Whenthe stomach or abdomen area feels expanded, tight and/or painful, this is referred to as a bloated stomach. This is quite a common occurrence and due to the many different symptoms that can cause it, it is often misdiagnosed. More than a third of the world's population occasionally experiences stomach bloating, mostly due to poor dietary choices and other conditions to do with eating habits.
Bloatingoccurs due to a large amount of gas becoming trapped in the digestive tract. When proper digestion is disrupted by fatty or oily foods, more gas is released than usual. The abnormal amount of gas cannot be relieved very quickly, so it builds up in the digestive system.
Thereare many conditions that can cause stomach bloating. As explained above, 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 the abdomen fairly rigid. In the portions of the abdomen that are rigid, discomfort is a common symptom too. This can also cause the abdomen to enlarge, changing the size several times throughout the day as the stomach digests the food at different rates and the amount of gas released fluctuates.
Excessgas in the intestines must be released at one point or another, so a bloated stomach generally leads to flatulence. The gas that is passed has a fairly unpleasant odour due to the sulphur and methane that is released by the disrupted digestion. Internally, this involved a certain amount of discomfort or even pain, as the built-up gas moves through the intestines. Pain is usually experienced after consuming a large meal due to the extra stress that is placed on the digestive system and the possibility of even more gas being produced.
Ifthis pain becomes very intense, or if the stomach bloating remains for more than a few days, consult a doctor for advice. There could be some underlying problem that is causing or exacerbating the stomach bloating, instead of the problem just being caused by the type of food being eaten.
Themost effective remedy for preventing or helping to alleviate stomach bloating is changing one's diet. It is advised to avoid foods such as those containing large amounts of oil, fat, stimulants (like caffeine) as well as foods containing artificial sweeteners. Bloating may be relieved by consuming vegetables, fruits and foods rich in fibre. Also, remember that stomach bloating is a very separate condition from simply having a flabby stomach; the two conditions cannot be solved by the same remedies.