A bloated stomach can make you feel tight, full, and in pain, even without a distended abdomen. While it’s usually a digestive issue, it could also be caused by many other factors, like a deficiency in nutrients that keep the digestive system functioning.
Today’s piece will tackle what vitamin deficiency causes stomach bloating, its effects on one’s health, and how to overcome them.
- Is There A Vitamin Deficiency That Causes Stomach Bloating?
- What Is Stomach Bloating
- Common Vitamin Deficiencies That Can Cause Stomach Bloating
- Causes of Vitamin Deficiencies
- Symptoms of Vitamin Deficiencies
- How to Address Vitamin Deficiencies
- How can you determine if you have a vitamin deficiency?
- Are there any long-term consequences of not addressing vitamin deficiencies?
- Can vitamin supplements help alleviate stomach bloating
- Is it possible to experience stomach bloating without having a vitamin deficiency?
- Can stomach bloating be a sign of a more serious health issue?
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Is There A Vitamin Deficiency That Causes Stomach Bloating?
Having inadequate levels of vitamin B12, vitamin D, magnesium, or zinc can lead to stomach issues like bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.
Supplements like Knowell include all of the above to address the issue of bloating and other female wellness issues.
A product like Unbloat is formulated to specifically address the issue of bloating for both men & women.
What Is Stomach Bloating
A bloated stomach is the feeling of pressure, tightness, or fullness in the abdomen/belly due to the gastrointestinal tract (GI) being filled with air or gas. Sometimes It may be accompanied by a visibly distended (swollen) abdomen.
The most probable cause of stomach pain and bloating is excess intestinal gas. Here, one may experience frequent burping, passing too much gas, or feeling nauseous. Certain foods, including carbonated beverages, dairy, and specific vegetables, can cause excess gas. Likewise, it can be triggered by things like swallowing air while eating, chewing gum, or having a stomach infection.
Food intolerances can cause bloating in some people after eating certain foods — for example, those with lactose intolerance, gluten allergies, Crohn’s, or celiac disease. Salty foods can cause a person’s body to hold more fluid than it would otherwise. Salty foods, changes in hormone levels, and food intolerances can cause a person’s body to hold more fluid than it would otherwise.
Hormonal imbalances also increase the risk of bloating. For example, high estrogen and low progesterone levels can cause water retention and bloat. Estrogen often acts as a fluid-retaining hormone, while progesterone is a natural diuretic, so when these hormones are thrown off balance, bloating often follows after.
Many women also experience stomach bloating as a common early symptom of menstruation. The shift in progesterone and estrogen levels causes the body to retain more fluid and salt, causing the body’s cells to become swollen with water and cause bloating.
According to a report in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, about 1 in 7 adults (14%) in the United States suffer from abdominal bloating in any given week, with women being more prone than men. The sensation can go from mildly uncomfortable to intensely painful but usually goes away after a while. For some people, however, it’s a recurring health problem.
Common Vitamin Deficiencies That Can Cause Stomach Bloating
Being deficient in certain nutrients and minerals can lead to a higher risk of stomach bloating.
Otherwise known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that has long been known to help the body absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus, which promote bone growth and development. It also benefits the gastrointestinal tract by protecting the gut by influencing immune cell function, regulating inflammation, and enhancing the diversity of the gut microbiome.
Problems in the digestive tract can cause malabsorption of vitamin D and lead to abdominal bloating. Taking vitamin D would help reverse and improve gastrointestinal symptoms, as proven by a 2016 study.
Magnesium is an electrolyte mineral that helps make enzymes in the saliva that break food down into smaller parts to aid the digestive process. It also increases the amount of water in the intestines, which can help with bowel movements while preventing fluid retention at the same time.
Low magnesium levels can result in low appetite, nausea, vomiting, and stomach bloating. It also results in hypocalcemia, or lack of calcium, causing symptoms like muscle spasms and cramps.
Zinc is an important mineral for the digestive system, as it helps repair the cells that line your intestinal tract, allowing it to absorb nutrients properly. It also promotes the production of digestive enzymes, which help break down food into smaller molecules that can pass easily into the bloodstream.
Low zinc levels can lead to poor digestion, an imbalance in pH, and possible regurgitation of food or the gasses produced. Food particles that haven’t been properly broken down reach the small intestine and feed the “bad” bacteria, emitting toxic gas which causes bloating as it stretches the intestinal wall.
