Bloating of upper abdomen occurs when too much of gas and air is trapped in stomach and intestine. Bloating increases the girth of abdomen and as a result the upper abdomen appears larger. There is a feeling of fullness, pain and discomfort in stomach. Upper abdomen bloating is a common problem experienced by many people in today’s life. It is not a life threatening condition, but the condition can interfere in day to day activity of a person.
Patient experiences dull aching pain, but sometimes it can be sharp and spasmodic. Mostly pain and hardness of upper abdomen is limited up to upper part of abdomen in the stomach area, between the navel and the chest.There are several causes of upper abdominal bloating, they are elaborated below.
What Causes Upper Abdominal Bloating?
Bloating and distension in upper abdomen occurs due to too much collection of air and gas in the stomach and upper intestine. Numerous conditions have been linked to upper abdominal bloating and pain.
- Indigestion is one of the most common causes of upper abdomen bloating. Often a person overeats certain foods that are difficult to digest or take too much of time to digest. These foods also produce more gas. For example certain high fiber foods such as cabbage, broccoli, sprouts, and beans can cause discomfort and bogginess in some people after eating in large amount. Fizzy drinks, starch containing vegetables such as potatoes and sweet potatoes, sweet preparations all can result in stomach bloating, pain and discomfort.
- Bloating in stomach can occur due to accumulation of gas or air swallowed during ingestion of food. Aerated soft drinks, gum chewing, eating rapidly, smoking, alcohol (beer), mouth breathing and emotional stress can cause upper abdomen bloating. Normally the air or gas is expelled out when a person belches. However, if the air moves in the intestine, it leads to bloating and discomfort until it is passed out through anus as flatus.
- Food intolerance: The digestive system in certain people is intolerant to specific type of food or ingredients present in food. The most common being lactose intolerance. People who are deficient in certain enzymes meant for digestion of lactose in milk and milk products can develop bloating, nausea, pain in abdomen and diarrhea after consuming such items.
- Gastroesophageal reflux and hiatus hernia are two upper abdominal conditions which may cause pain and bloating in upper part of abdomen.
- Irritable bowel syndrome is an intestinal condition characterized by rapid passage of food content through the intestine. Bloating, abdominal cramps, constipation alternating with diarrhea, are common symptoms of IBS.
- Gastrointestinal infections, both bacterial and viral can cause diarrhea, pain and bloating in abdomen.
- Celiac disease is an intestinal disorder where the intestine is unable to digest gluten present in wheat, rye, barley, maize etc. These people suffer from frequent bloating and pain in abdomen, especially on upper part of abdomen.
- Other possible causes are menstruation, constipation, ovarian cyst, and H. pylori infection.
- Upper abdominal bloating associated with shortness of breath is potential concern as it can be a symptom of heart ailment. Patient with uncontrolled diabetes and women with PCOS can have bloating with distressed breathing. Lastly, even large bloating of upper abdomen itself can put pressure on the diaphragm to shift upwards leading to troubled breathing.
How To Get Rid Of Bloating In Upper Abdomen?
Medications such as antacids are useful in certain cases to treat gases in upper abdomen. More importantly when the trouble is frequent, person has to make some changes in his daily lifestyle and eating habits. Here are few tips in eliminating stomach bloating and discomfort.
- Avoid overeating during meals.
- Chew your food properly.
- While eating food take care that you do not swallow too much of air. Air which enters in such way gets entrapped in the stomach which results in bloating and pain.
- Reduce high fiber foods in your diet if you suspect it as the cause.
- Regularly eat yogurt and drink butter milk after meals. It contains good bacteria which help to reduce gas formation.
- Avoid eating foods that your system is not tolerating. If the digestive system is not able to tolerate lactose containing products, avoid them.
Home Remedies For Upper Abdominal Bloating
The carminative effect of several natural food ingredients help to expel gas out from the stomach and intestine.
- Ginger is effective in treatment of indigestion of food. Take one teaspoon of ginger juice and add in a glass of water. Mix one teaspoon of honey and a pinch of asafetida. Sip slowly half glass of this mixture. The remaining half can be taken after 5 to 6 hours if you are not relieved.
- Another easy alternative is drink tea mixed with ground dry ginger.
- Baking soda and lemon juice is time tested home treatment to alleviate bloating in stomach. It has an antacid effect. Mix one to two teaspoon of lemon juice in one glass of water. Add pinch of baking soda and stir the mixture. As you stir, it begins to fizz. Drink slowly this water from the glass as much as you can, but do not overdo.
- Many cultures have tradition of eating Fennel seeds after meals. One of its benefits is that it helps in relieving bloating of abdomen besides encouraging the digestion of food.
- A concoction prepared from boiling mint, cardamom and fennel is beneficial in eliminating gasses from stomach.