Bloating, which can also be described as swelling or a feeling of fullness, is quite a common occurrence in women. Most adult women have experienced this problem at some point or the other. The swelling can affect your whole body, or just a few parts, especially your abdomen, face, hands, feet and ankles. At times, the bloating may be caused by simple factors and is nothing more than an annoying inconvenience; however, in some instances, it may be a symptom of a more serious underlying health problem, which needs to be treated immediately. Therefore, in case you do notice regular or recurrent bloating, you should visit a doctor to identify the causes, without any delay. Bloating occurs when your body holds on to an excessive amount of water and there are several different factors that could cause this. Some of the causes of bloating in women include,
- Blockage in the gastrointestinal tract
- Cigarette smoking or passive smoking on a regular basis
- Consumption of excessive salt or foods that increase the production of gas
- Deficiency of water in the body
- Excessive stress and anxiety
- Sensitivity to certain foods, especially in case of dairy, sugar or wheat
- Health conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome or liver disease
- Hormonal changes that occur during the menstrual cycle or menopause
- Infections or bacterial overgrowth
- Leading a sedentary lifestyle
- Ovarian cysts
- Poor digestive function
- Presence of parasites in the intestines
- Tumors in the stomach, ovaries, liver or other organs
- Use of certain medication
Some of the causes of bloating are quite serious and need to be treated by a health care expert immediately. Your doctor may conduct a detailed physical exam and recommend a few tests in order to determine the exact cause of the problem.
How to Treat Bloating in Women?
The treatment for bloating in women varies, depending upon the underlying cause. If the problem has occurred due to a serious medical condition, your doctor may prescribe medication or even ask you to undergo a surgery. However, several instances of bloating can be alleviated with the help of simple home remedies and self-care steps. Some of the home remedies to prevent and treat this problem include –
- Ginger: Add this common household root to your food while cooking or sip on a cup of warm, refreshing ginger tea to relieve gas and bloating.
- Parsley: Chew on a small amount (no more than 2 ounces) or fresh parsley after your meal. This herb is like a digestive aid that reduces bloating in the stomach.
- Apple cider vinegar: Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water and sip on the mixture slowly during your meals to improve digestion.
- Cinnamon: Boil a glass of water and mix a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to it. Allow the liquid to cool a bit and add a dash of honey.
- Lemon juice: You can improve digestion to a great extent by having a glass of warm water, to which a dash of freshly squeezed lemon juice has been added. For best results, have a glass as soon as you wake up and after each meal.
Food avoidance is also an integral part of the treatment for bloating. First, you need to identify the problem foods, so that you can eliminate them from your diet. Some of the most common foods that lead to bloating include –
- Brussels sprouts
- Dairy products
- Salty food
However, it is best for you to check with your doctor before making any changes to your existing diet. Also consult your doctor before using any of the home remedies to alleviate bloating mentioned above.