Different B-complex vitamins keep the digestive system in place — Vitamin B1 (thiamine), for example, helps regulate and enhance appetite; vitamin B3 (Niacin) improves digestion, proper absorption of the food juices into the body, and expulsion of wastes from the intestines; vitamin B6 helps prevent fluid retention; and vitamin B12 binds to the protein in the foods we eat and helps boost gut health.
Lacking any of these B-complex vitamins would result in gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea, nausea, constipation, gas, and abdominal bloating.
Causes of Vitamin Deficiencies
- Poor diet – Malnutrition deprives the body of getting the nutrients it needs and affects one’s health severely. Similarly, following certain diets, like vegan or keto, can cause zinc, magnesium, vitamin D, and B-complex deficiencies.
- Aging – Older adults tend to suffer from zinc, magnesium, and vitamin D deficiencies as they age.
- Chronic illness – Certain chronic digestive conditions like Crohn’s and celiac disease can cause poor absorption of vitamin D, while those with kidney problems become increasingly deficient in magnesium and zinc.
- Certain medications – Certain drugs, such as high blood pressure medication, corticosteroids, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can increase fluid retention.
Symptoms of Vitamin Deficiencies
- Nausea and vomiting – Experiencing sudden nausea and sometimes vomiting is often a result of a deficiency in vitamins, particularly B12 and magnesium. On the one hand, these symptoms also manifest in zinc toxicity.
- Sudden, unintentional weight loss – With poor appetite and digestion, people with vitamin deficiencies suffer malnutrition and experience a significant, unintentional drop in their weight in the long term.
- Anemia – Anemia is more associated with an iron deficiency, but a lack of B-complex vitamins, like B12 and B9, can also trigger anemia.
How to Address Vitamin Deficiencies
Incorporating nutrient-rich foods into your diet
Try to incorporate more poultry, fatty fish, and vegetables like fennel, asparagus, and celery to relieve the bloating. Probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kombucha, and kefir can greatly benefit the gut microbiome. For dessert, opt for fruits like apples, avocados, bananas, berries, kiwis, papayas, and pineapples.
Avoid consuming salty foods, certain vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and kale, onions, garlic, legumes, dairy, apples, watermelon, and wheat. Carbonated beverages should also be avoided as much as possible.
Taking vitamin supplements
Various nutritional supplements can relieve and prevent stomach bloating. Probiotics supplements with Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, and Saccharomyces boulardii strains have been shown to improve symptoms gas, stomach bloating, and pain.
Supplements containing psyllium husk and l-glutamine are also recommendable options to relieve bloating.
Working with a healthcare provider to determine the root cause
If you’re experiencing stomach bloating, consult your healthcare provider to help determine what causes it and point out possible health factors that could increase future risk. They could also recommend lifestyle changes like doing regular exercise and consuming appropriate vitamin-rich diets.
How can you determine if you have a vitamin deficiency?
The most accurate way to determine one’s vitamin deficiencies is to do a blood test. These tests can confirm the signs of vitamin deficiency and determine your vitamin levels.
Ask your healthcare provider to administer the test. Self-testing kits are likewise available for home use.
Are there any long-term consequences of not addressing vitamin deficiencies?
Vitamin deficiencies put a toll on one’s health and neglecting them puts you at a higher risk of malnutrition, a weakened immune system, and contracting various infectious/chronic health conditions.
Can vitamin supplements help alleviate stomach bloating
Probiotic supplements can help improve digestive problems and relieve abdominal bloating. Vitamin D-, magnesium-, and zinc-based supplements also relieve symptoms and offer other health benefits.
Is it possible to experience stomach bloating without having a vitamin deficiency?
Aside from vitamin deficiencies, factors like food intolerances, hormonal imbalances, menstrual cycles, and various digestive problems can also cause stomach bloating.
Can stomach bloating be a sign of a more serious health issue?
Stomach bloating can also be a symptom of several serious conditions, such as ovarian cancer, liver diseases, kidney problems, or congestive heart failure.
Living with a bloated stomach can be extremely uncomfortable. But while it may usually be a result of things like food allergies and bad eating habits, it could also indicate vitamin deficiencies or even a symptom of more serious health problems.
Eating a proper diet, taking nutritional supplements, and a few change of habits can already make a difference. If the bloating doesn’t resolve or worsens, you should consult your doctor immediately to discuss further treatment options.