The bloated abdomen can be very disturbing and painful. It can make you feel lethargic and bring your energy levels down. There are many possible reasons for abdominal bloating, like fluid retention, irritable bowel syndrome, and infection. Though generally, the cause of bloating is fairly harmless, and it can be treated at home.
One of the most common causes of bloating is the buildup of gas in the stomach and intestines. Bloating due to gas can cause symptoms ranging from mild discomfort to severe pain. Gas can be caused by certain foods, indigestion, and stomach infection etc. Generally, gas goes away on its own after a few hours.
Indigestion or dyspepsia is discomfort or pain in the stomach. People often get brief episodes of indigestion at times. The causes of indigestion include overeating, excessive alcohol or a minor infection.
Stomach infections may cause gas, which may also come with diarrhea, vomiting, pain or nausea. Infection can be bacterial or viral and usually go away on its own.
Intake of salty foods, food intolerances, and changes in hormone levels can cause a person's body to retain more fluid. Sometimes, women find that they are bloated just before getting their periods or early in pregnancy.
Some people experience bloated after eating certain foods. Like, some people may have lactose intolerance or gluten allergy.
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth
The stomach and intestines have a variety of bacteria; most of them help the body digest food. Any disturbance in the balance of these bacteria can lead to an increase in harmful bacteria present in the small intestine. This is known as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or SIBO. The condition can cause bloating, frequent diarrhea, and may lead to difficulties digesting food and absorbing nutrients.
Some gynecological problems like endometriosis in women can cause cramping and bloating.
Constipation may also cause bloating. The causes of constipation can be dehydration, lack of enough fiber, pregnancy, food intolerance, certain bowel disorders, certain medications, nutrient deficiency etc.I n most cases, episodes of constipation are short-lived.
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