Bloating or fullness

    • Brief

    • Bloating usually occurs after eating but sometimes you may feel too full to even take a meal. This symptom will usually go away in a few hours to two days. It is usually caused by swallowing a lot of air when eating or diets high in gas-producing foods, like beans. It can also be caused by liver disease, cancer, or medications like strong pain relievers or those for treating constipation.

      You should see your healthcare provider if you experience other symptoms like vomiting or severe weight loss.

    • What are the causes?

      • When you eat and drink too much or too fast, you swallow a lot of air.
      • Carbonated or fizzy drinks and beverages that contain caffeine.
      • Foods high in fat or oil (like fried foods) or those with high fibre content (like cabbage, onions, or beans).
      • Constipation or a blocked intestine.
      • Liver disease.
      • Food intolerance (e.g. lactose)
      • Pregnancy.
    • When to visit a doctor?

    • Visit the health centre closest to you:

      • If you start to see blood in your stools, pass loose stools frequently, feel stomach pain or feel like you need to vomit or actually do vomit.
      • If you notice you are losing weight without any apparent reason.
      • If your bloating continues for a long time or does not go away.
    • How to prevent?

    • You may be able to manage your bloating by yourself when you:

      • Adopt a more active lifestyle. Exercise more frequently.
      • Adopt a healthier diet. This may include eating more fibres by including fruits and vegetables in your meals.
    • How to manage and treat?

    • Self-care tips:

      • Eat a balanced, healthy diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables.
      • Eat your meals slowly, chew your food properly and drink water. Do not drink carbonated drinks.
      • Keep physically active. Exercising regularly can help your intestines and digest food properly.
      • Use an antacid when you feel bloated, like mist-mag. This can relieve your symptoms but do not overuse them since they can cause constipation.
      • If you are belching a lot, use an antacid containing gas relievers, like Pepto-Bismol or Gaviscon.

      Treatment options:

      • Your healthcare provider may recommend antibiotics or other appropriate medicines if they find a medical cause of your bloating.
      • Your healthcare provider may also recommend tablets of high strength bismuth to reduce the symptoms you feel.
      • If constipated, your healthcare provider can recommend medication to cause bowel movement.
      • Further tests or even surgery may be recommended.
    • Kulawa cares

    • In most people, bloating is not a symptom to worry about since it resolves quickly. Bloating will not usually cause any disability in the long term, except where there is an underlying disease.

      If you have several episodes of bloating, speak with your healthcare provider. They may discuss changing your diet or eating habits.