Why do I feel so bloated all the time? This question must have been on your mind, maybe, every day, and mostly nudges you to rethink your diet plan, exercise, or any mistake in your daily lifestyle. Bloating generally happens when your abdomen feels tight and full. Gastrointestinal issues are quite common among patients of all age groups from time to time, mostly due to food-related issues. Symptoms such as abdominal bloating, gaseousness, upper abdominal discomfort and belching, are common among patients with dyspepsia (indigestion). These symptoms are sometimes related to various other conditions like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Let us tell you some bloating remedies.
Health Shots got in touch with Dr Balaji Laxminarayanshetty, Consultant – Medical Gastroenterology, Manipal Hospital, Whitefield, Bengaluru, to understand the reasons and remedies for bloating.
The expert says, “Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when the food in the stomach passes into the oesophagus, resulting in various symptoms like stomach discomfort, burping, chest burning, and even a choking sensation due to acid reflux into the throat. In cases of dyspepsia, patients often report sensations of heaviness or discomfort in the upper abdomen, particularly after meals.”
When addressing bloating, belching, and burping, endoscopy is often recommended to rule out stomach ulcers and oesophagal obstructions or to assess the extent of damage to the food pipe due to acid reflux. Another crucial consideration is Helicobacter pylori infection (H. pylori), which can be tested while doing an endoscopy.
“While we may dart at the lifestyle factors being the real culprit behind these symptoms, we should also not rule out the fact that they might also hint towards more serious underlying diseases. For patients who have recently observed these issues, we recommend they undergo blood tests and abdominal ultrasound to rule out underlying causes. On the contrary, people experiencing these symptoms for a longer duration, may not be as concerned. Yet, further evaluation, including upper GI endoscopy, blood tests, and abdominal ultrasound is important to effectively treat these gastrointestinal (GI) issues,” says the expert.
The primary contributors to these symptoms are often related to modern lifestyles, which include prolonged sitting hours (sedentary lifestyle), and high intake of junk food, caffeinated drinks, coffee, and tea – which can exacerbate the symptoms.
To prevent and get relief from these discomforts, adopting certain lifestyle changes is important. Here are some tips from our expert to help prevent bloating, burping or belching.
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Identify and avoid specific foods that trigger your symptoms. Some common foods that worsen GI issues include spicy foods, coffee, tea, milk, junk food, etc.
Quitting smoking and alcohol consumption can help find relief from GI symptoms.
If you are overweight or obese, losing weight can give a lot of relief to the symptoms. Find out some free time in the day to exercise and be active.
It is essential to consume a lot of water throughout the day. Alongside, levelling up your fiber intake also helps curb constipation and bloating.
Word of caution: While you might want to increase your fiber intake, bear in mind the fact that consuming too much fiber in your diet too quickly can cause even more gas or bloating.
Have small meals frequently instead of heavy ones, and limit your intake of salt and fat. Have dinner early at night, at least two hours before bedtime, ideally before 7 p.m. Large portions give a stretch in your stomach and lead to the accumulation of gases and solids in the gut.
Consuming high salt in your diet can result in water retention, and therefore gas. Alongside, high carbs intake that are hard to digest will kick start the process of fermentation in the gut, and therefore gas.
When you indulge in any form of physical activity, be it walking post meals, the activity eases the bowel movement and helps to release any accumulated gas or stool. This is especially helpful if a person is constipated. Talking a walk around the block helps in providing instant relief from gas pressure.
Various yoga poses position our abdomen muscles in such a way that they promote the release of extra gas from the GI tract. This is one of the best bloating remedies in everyday life. Doing yoga poses like child’s pose, happy baby pose and squats can provide instant relief from any gas buildup.
Along with common symptoms of stomach discomfort, bloating, and gaseousness, a few warning signs may indicate immediate medical attention.
• Unexplained weight loss
• Loss of appetite
• Recurrent vomiting
• Severe abdominal pain.
In case these symptoms appear, see a gastroenterologist for prompt medical attention who will conduct a thorough evaluation and help effectively manage these symptoms with medications, coupled with lifestyle and dietary adjustments.