When people complain of feeling bloated they are usually referring to a feeling of tightness in the stomach area, or a gassy sensation. This can range from mild discomfort to extreme pain and some cases of bloat can even mimic a heart attack with the pain traveling up to the chest due to pressure from the stomach on the underside of the rib-cage and lung area. While most cases of stomach bloating are actually from intestinal pain rather than stomach as many people assume, the symptoms are unmistakable.
• Cramps: One of the most commonly recognized symptoms of bloating is stomach cramps. This painful sensation can be so painful as to incapacitate its victim until the pressure is relieved. It is caused by the buildup of air pockets in the intestines and is best relieved by the expulsion of the air which produces the next most common side-effect of stomach bloat.
• Flatulence and belching—while neither of these is threatening in any way they are generally considered to be socially embarrassing. They are usually quite effective in relieving many of the routine reasons for stomach bloat. Application of heat can also help to subdue cramping and hasten the effects of the gas pockets.
• Diarrhea: this unpleasant side-effect of stomach bloating along with other changes in bowel functions can indicate a more serious (although also non-life threatening) condition known as IBS or irritable bowel syndrome.
The most common causes for stomach bloat are dietary habits. Often foods such as dairy and wheat products can be difficult to digest. Some people have a lower tolerance for particular foods than others that causes them to have difficulty in processing these foods.
Chewing gum which leads to swallowing large amounts of air can also cause stomach bloating and discomfort. Fatty foods are another often associated reason behind stomach bloat. Avoiding such foods are beneficial not only to the relief of bloat, but also to the overall diet as well.
While these are often the reasons behind the issue of stomach bloating there can also be more sinister medical reasons such as irritable bowel syndrome. There are many herbal remedies for IBS and your doctor can also prescribe medications to help with the symptoms of the disease.
Certain types of teas such as fennel and peppermint tea have been shown to have comforting effects on those suffering from stomach bloating, and medical conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome. These products are caffeine free and the holistic approach is appealing to many. Drinking water can also help to rid the body of the gas buildup that causes stomach bloating. Water flushes the system and aides in digesting foods.
It is best to avoid large meals if you suffer from recurrent bouts of stomach bloat. Substitute heavy meals for several smaller meals throughout the day. Stress can also play a large part in the occurrence of bloat and other related illnesses that can cause bloat. Reducing your stress level and drinking herbal teas such as peppermint tea provides a great comfort for eliminating bloat.
If symptoms of bloat continue for long periods of time without relief seek the advice of your physician.