Whenthe stomach or abdomen area feels expanded, tight and/or painful,this is referred to as a bloated stomach. This is quite a commonoccurrence and due to the many different symptoms that can cause it,it is often misdiagnosed. More than a third of the world's populationoccasionally experiences stomach bloating, mostly due to poor dietarychoices and other conditions to do with eating habits.
Bloatingoccurs due to a large amount of gas becoming trapped in the digestivetract. When proper digestion is disrupted by fatty or oily foods,more gas is released than usual. The abnormal amount of gas cannot berelieved very quickly, so it builds up in the digestive system.
Thereare many conditions that can cause stomach bloating. As explainedabove, the most common cause is when food is digested improperly,which releases gases that are not usually present, such as hydrogen,sulfur, carbon dioxide and methane.
Thisoften leads to the stomach or intestines distending, making theabdomen fairly rigid. In the portions of the abdomen that are rigid,discomfort is a common symptom too. This can also cause the abdomento enlarge, changing the size several times throughout the day as thestomach digests the food at different rates and the amount of gasreleased fluctuates.
Excessgas in the intestines must be released at one point or another, so abloated stomach generally leads to flatulence. The gas that is passedhas a fairly unpleasant odour due to the sulphur and methane that isreleased by the disrupted digestion. Internally, this involved acertain amount of discomfort or even pain, as the built-up gas movesthrough the intestines. Pain is usually experienced after consuming alarge meal due to the extra stress that is placed on the digestivesystem and the possibility of even more gas being produced.
Ifthis pain becomes very intense, or if the stomach bloating remainsfor more than a few days, consult a doctor for advice. There could besome underlying problem that is causing or exacerbating the stomachbloating, instead of the problem just being caused by the type offood being eaten.
Themost effective remedy for preventing or helping to alleviate stomachbloating is changing one's diet. It is advised to avoid foods such asthose containing large amounts of oil, fat, stimulants (likecaffeine) as well as foods containing artificial sweeteners. Bloatingmay be relieved by consuming vegetables, fruits and foods rich infibre. Also, remember that stomach bloating is a very separatecondition from simply having a flabby stomach; the two conditionscannot be solved by the same remedies.