What causes abdominal bloating?
Contrary to what many people believe, bloating is not necessarily due to too much gas in the stomach. Researchers have performed studies on patients who feel bloated using CT scans, and shown that they often do not have any more gas in the belly than people who have no symptoms. Excessive gas production probably plays a part, but does not explain the whole picture.
So if too much gas isn’t the main cause of bloating, then what is?
There are several different factors which may play a role:
- Too much water or liquid travelling into the small intestine. Certain food contents drag liquid into the intestines, which has been shown to cause the sensation of bloating
- Constipation and backed up stool in the colon (faecal impaction) can cause the sensation of bloating
- “Sluggish bowel,” or poor motility of the bowel – where the bowel pushes gas through very slowly
- Altered function of the diaphragm – the diaphragm is the big muscle between the chest and abdomen that moves up and down when you breathe. When you eat and drink, this muscle should relax and move upwards to make more space in your abdomen. Studies have shown that in people who bloat, the diaphragm incorrectly moves downwards, causing the belly to protrude.
Change your diet to reduce bloating
- Avoid fizzy drinks
- Some fibre supplements may help, but need to be chosen carefully. Fibres that undergo a lot of fermentation by gut bacteria can make bloating worse (e.g. whole wheat bran). The best are non-fermentable fibres such as sterculia (Normafibe)
- Trial cutting out dairy and/or gluten for one month, as conditions such as lactose intolerance and gluten sensitivity are very common causes of bloating in Australia. If you don’t feel better after one month, then reintroduce them into the diet.
- Trial a low-FODMAPs diet under guidance of a dietitian – this is a diet developed in Australia and now used all over the world for treatment of bloating. Foods high in FODMAPs increase the amount of fluid in the bowels, which in some people can lead to bloating and swelling of the abdomen. Through a process of elimination and reintroduction, the dietitian can assist you in finding out which ‘high-FODMAPs’ foods are the most problematic for you
Natural remedies that help with bloating
- Iberogast is a herbal supplement that has been shown in clinical studies to be helpful for bloating and other gut symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome. You can find it at most pharmacies.
- Kiwifruit has recently been shown to be beneficial for helping gut motility (ability of the bowel to contract and propel digestive contents). If you don’t like the fruit, you can take kiwifruit extracts instead!
Other strategies to help you with bloating
If you also have constipation, try taking regular sterculia fibre or laxatives that you find over the counter from the chemist. Usually, getting rid of the constipation helps the bloating too.
When to seek further advice or support
See your GP or gastroenterologist if your bloating is not improving with the above measures. You should also see your doctor if you have other symptoms along with your bloating such as unintentional weight loss, vomiting, being woken up at night to open the bowels or due to pain, or a change in bowel habits. These may be indicative of an underlying disorder rather than just ‘simple’ bloating.
Your doctor can perform a physical examination and may order further investigations such as blood tests, x-rays, stool specimens, or gastroscopy and colonoscopy. Your doctor may recommend other medical treatments for bloating such as prokinetics (medicines that stimulate the contraction of the gut and propulsion of gas and other contents) and medicines that change the composition of the gut microbiome in favour of more “good bacteria”.
Rozelle Total Health has been selected by the government to provide our patients and community with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccination.
As of the 29th March, we will be a registered COVID-19 Vaccine clinic and we will commence vaccinations in line with government regulations.
- We will commence COVID Vaccination clinics as of Wednesday 31st March 2021.
- The vaccination is free for patients with a valid Medicare card
- The first priority group (1b) is patients 70 yrs and older, patients with chronic/serious health conditions, Health care workers not in phase 1a and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders over 55 years old.
Only these patients are eligible for the vaccination at this stage. Others will be notified and vaccinated at a later date.
- At this stage we will be receiving only 50 doses per week for Phase 1B. We expect this number to increase.
- Initially we will be contacting our 80 + year old and most vulnerable patients first to book an appointment for the vaccine. Please do not call the surgery inquiring about where you are on the list as we can assure you we will get to you in due course. There is no waiting list.
- These appointments will run to a strict time schedule. Please bring your valid Medicare card and/or other form of ID to your appointment and wear appropriate clothing to allow us to access your left shoulder in a group setting. You will be vaccinated in groups of 5 people and be required to wait 15 minutes post vaccination to watch for any adverse reactions.
