Bloating

Overview of Bloating

Bloating Meaning in Urdu

بلوٹنگ کو پیٹ کا اپھار بھی کہا جاتا ہے۔ جب پیٹ اپھار کا شکار ہوتا ہے تو بھوک کم لگتی ہے اور پیٹ بھرا ہوا محسوس ہوتا ہے، معدے کئ بے چینی اور درد کا سامنا پڑتا ہے، اس کے علاوہ گیس بھی زیادہ بنتی ہے۔ پیٹ کے اپھار کی سب سے بنیادی وجہ آنت میں گیس کی موجودگی ہے۔ اس کے علاوہ قبض کی وجہ سے بھی پیٹ کا اپھار لاحق ہو سکتا ہے۔ پیٹ کے اپھار کے شکار افراد کو ورزش کرنے کا مشورہ دیا جاتا ہے اور انہیں فائبر سے بھرپور غذائیں استعمال کرنے کی تجویز دی جاتی ہے۔

Abdominal bloating or bloating (اپھارہ/Aphra) is a condition in which your belly appears full or swollen. It occurs due to gas or air accumulation in the gastrointestinal tract. You may feel a full, tight, and swollen abdomen after eating. Bloating can also cause bowel disturbance and pain. Due to bloating you may also experience:

Bloating can commonly occur in both adults and children. It can disturb your working ability and social or recreational activities. 

Signs and Symptoms of Bloating

The symptoms are often difficult to detect for bloating. But most of the time people complain about a full stomach or an inflamed abdomen. The other signs also include pain, flatulence, belching and abdominal roar.  

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Causes of Bloating

Bloating is normal in every person. There is no need to worry if the pattern of bloating is the same every time. But if the pattern is changed, it can be concerning and is due to any of the following reasons:

  1. Gas and Air

The most common cause of bloating is gas production, especially after eating. It is usually produced due to the breakdown of undigested food or when you swallow air. Normally, everyone swallows air while eating or drinking. However, some people swallow more as compared to others, especially if they are:

  • Eating or drinking too fast
  • Smoking
  • Chewing gum
  • Wearing loose dentures

The swallowed air can leave the GI tract through burping and flatulence. If the gas transport is slow and is continuously accumulating, it can cause bloating and abdominal distension.

Some possible symptoms are:

  • Excessive belching
  • Feeling an intense urge to have a bowel movement
  • Excessive flatulence
  • Feeling nauseous

Gas-induced bloating can cause mild irritation to severe pain. 

Gas can be produced by:

  • Certain foods, including cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage
  • Chronic illnesses, such as Crohn’s disease
  • Indigestion
  • Stomach infection
  1. Indigestion

Indigestion is discomfort or pain in the stomach. In medical terms, it is called dyspepsia. Most people experience short-term episodes of indigestion from time to time.

Indigestion is usually caused by:

  • Overeating
  • Abuse of alcohol
  • Medications that affect digestion, such as ibuprofen
  • Stomach infection

Frequent indigestion that does not seem to be associated with food could be a result of something more serious. Some possible causes of indigestion are:

  1. Infection

Bloating can also be caused by stomach infections due to bacteria such as Escherichia coli or Helicobacter pylori or virus. Infection may also be accompanied by:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea

Stomach infections usually subside on their own after a few days. However, some people may become dehydrated. In this condition, you should consult a doctor if the bloating coincides with:

  • Fever
  • Bloody stool
  • Severe and frequent vomiting
  1. Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

In the stomach and intestines, a variety of bacteria are present that help the body in the digestion of food. If the balance of these bacteria is disturbed it can lead to an increase in harmful bacteria. A condition known as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). SIBO can cause: 

  • Frequent diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Osteoporosis  
  • Difficulties digesting food and absorbing nutrients
  • Unintentional weight loss
  1. Fluid Retention

A person’s body can retain a certain amount of fluid. However, sometimes the level of retained fluid is increased due to:

  • Salty foods 
  • Changes in hormone levels 
  • Food intolerance
  1. Food Intolerances

In some people, bloating occurs after eating certain foods. This condition could be due to lactose intolerance, gluten allergy, or celiac disease. The bloating usually subsides on its own but may be accompanied by diarrhea or stomach pain.

  1. Chronic Disorders

Frequent bloating can also be caused by chronic gut disorders such as Crohn’s disease (inflammation of the digestive tract). Crohn’s can cause:

  • Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Unintentional weight loss
  1. Gastroparesis

Gastroparesis is a disorder that disturbs the normal process of stomach emptying. In this disorder, stomach muscles can’t function normally. This causes the food to pass much more slowly through the stomach and intestines.

Some common symptoms of gastroparesis are:

  1. Gynecological Disorders

Some gynecological problems can also induce stomach pain. In some women, cramping and bloating occur due to endometriosis. In endometriosis, the lining of the womb is attached to the stomach or intestine. 

10. Constipation

Usually, bloating is caused by constipation. Some causes of constipation are:

11. Other Causes

Some other less common causes of abdominal bloating are 

 

  • Gallstones or gallbladder disease 
  • Cancers of the stomach or intestines 
  • Ascites (buildup of fluid in the abdominal cavity over a period of time)
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Prevention

Bloating can be prevented with the help of the following strategies:

  1. Do not eat those foods which cause gas
  2. Avoid chewing gum 
  3. Make sure to eat slowly 
  4. Do not smoke 
  5. Avoid dairy products if they cause bloating 
  6. Do not eat or drink those foods that have fructose
  7. Avoid the use of straws while drinking 
  8. Make sure to add fiber to your diet
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Treatment of Bloating | When to Consult a Doctor

Bloating can be easily treated by managing your lifestyle. If not, you need to get it treated by a doctor.

Lifestyle Changes

You can reduce the symptoms of abdominal bloating by adopting a few simple lifestyle changes such as:

  • Losing weight if you are obese
  • Avoid swallowing too much air
  • Avoid chewing gum, it causes an intake of extra air that results in bloating
  • Limit intake of carbonated drinks
  • Avoid foods that cause gas, such as cabbage, dried beans, and lentils
  • Eat slowly 
  • Avoid drinking through a straw
  • Use lactose-free dairy products 
  • Use kefir and Greek yoghurt 

Abdominal Massages

Abdominal massages can also help to reduce abdominal bloating. As per a study, massages improve depression, anxiety, well-being, and perceived abdominal bloating symptoms.

Medications

Consult your doctor if lifestyle or diet alterations don’t decrease abdominal bloating. If there is a medical cause, the doctor may recommend medical treatments. Treatments include the use of:

  • Antibiotics
  • Antispasmodics 
  • Antidepressants

You need to consult your doctor if bloating is accompanied by:

  • Severe or prolonged abdominal pain
  • High fevers
  • Blood in the stools, or dark, tarry-looking stools
  • Worsening heartburn
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Unexplained weight loss

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Last updated on Tuesday 29/11/2022

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