Abdominal bloating or a bloated stomach is a common and non-specific symptom that can be seen in various conditions. It can affect individuals of all ages, races, or genders. A bloated stomach can be associated with organic disorders, functional gastrointestinal disorders, or appear by itself. The affected individual usually complains of a tight and full abdomen. In rare cases, the bloating can also cause pain and shortness of breath. Pain associated with abdominal bloating is often sharp and tends to change locations quickly.
The pain can be so intense that patients may mistake it for heart-related pains especially if it radiates to the upper left side of the chest. Pain felt on the right side may also be confused with gallbladder or appendix issues. A bloated stomach can be managed by treating the underlying cause of the bloated stomach. The discomfort can be alleviated with dietary modifications and medications.
Cause #1: Fiber
There are many cases of abdominal bloating due to having an improper diet. The gas occurs because of the presence of bacteria in the colon. The bacteria produce gas after digesting fiber. The irregular and inadequate intake of fluids and fiber can also lead to bloating and constipation. The most common source of natural fiber includes vegetables, fruits, and grains like oat bran or wheat.
The fiber present in plants is not easily digested by the human gastrointestinal tract. Soluble fiber is easily fermented into gases while insoluble fiber absorbs water as it moves throughout the digestive system, helping for digestion.