A bloated stomach is a symptom where the stomach feels tight, swollen, or full. Chronic bloating can cause an individual to have trouble carrying out their everyday responsibilities and tasks. Stomach bloating occurs in all ages, but certain causes are more common in specific age groups. Bloating is often accompanied by stomach rumbling and gurgling, frequent belching, excessive flatulence, cramping, and pain. To another person, the abdomen in an affected individual may appear distended and may feel hard to the touch.
Abdominal bloating can be managed by treating its underlying cause. Treatment may involve diet changes such as limiting the consumption of carbonated drinks, limiting foods that cause gas, using products that are lactose-free, eating at a slower pace, and drinking through a straw. Massages, medications, and probiotics may be needed to help relieve stomach bloating. A bloated stomach can be the result of benign conditions, or it may be a symptom of serious disease.
Excess Gas And Swallowing Air
A bloated stomach may be caused by an individual's excess gas and swallowing of air. When an individual is in a fasting state, their gastrointestinal tract only contains around one hundred milliliters of gas. This volume increases to a certain extent following the consumption of a meal. The gas in a healthy individual's digestive tract is distributed through the distal colon, descending colon, transverse colon, ascending colon, small intestine, and stomach. Excess gas production in the intestines may be the result of swallowing too much air, consumption of carbonated beverages, infection, and imbalances that occur in the gut microbiota.
An overgrowth of gut microbiota causes excess gas production as a byproduct of the bacteria digesting the food an individual has consumed. Regardless of the cause, the presence of excess gas can result in an impairment of the individual's digestive system to handle and transport it to the point of excretion from the body. It is thought the uneven gas distribution that centers in an affected individual's abdominal region is the main mechanism behind gas-induced bloating.