly exercising can help to eliminate the problem of gas and bloating.

Conclusion
Even though bloating can be uncomfortable and painful at times, it is not a cause for concern. Bloating can be remedied quite easily with a proper diet chart and routine exercise. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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