Stomach bloating is a condition of a ballooned stomach, that makes you feel like you have eaten a lot. In reality, your gastrointestinal tract gets filled with gas.
The gastrointestinal tract (GI) connects the mouth to the anus. It is a string of hollow organs, connecting in a long, winding tube.
The members of the GI tract also include your esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines.
Here’s why all of that matters.
What happens when we eat?
When we eat, food enters the stomach. Our stomach muscles then mix the food and liquid with digestive juices. And slowly as this process is completed, the stomach passes on its content to the small intestines.
A bloated stomach to some extent means the stomach is not able to digest or empty its food contents, quickly and well enough.
Another reason for that can be the disturbing movement of the digestive muscles. In that case, you feel as if you have eaten a lot.
Now the stomach is not able to handle this much digestion assignment. Stomach bloating can be painful. Usually, your stomach becomes swollen.
How Many People Experience Is Stomach Bloating?
A study revealed that one in 10 persons in America say that they are suffering from bloating. It is often considered that overeating, including stress eating, causes stomach bloating. In some cases, bloating can be without eating much.
The persons who suffer from this disease said that they are feeling pain in the swollen stomach even they did not eat much. Now that we have this context, let’s go over some of the bloated stomach causes.
What are the causes of a bloated stomach?
There can be several reasons for stomach bloating. Few, which are very common, are listed below.
Overeating is when a person eats more than he needs. Thus, the food, unable to digest in the stomach, creates gas, and the person feels pain or discomfort in the stomach.
Sometimes, bloating can be caused by eating too fast. Food particles are not processed and thus cannot be digested easily.
2. Food allergies
Sometimes, the patient suffers from a food allergy. The digestive system of such a person does not tolerate certain foods. Scientific research has pointed out some common allergic foods.
For example, some proteins in wheat are not tolerated by the human body. Another common allergic food that leads to stomach bloating can be the use of Lactose, the main carbohydrate in milk.
3. Irritable bowel syndrome
The majority of these patients reported that indigestible carbohydrates, known as FODMAPs, became the reason. FODMAP represents “Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols.
According to Stanford Health, the FODMAPs in a daily diet can include:
- Fructose: fruits, honey, and high fructose corn syrup
- Lactose: dairy
- Fructans (inulin): wheat, onion, and garlic
- Galactans: beans, lentils, and legumes like soy
- Polyols: sweeteners containing sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, maltitol, and stone fruits, such as avocado, apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, and plums
Turns out that FODMAPs do not digest well in the small intestines. Often they lead to an increase in the amount of fluid in the bowel and create more gas.
Some foods containing high FODMAPs are wheat, cabbage, garlic, onions, broccoli, peas, beans, and artichokes, etc.
4. Usage of sugar alcohols
Here’s the bad news for people who consider sweeteners a safe alternative of sugar: They cause gas in the large intestine, and as a result bloating occurs.
Constipation is also another common reason for bloating. It can exacerbate the bloating. It’s the situation where you tend to have:
- less frequent bowel movements
- dry or hardened stools
- painful time passing out stool
Also, while constipation is not a disease, it could be a symptom of a malfunction of another part of the body. Drinking a lot of water can prevent constipation.
6. Swallowing gas and air
According to Dr. Azpiroz, we all have gas in our gastrointestinal tract. And the amount of gas varies based on the composition of the gas.
There are two kinds of gases that are in the digestive system. One which is produced by foods in the stomach and the other taken by foods directly. These gases can be the reason for bloating.
How to relieve a bloated stomach?
1. Eat what you can digest
Eat foods that you can digest. The quantity of food should be appropriate. Eat small meals and properly chew your food. Stop Eating Allergic Foods. Avoid foods you’re allergic to. If the case persists, go to see a doctor.
2. Eat low FODMAP foods
As listed above, it is necessary for patients of stomach bloating to use low FODMAP foods. If you’re used to eating high FODMAPs diets, witching to low can be difficult. But it’s not impossible.
3. Avoid the use of sugar alcohols
As we discussed earlier, one of the causes of a bloated stomach is sugar. Stay away from Sugar alcohols like xylitol sorbitol and mannitol.
4. Get free-flowing bowels
5. Cure your gases
Eat healthy foods that can be digested and tolerated by your stomach. Do not smoke, for this is harmful to a bloating patient.