Causes Of Bloated Stomach

As it so happens, this article is being written on Thanksgiving Day, and for the author, causes of bloated stomach can be found close at hand, in the refrigerator and in the oven. The most common cause of bloating is, not unexpectedly, overeating, which many of us tend to do during the holiday season. Though uncomfortable, the extra helping of pumpkin pie can almost make the discomfort worthwhile, knowing that a year could pass before feeling the discomfort again.

There are other causes of bloated stomach of course, some of them not experienced by everyone, and some of them that can be rather severe, being symptoms of an underlying disease or disorder that should be dealt with.

The Foods We Eat -  A cause of bloating that a good percentage of the population is familiar with is lactose intolerance. For some, eating even a small amount of a dairy product, be it a scoop of ice cream or a glass of milk, can result in bloating and discomfort. This condition, lactose intolerance, is more widespread than one might think, and is particularly common among older people, who tend to produce less of the enzyme responsible for the proper digestion of lactose.

Certain foods, which some can eat without any problem, are causes of bloated stomach in others. Beans and nuts are prime examples of food items that will cause the stomach in some people to inflate to the point of discomfort. Brussels sprouts are near the top of the list of foods that a certain percentage of the population simply cannot eat.

Even if you're one of those fortunate people who can eat most anything without suffering a bloating problem, there still may be occasions when you eat too much, or eat too fast, or for whatever reason swallow more air than normal while eating. All of these can result in a bloated stomach, which explains in part why many of us have this condition on or around Thanksgiving.

Underlying Conditions - There are several causes of bloated stomach which are more serious than eating too much during a holiday dinner, and the feeling of an overly expanded stomach may signal that something else is wrong. Irritated bowel syndrome is one disorder that can cause bloating, as is anything that might be causing constipation. Even more serious would be a partial bowel obstruction, indicating a possible problem in the large or small intestine. Aside from a digestive system disease, for which bloating may be a symptom, women will sometime experience bloating just prior to menstruation, a condition often relieved by magnesium or calcium supplements.

Watch Your Diet - Causes of stomach bloating can often be minimized or eliminated completely by following a few dietary guidelines. Reducing the intake of stimulants such as chocolate, coffee and tea, as well as fat, can be helpful, as these often stimulate digestive tract spasms and result in bloating. Adding fiber to the diet can also be very helpful, as the additional fiber tends to negate the spasms and bloating effects stimulants have on the digestive system. As far as the intake of dairy products is concerned, one can purchase lactose free milk, or purchase other dairy products which have been fortified with lactase, the enzyme which the body needs to properly digest lactose. In addition, there are the over the counter medications which eliminate gas, a chief cause of bloating.

Unless there is an underlying disorder, a bloated stomach is something we can often avoid for the most part, if not altogether, by paying attention both to the foods we eat, and how we eat. When the condition does occur, especially when overeating is the cause, a brisk walk through the neighborhood is often the best cure. Lying on the couch to watch a ball game is probably the worst.

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