By Dr Bhatti
Bloating is when your tummy is puffy, and feels stretched and uncomfortable due to temporary abdominal distension.
Common causes are overeating, eating too fast, swallowing food too quickly, talking while eating, and swallowing air, certain foods which can cause gas such as beans, lentils, cabbage, cauliflower, and drinking too many fizzy drinks. Certain medical conditions can also give rise to this symptom such as gastritis, food poisoning, candida, coeliac disease, IBS, diverticulitis, food intolerance, Crohn’s disease, PMS or menopause, and certain cancers such as ovarian and colon.
If you have any chest pain, palpitations, fever, shortness of breath, dizziness, weakness, pain in the abdominal area, bloody or dark stools, vomiting blood, your eyes and skin become yellow, and you have lost a lot of weight, then consult your GP first as he or she might prescribe appropriate medication, tests, or refer you to a specialist to rule out something sinister.
If a serious illness has been ruled out then some lifestyle changes might help, such as avoiding fast food and eating on the go. It is advisable to slow down and eat in a relaxing atmosphere without watching TV, reading a paper, or talking. It is also a good idea to try to identify the food which might be responsible for your bloating so that you can eliminate it. You should chew your food properly and try to eat three balanced meals a day, drink plenty of fluids for hydration, and avoid fizzy drinks.
Some complementary therapies can also be beneficial such as nutritional manipulation, mindfulness, and some supplements and herbs. Medical acupuncture has been very effective, as is natural restoration of gut health if you are suffering from candida, leaky gut, or intolerance to foods such as wheat and lactose, which can cause gas and trapped wind.
Always consult your GP before starting any new regime or self treatment. The contents of the article are for informational purposes only and are not intended to prevent, diagnose, or cure any medical conditions. The contribution of all authors and researchers is acknowledged.
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