Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

The foundation to maintaining a healthy and functional body revolves around the sole factor of following a set routine, which includes a certain level of physical exercise and a balanced diet which delivers all the necessary nutrients to your body. A balanced diet basically includes a substantial intake of high-quality protein, carbohydrates, unsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals as well as consuming large quantities of water during the course of the day. It is also advisable to reduce the intake of processed food and refrain from smoking or chewing tobacco and consumption of alcohol.

A Well Balanced Diet

Implementing a balanced diet can diminish the likelihood of diseases and help in promoting overall body health and functionality. The nutrients we benefit from the food we consume plays a vital role in determining effective completion of day to day activities and living. It helps in the process of reassembling prior damage caused to cells and restores it to its original state. The effectiveness of our immune system is based on our daily consumption of food. It is a difficult task to completely alter to a healthy lifestyle and diet at once, if you are not used to it. However, making gradual changes can improve the current situation drastically and help your body to acclimatize to the changes as well. The changes can be as minimal as substituting water for a high calorie sugary beverage that you are generally used to consuming. It is essential to burn the amount of calories that you consume in order to keep your weight in check. If a person ends up consuming more calories than he or she in burning then it eventually results in the calories transforming into fat tissue which results in weight gain. The stomach is situated below the rib cage and directly above the hip bones. This area in the human anatomy is referred to as the abdomen in medical terms.

What Does My Stomach Do?

The stomach is responsible for the process of digestion. Being overweight is related to numerous health problems such as respiratory disorders, hypertension and related heart diseases. It is important to have a well balanced diet with all the necessary vitamins and minerals such as calcium, sodium, potassium and phosphorus to name a few. However, despite following a decent diet plan and putting in work in the gym, a large percentage of people have a bloated stomach. Having a bloated stomach is not only visually unattractive but causes physical discomfort and to some extent is embarrassing, but it also serves as an indicator to other potentially harmful diseases and disorders that may prove to be fatal in the long run.

A recent study reveals that nearly 70 percent of adults in the United States of America have a bloated stomach. Doctors and researchers have reported that unless your stomach bloating is triggered by a medical condition such as a liver disease or a heart disease, the most probable cause is intestinal gas and has nothing to do with the body retaining excess water. People are often subjected to having bloated stomachs due to their poor lifestyle choices and their eating habits. It is usually associated with being a direct byproduct of stress. Stomach bloating is a common sight these days that it is frequently referred to as an epidemic. Also, considering the amount of work pressure people are put under due to the demanding nature of their respective professions, it usually leads to high stress levels, which is one of the main reasons behind the bloating of the stomach.

What is the Cause of Bloated Stomach?

What is the Cause of Bloated Stomach?

A bloated stomach signifies the possibility of diseases such as digestive infections and allergies. A bloated stomach can also occur when your body retains more water than usual but the causes range from several conditions such as lactose intolerance or even serious cases of stomach cancer. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the causes to lead to your stomach bloating and be familiar with the symptoms in order to get it treated in its early stages.

There are several causes that lead to a bloated stomach, it may be gas related or induced by hormonal imbalances and thyroid related dysfunctions. It is considerably easier to tackle the problem, if an individual is able to narrow down the types of food which causes bloating in order to gain a better understanding in relation to the factors that trigger the bloating of the stomach. Stomach bloating is also related to digestion problems caused by the body’s inability to break down food and efficiently distribute it. The digestive tract consists of several bacterial components that perform both favorable and unfavorable tasks. When the bacteria performing the unfavorable tasks outweighs the presence of bacteria performing favorable tasks causes an imbalance which it leads to stomach bloating and excessive gas in the intestines. A bloated stomach is not to be mistaken with gaining a few pounds because in reality it is temporary abdominal distention.

There are several symptoms and warnings which indicate the severity of the situation and it is important to understand these symptoms before things get worse. Some of the common symptoms are as follows:

Weight Loss – Severe weight loss is one of the primary indicators of bloating in the future. If an individual ends up losing weight drastically without any alteration in their diets, then it is a cause of serious concern. Weight loss can be caused due to tumors which give the sensation of feeling full even after eating a small of food because it tends to press against the intestines.

Ascites – Ascites refers to the abnormal accumulation of fluid in the abdominal region which may lead to an increase in weight within a short period of time and cause bloating. It is usually initiated due to issues related to the liver, cancer being the main reason in most cases.

Abdominal pain – Severe abdominal pain serves as an indicator to bloating. Abdominal pain which occurs suddenly may be a sign of bowel obstruction which can result in being tremendously painful.

Blood in your stool is an indicator to serious bloating and should be examined immediately if it occurs.

Vaginal bleeding in between periods is an indicator to serious bloating.

Now that the symptoms have been established, it is also important to know the causes related to serious bloating. Some of the common causes are mentioned as follows:

  • Overeating is one of the most common causes of bloating and it should be avoided because it induces a sense of uneasiness. It is also advisable to avoid food that is rich in fat.
  • Various digestive disorders such as ulcerative colitis showcase symptoms of bloating.
  • Dehydration is one of the main causes related to bloating since it causes a stoppage in the process of digestion and initiates an imbalance in electrolytes.
  • Constipation is one the most common reasons related to serious bloating due to bowel obstruction which causes the stool to remain in the intestine causing pain and discomfort. It occurs mainly due to lack of physical activity, stress and not drinking ample amounts of water.
  • Food allergies or intolerances such as lactose intolerance are a common cause for serious bloating. Food that contain gluten causes gas which leads to bloating.
  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is associated to bloating of the stomach. It is caused due to high levels of abnormal bacteria residing in the digestive tract.
  • Hormonal changes can also lead to abdominal bloating since it makes a person likely to experience constipation and retain excessive amounts of fluids.
  • In the most extreme and severe cases, cancer is the cause of bloating. Uterine cancer, pancreatic cancer and colon cancer are all related to serious bloating.

There are numerous ways to treat bloating, mainly by altering one’s lifestyle and diet. It is advisable to consume food that is healthy and has a high composition on nutrients and essential vitamins and minerals. Implementing a diet high in fiber can go a long way in helping the cause. It is necessary to consume whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and legumes. Probiotic foods such as kimchi and yogurt are also helpful. Food that helps in the process of natural digestion such as ginger can also help in the relaxation of muscles in the stomach. Herbs, spices and tea promote the process of digestion to take place and serves as a relaxant for the muscles in the digestive tract as well. It is also important to eliminate or refrain from the consumption of chewing gums, carbonated drinks and high quantities of sugar. Sugar can be substituted with artificial sweeteners instead. It is prudent to consult a nutritionist to chalk out a diet plan and indulge in regular exercise to prevent the cause of a bloated stomach. It is necessary to consult your doctor as soon as any one of the symptoms begins to show. By detecting and treating the symptoms in the early stages will help avoid numerous related diseases. You should try and consume food in an interval of every 5 hours and it is not advisable to skip meals if you want to maintain or achieve a healthy body.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: May 31, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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