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What is Bloating?bloating woman holding stomach

Bloating is a side effect that produces irregular fluid retention or swelling of the body, particularly the abdomen. Common symptoms that may accompany boating include burping, gas or flatulence, discomfort and heartburn (indigestion). Although this condition is generally triggered by gastrointestinal abnormalities such as constipation or a blockage of the bowels, several other factors may play a role in bloating such as:

  • usage of medicines including aspirin, anti-diuretics, phentermine, pain relievers (narcotics), or fiber, multivitamin or iron supplements
  • abnormal breathing or swallowing of air which can occur when chewing gum
  • hormonal changes (especially in women)
  • an inability to properly digest lactose or sugars
  • human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • diseases or changes in the intestines (worms, parasites, imbalance in amount of bacteria, or decrease in digestive enzymes)
Consuming foods or drinks that are high in fat, salt or fiber, dairy products, carbonated beverages, and certain fruits or vegetables such as apples, pears, broccoli, asparagus, or cabbage may also lead to bloating.

How is Bloating Treated?

Since cases of bloating are typically minor, this swelling may be treated at home. Most remedies include increases your intake of fluids and using an over-the-counter product such as charcoal tablets, antacids, diuretics and food enzyme replacements to help break down food and prevent gas buildup. For safety, check with your doctor first before using any of these medicines.

Avoid bloating by staying away from carbonated drinks, alcohol or any food products that may be related to the bloating. If the bloating becomes painful, contact your doctor to determine a plan for relief from your symptoms.