Abdominal Bloating and Flatulence
What causes bloating and flatulence?
Abdominal bloating and gas often make us feel uncomfortable. So, how are these caused?
The usual cause of bloating is when air gets trapped in the numerous corners of our colon. This usually induces cramps and pain, localised in the middle or upper abdomen.
On average, we tend to pass gas between 14-23 times a day. Most of its smell is due to a substance called sulphur, which gives it its unpleasant odour.
If you’re passing an excessive amount of gas, this could be the cause of multiple factors. Some of these include when you swallow air while eating or drinking, eating certain types of gaseous foods, intestinal bacteria, trouble digesting certain types of food, as well as other medical conditions.
When do I consult a doctor?
If your bloating and flatulence is causing you excessive discomfort, it’s time that you received medical attention. Symptoms could include:
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Vomiting or diarrhoea that lasts more than two days
- Blood in bowel movements
- Abdominal pain
What kind of tests might I have to undergo?
Sometimes, you may need to undergo certain tests in order for your doctor to confirm a diagnosis. Some of these include:
- Blood tests
- Breath tests
- Tests on a sample of your bowel movements
What kind of treatment can I expect?
In these situations, the best kind of treatment is watching out what you eat and how you eat. It’s good to know which types of food trigger either bloating or gas and avoid these. Further, eating slowly can also help with the easier passing of gas.
What causes excessive bloating and flatulence?
Eating fibrous food like beans, cabbage and apples
Eating fatty food
What does it mean when your stomach feels bloated and gassy?
Feeling gassy and bloated may indicate an underlying gastrointestinal condition, such as a change in the gut microbiome or constipation.
How to prevent bloating and flatulence?
- Eat less high fibre foods
- Avoid dairy products if you have lactose intolerance
- Go for a short walk after eating
- Don’t rush when eating and drinking
Is bloating and gas a common condition?
Bloating is a common condition and it affects one in six Australians—even those who don’t have any gastrointestinal problems.
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