Stomach bloating: Dr. Oz advises on how to 'beat the bloat'
Stomach bloating can be alarming, particularly when it is very painful. Some people notice that their belly looks swollen or misshapen, or they may experience sharp abdominal pain. Yet in many cases, the cause may be something as simple as indigestion, eating too quickly or too much gas building up in the stomach and bowels. However, occasionally a bloated stomach could signal something far more serious such as an infection.
Medical News Today said: “Stomach infections can cause gas, which may also be accompanied by:
- Stomach pain
“These are often due to bacteria such as Escherichia coli or Helicobacter pylori, or a viral infection such as norovirus or rotavirus.
“Stomach infections usually go away on their own after a few days.
“However, some people may become severely dehydrated or continue to get worse over several days.
“These individuals should see a doctor if the bloating coincides with fever, bloody stool and severe and frequent vomiting.”
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Treatments at home include:
- Drink fluids regularly throughout the day, especially after bouts of diarrhoea.
- Eat little and often and include some salty foods.
- Consume foods or drinks with potassium, such as fruit juice and bananas.
- Don’t take any medications without asking your doctor.
- Go to the hospital if you can’t keep any fluids down.
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Symptoms of an infection can happen with all forms of a viral and bacterial infection.
High fever and bloody diarrhoea are more commonly associated with bacterial gastroenteritis.
If not treated, severe stomach infections or bacterial gastroenteritis can lead to severe dehydration, nerve problems, kidney failure, and even death.
The symptoms of bacterial gastroenteritis may look like other health conditions or problems.
Ways to prevent a stomach infection include:
Wash your hands thoroughly while handling or preparing food.
Don’t leave food out too long when you’re serving it. Throw it out if there’s any chance it has gone bad.
If you learn of an outbreak of tainted food or drink through a news report, don’t have those items.
Limit contact with others who have symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhoea.
Don’t eat undercooked food.
Use alcohol-based hand sanitisers.
Stomach bloating can be disconcerting and painful.
For most people, the cause can be treated at home and will be something simple.
If however the symptoms persist and become worse, careful vigilance is advised.
A person should speak to a doctor if the symptoms get worse or do not go away after a few days.
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