At one point or another, everyone’s gastrointestinal tract becomes filled with air or gas and causes an uncomfortable feeling known as bloating. Some bloating is very minor and goes away on its own, while other people experience very frequent bloating that is painful and interferes with daily life.
Here is some information about abdominal bloating so that you can effectively deal with it next time you begin to feel bloated.
What Bloating Feels Like
Bloating feels like a swelling or tightness in the abdominal area that makes a person feel full and perhaps even in pain. The abdomen becomes distended and hard when it is bloated, making the stomach area look noticeably larger than normal. When you are bloated, you may also be excessively gassy and either burp or pass gas more than you usually do. You might even hear gurgling or rumbling from the abdomen when you’re bloated.
Common Bloating Causes
A buildup of gas in the intestines and stomach can cause bloating and may also be accompanied by the need to have a bowel movement or nausea. Cruciferous vegetables may cause bloating in some people, but the gas could also be caused by simple indigestion or a stomach infection.
Most gas goes away within a few hours. Indigestion is caused by eating too much food, drinking too much alcohol, or taking medications that affect the stomach. An infection of the stomach may cause bloating in addition to diarrhea and vomiting. If you are allergic or intolerant to certain foods, such as dairy or gluten, you may feel bloated after eating them. Irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis, constipation, pregnancy, gallbladder disease, and Crohn’s disease may also cause a person to feel bloated.
When Bloating Is Problematic
Oftentimes, bloating is a natural reaction to certain foods or simply eating too much, and it goes away naturally on its own with just a bit of time. However, bloating can be a cause for concern if it does not get better within a day or two because this could be a sign that something more serious is going on.
For example, bloating can be a symptom of gallstones that require prompt medical attention. Liver disease can cause abdominal pain and bloating too. It’s also worth getting bloating checked out if it is interfering with your eating and preventing you from doing normal activities during the day. When bloating is accompanied by strong pains, vomiting, bloody stools, or a fever, it may also be time to go see a doctor about it.
How to Naturally Relieve Bloating
There are various home remedies that you can try to relieve bloating when it occurs. For example, mint tea can soothe an upset stomach and help you start feeling back to normal again. Other foods to eat to fight bloating include cucumbers, celery, yogurt, pineapple, tomatoes, and watermelon. Nopal cactus naturally acts like a sponge by absorbing and expanding upon contact with the water and sugars in the stomach. Nopal is an excellent cleansing supplement when taken immediately before a meal.
You can also try applying a heating pad to your abdominal area for comfort and drinking more water to help flush out your system. If you experience frequent bloating, it is also helpful to keep a food journal so that you can keep track of what you eat and how you feel afterwards. This could help you diagnose a food intolerance or at least rule that out as a possible cause.