By Dr Harold Gunatillake - Health Writer
Do you feel bloated most days, uncomfortable enough to avert concentration on your daily work? Most people do not get checked up, but live with the condition. This article will enable you to evaluate your problem, if you have one, to take remedial action.
Bloating may be in most situations a dietetic issue: not eating enough high fibre foods, including fruits resulting in constipation and not having a satisfactory bowel motion. People eating too much of food can result in gaseous bloating which could be relieved by the next good bowel evacuation. In such situation you burp a few times to get relief.Those who eat small meals more frequently like the Chinese have less chances of getting bloated.
The bloating could be due to a possible cause like irritable bowel syndrome, or lactose intolerance and many other such causes. You need to see your doctor to find out the cause in such situations.
Some causes of lactose intolerance are certain digestive diseases such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac sprue and other inflammatory bowel diseases may reduce the amount of lactase available in your gut to process properly.
The most common test for the diagnosis of lactase deficiency is the hydrogen breath test. This test measures the amount of hydrogen in the breath after drinking a lactose-loaded beverage.
If you think you suffer bloats due to lactose intolerance you need to avoid or slow down on consuming milk, milkshakes, Ice cream, cheese, butter, puddings and custards, cream soups, cream sauces and foods made with milk.
A study, published in the June issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology, suggests that fructose intolerance is a common yet under-recognized cause of digestive problems like flatulence and bloating Fructose is abundant in honey and fruits such as apples, peaches, pears and oranges and it are the main ingredient in corn syrup. Those who are intolerant to fructose, the latter may travel on to the colon where microbiota ferments the fructose. This releases hydrogen and methane gases, which cause pain, bloating, flatulence and diarrhoea,
Large Bowel Cancers
A diet low in FODMAPs (“a Low FODMAP Diet”) is scientifically proven, and is now used internationally, as the most effective dietary therapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and symptoms of an irritable bowel. Such symptoms include excessive wind (flatus), abdominal pain, bloating and distension, nausea and changes in bowel habits (diarrhoea and/or constipation). A Low FODMAP Diet has also been proven, with solid scientific research2, to reduce symptoms of fatigue, lethargy and poor concentration. (Ref: fodmapfriendly.com)
You need to stay away from foods that have gluten.
Conclusions: You may experience just functional non-specific bloating which needs no further investigations and temporising with home remedies and avoiding factors that cause them would suffice.
If bloating is accompanied with, other gastro-intestinal symptoms like vomiting, heart burn, diarrhoea, brown coloured stools, constant pains with loss of appetite and losing weight- you need to go for further investigations like endoscopies, ultrasounds, stool examinations and so on.
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