Stomach bloating or tightening is not a medical problem that requires immediate medical attention as it goes on its own after a slight discomfort and gaseous feeling. It’s only serious if it stays persistent and leads to abdominal cramps for longer periods of time, affecting your day-to-day normal activities. You might observe abdominal bloating due to changes in your diet, intolerance to certain food items, lack of daily fluid intake, or genetic variance. It can be treated and prevented by increasing physical activity in your daily life, Incorporating fiber in your diet, and avoiding foods to which your body shows intolerance.
Why does my stomach feel tight? Is it bloating?
A bloated stomach can be felt tight, exerting pressure on the walls of the abdomen from the inside. Some people experience a tight abdomen right after they finish their meal, while some experience a bloated stomach under extreme stress. It also can be genetic, where you start to feel a tight abdomen after crossing a specific age group.
Getting to know all the possible reasons for a bloated stomach can help you step out of curiosity and prevent it properly, if possible. Read till the end of the blog to know all the reasons.
As per the study conducted by the National Institute of Health for Pathophysiology of Bloated Stomach, it is stated that “Abdominal bloating is a frequently reported symptom experienced by individuals of various ages, both men and women. It is a prevalent issue in nearly all individuals diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome and those suffering from various other functional and organic disorders.
What causes a tight feeling in the stomach?
There could be a lot of reasons for your stomach to get bloated or you feel pressure from the inside walls of your stomach. Here are some of the common causes of tight feelings in the stomach.
Gas is one of the most common reasons for a tight feeling in the stomach. It usually occurs because of Inhaling gas in the form of soft drinks or sparkling (Carbonated) water. Gas in the stomach is usually produced due to the normal metabolism of carbohydrates in the stomach, but gas production while digestion is not the amount of food that can cause a bloated stomach or any pushing force in the abdomen.
Constipation most commonly occurs due to the lack of liquid intake. It can also be caused due to the consumption of diet, which requires more acid in the stomach to break down the food for Metabolism. More acid production can also lead to more gas production, leaving the stomach bloated with the feeling of fullness.
Indigestion is also a very common cause of bloating in the stomach. Indigestion can be due to a number of reasons, including an abdominal infection, a change in diet, eating rotten food, or food poisoning.
Food intolerance can sometimes cause severe bloating, leading to pain and tightness in the stomach. This condition arises due to a lack of specific enzymes or a sensitivity to particular components in the ingested food, causing digestive distress and bloating.
Chronic reasons that can cause bloating
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome) is a set of abdominal conditions that present themselves with the symptoms of abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating, extreme cramping, and sometimes discharge. All the conditions under the IBS change the bowel habits of a person.
One of its major symptoms is bloating and abdominal discomfort. It can be managed by simple dietary modifications as directed by the healthcare provider or pharmacist.
Stomach ulcers can only cause abdominal discomfort along with bloating and persistent pain. They will either increase the bloating in the stomach or cause appetite loss; both can result in pain and discomfort in the stomach for longer periods.
Mostly, antibiotics are prescribed for stomach ulcers.
Changes in hormones can greatly affect the overall metabolism and regulation of the body’s function. It also impacts the appetite and mood of a person. Especially during the menstrual cycle, the level of hormones fluctuates, which can directly cause bloating along with cramps.
Other causes of stomach bloating
Ascites are the accumulation of excess fluid in the abdominal cavity, often caused by liver disease, heart failure, or cancer, and can lead to abdominal bloating.
Some types of cancer, especially those affecting the digestive organs, can cause bloating as they interfere with normal digestion and can create gas in the stomach.
Inflammation of the stomach
Gastritis, or stomach inflammation, can disrupt the stomach’s ability to digest food properly, leading to bloating and discomfort.
When the pancreas doesn’t produce enough digestive enzymes, it can result in poor digestion, gas production, and abdominal bloating.
How long does a tight stomach last?
A tight stomach will last till the underlying issue gets resolved. If it’s due to intolerance, it will go away after the food is digested in 1-2 days. Dietary modification will be required to solve the intolerance issue, or if you are unaware, you will need a medical consultation for the solution.
If the underlying reason for a tight and bloated stomach is your menstrual cycle, It will go away on its own after the first two days of your periods. If it persists along with the pain, it’s good to seek medical attention for the diagnosis.
Usually, for temporary reasons, a tight and bloated stomach will go after you pass the gas, taking a maximum of two days. For reasons like cancer and serious medical disorders, it will persistently stay on and off, with discomforting pain where you will need a medical consultation for the diagnosis as well as treatment.
What relieves bloating? How can we prevent it?
Bloating usually goes away on its own and doesn’t persist for longer periods of time. However, it can be relieved and prevented in ways.
Avoiding diet or food that upsets your GIT or stomach should be avoided to prevent bloating. Knowing the meals that upset your stomach is also a must and should be catered with the help of your healthcare provider. Adding fiber to your diet will help to relieve bloating greatly.
Slow and mindful eating can also play a major role in relieving bloating and tight stomachs.
Drinking a lot of fluids, including water and fresh juices, will keep you away from a lot of the GIT-related problems, e.g., Abdominal pain, bloating, and excess gas production.
Fluid consumption throughout the day will also boost your energy levels, which will positively influence your overall activity, ultimately reducing the bloating and tightening of your stomach.
Herbal teas, such as Coriander, honey, or lemon in your green or black tea, will increase your metabolism rate, eventually decreasing stomach bloating, tightening, or gas formation in the abdominal region.
Some over-the-counter pain relief medication for the pain in the stomach, including Tylenol, can help you get the relief.
For Serious underlying conditions, your healthcare provider will prescribe you antibiotics or antivirals along with the food you need to stay away from those medications to avoid bloating.
When to see a doctor
Getting yourself checked is usually the stop approach people use after getting persistent bloating because most of the bloating goes away without any medication or consultation. It’s good to get a medical consultation and prescription in case of persistent gas, stomach bloating, or tight stomach because the reason behind it can be a serious medical condition as well.
FAQs about stomach pain
There could be several reasons. Either you are about to start your menstrual period or on one. You might have eaten something your body is not tolerating, consumed less fluids, or eaten too much. It will go away on its own in a maximum of 2 days; if it doesn’t, it’s a good time to seek medical attention immediately.
No, Feeling something moving in the stomach is usually not associated with early pregnancy, as pregnancy mostly starts with either nausea or lack of energy levels in the body. The reason could be your diet that leads to gas production or gastric motility, which can be felt in the stomach.