Spring is here, and in no time we’ll be firing up the grills. With so many Americans getting their COVID vaccines, it looks like this summer we will again be surrounded by friends, family, and delicious food. But how frustrating is it when that fun is disrupted by discomfort or belly pain?
Before missing out on some of the upcoming summer fun, there are some things you should know about gas and bloating ahead of time.
Most people who experience bloating describe it as a "too full" feeling. It may feel as though the individual ate too much or is full of gas. When bloating occurs, it can make it difficult to have a bowel movement or pass gas but doing these things can sometimes alleviate the feelings of pressure bloating causes. While mild symptoms are possible as reactions to eating certain foods and resolve on their own relatively quickly, other times from serious medical issues that require professional care.
Depending on how much air is trapped in your stomach and large or small intestine, you can experience a wide range of potentially embarrassing or uncomfortable symptoms. In addition to pain in the abdomen, symptoms can include increased belching and flatulence or even the visible swelling of the abdomen.
Knowing the potential causes of bloating, you may be able to narrow down exactly what’s happening and take steps to bring relief or even prevent it in the first place.
Here are some of the possible reasons you might be feeling bloated and gassy:
When you’re experiencing stomach bloating, exercise might be the last thing on your mind and it might be tempting to relax until you feel better. However, some basic exercises can help relieve your discomfort. Even going on a walk or doing some simple yoga poses can move the muscles in your digestive tract and encourage the gas to release. Along those same lines, by keeping your large and small intestine muscles moving, you’ll encourage regular bowel movements, which will also lessen the pain and buildup of gas.
If your symptoms persist or are accompanied with other changes in your body, it may be time to talk to your doctor. For example, when chronic bloating is associated with sudden, unintentional weight loss, it can be a sign of a more serious digestive disorder.
Serious conditions related to stomach bloating can range from irritable bowel syndrome to more life-threatening conditions such as cancer. In cases like these, diagnosing the root cause of your bloating may require talking to a specialist, such as a gastroenterologist.
If you have been suffering from ongoing bloating that does not respond to dietary or lifestyle changes, one of our physicians at Carolina Digestive Health can help. They can suggest an alternate course of action or discuss further discussion and examination. Schedule an appointment right away.