Bloating is a general swelling in any part of the body, but is usually experienced in the abdominal area. Bloating can essentially cause an increase in the abdominal area. The diameter of the abdomen could increase either slightly or excessively.
Symptoms of Bloating
The characteristic symptom of bloating is tightness in the chest, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. There is a significant change in the bowel movements. The stools become dark and could even be bloody. The consistency of stool may change, becoming either watery and loose or hard and constipated.
Due to the excessive gas inside the stomach, there could be increased burping and flatulence. You will experience discomfort in the abdomen and your appetite could decrease significantly. Due to the decreased appetite and discomfort, you may also lose weight. Bloating may also cause you to feel incessant fatigue, cramping in the stomach, and breathing problems.
In certain cases the cramps and the pain caused by bloating are so severe that it seems you are experiencing pain in your heart. If the pain occurs towards the right hand side of the body, it can be often mistaken for appendicitis or stones in the gall bladder. Hiccups are another symptom of bloating.
Causes of Bloating
There are several causes of bloating; however, the most common is the accumulation of gas and liquids in the intestines. There are also specific diseases affecting the gastrointestinal tract which may cause bloating. Ailments such as Crohn’s Disease, may cause obstruction of the bowels and may contribute to the bloating symptoms.
When food is not ingested properly, or water intake is not adequate, that too is a cause of bloating. The excessive intake of fatty foods can cause the formation of a layer of fat on the body, causing pressure and bloating.
Intolerance towards foods like lactose, fructose, and proteins can disrupt the digestion process, causing the release of gases and liquids and ultimately resulting in bloating. Some of the other causes of bloating are food allergies, overeating, swallowing of air while eating, irritable bowel syndrome, obstruction of the bowels, rapid emptying of the bowels, constipation, menstruation, and cysts in the ovaries.
Bloating is usually not considered a very serious disorder and can be managed with home remedies. The most effective home remedies for bloating are herbal teas. You can brew chamomile, ginger, peppermint or basil tea. Another option is to add a few drops of clove oil to a glass of water and drink it every morning. This will help improve digestion and release excessive gases. Eucalyptus oil can also be used instead of clove oil.
Another effective natural remedy is to boil one tea spoon of ground cinnamon with water. To improve the taste, you can add some honey.
Diet for Bloating
When you are feeling bloated, you may feel abdominal discomfort but don’t stop eating. Drink a lot of water and avoid carbonated drinks. Eat foods which are seedless and have been peeled and cooked properly.
Exercising regularly can help alleviate the symptoms of bloating.