- Your appointment is for the vaccination only. If you have any questions, concerns or are hesitant about the vaccination, please call us on 02 9087 4600 or book an appointment online via HotDoc with your regular GP on a day any time prior to your vaccination appointment. Please continue to educate yourself about the vaccine by reading COVID-19 vaccination | healthdirect
At this time we request you do not call reception in relation to booking appointments. We will be accepting online bookings for the vaccine through HotDoc soon. Keep an eye on our website and like us on Facebook for updated information.
Your care is important to us and we are always striving to be of service to you. However, we do ask for your patience whilst we manage and oversee this extensive and unprecedented immunisation roll out.
Rozelle Total Health
We are pleased to advise that Rozelle Total Health has been approved to deliver COVID vaccinations to our community. The rollout will be staged as per the Dept of Health and we will be starting with the phase 1b.
Please note - We have not yet received any vaccination stock!
We are busy planning how best to deliver the vaccine to you safely and quickly so please do not phone us at this stage regarding vaccination. We will notify you as soon as we are ready to take bookings.
If you wish to discuss your personal circumstances, or need help deciding what is right for you, we recommend booking an appointment with your GP.
RTH is keeping a close eye on the upcoming release of a COVID vaccine. The indications are that approval of a vaccine is fast approaching and will start to become available in the first half of 2021.
The release of the vaccine will be completed in stages. The most vulnerable people will be vaccinated first. There will be guidelines which we will have to comply with. We continue to wait for further information from NSW Health.To receive updated information make sure you like us on Facebook. Please also share this message with anyone you know who might benefit from the information.Thank you for continuing to help stop the spread
Government changes to MBS funding for telehealth came into effect on 1 October 2020.
Rozelle Total Health continues to offer care to our patients both face to face and via telehealth. We are pleased to offer this choice so patients may elect to access care in the mode that best suits their circumstances. There are some clinical settings where a face to face appointment may be required to complete the assessment. There may also be circumstances where we request you do not attend a face to face appointment (eg you or your GP may be infectious) and you will be offered a telehealth consult.
We are pleased to advise that medicare rebates remain available for telehealth consultations provided the patient has been seen in person at the practice at least once in the preceding 12 months. Private fees are applicable to all consultation and we are not able to offer routine bulk billing. The government requirement to bulk bill certain patients due to COVID has been removed and the payments to GPs for doing so have ceased.
We are a privately billing practice and the fees remain the same for both face to face and telehealth consultations. Payment is required on the day of service. Where you start with a telehealth consult but are required to attend for a face to face review on the same day - you will only be charged once.
If you have any questions or concerns please get in touch with our service team.
Rozelle Total Health
BIG CHANGES to prescriptions are taking effect in the coming weeks. Scripts will be delivered by ‘token’ to your email or mobile phone! Please make sure we have your TOTALLY up to date details here:
At Rozelle Total Health we are working very hard to ensure we can continue to look after our patients in the face of COVID19.
The situation is rapidly evolving and recommendations are changing on a daily basis. We will do our best to keep you informed based on the information we receive through the trusted channels available to us.
Our commitment to you:
RTH will strive to meet the health needs of our patients and the community, whilst respecting the importance of public health recommendations and also keeping our team safe and functioning. We believe the best way to navigate this challenging situation is to work together. We will continue to innovate and find new ways to work with you.
We ask for your patience at this very busy time.
We have been inundated with patients requesting COVID19 screening swabs. We unable to offer routine swabbing at the practice.
The most common symptoms of coronavirus are fever, sore throat, dry cough and fatigue. Other symptoms can also include headaches, nasal congestion or a runny nose. Diarrhea and nausea have also been reported as symptoms but they are less common.
Patients who have symptoms and have recently traveled overseas, or have been in contact with a known case should call 1800 020 080 who may refer appropriate cases to a local COVID-19 testing clinic (nearest to our practice is RPA). Please note this is for patients who meet the criteria of a confirmed or suspected case.
If you have these symptoms and do not meet the case definition for COVID; have not travelled or had a known contact and are otherwise well and do not need emergency care –we recommend you stay home and rest as you would with seasonal flu.
If you feel you need to consult your GP please call the reception team who will discuss how we can best care for you.
Finally - we are unable to swab patients simply because it has been requested by their workplace. This is not appropriate as per Public Health guidelines and can be falsely reassuring. If you are unwell you should not attend work. If you fit the case definition of COVID risk – you should attend the RPA clinic as above.
For advice about corona virus please call 1800 020 080. In an Emergency please dial 000 and request an ambulance.
Disclaimer: This advice is general and does not constitute personal medical advice.
The Australian Government has legislated that a My Health Record will be created for all Medicare and Department of Veterans’ Affairs card holders in Australia by the end of 2018, unless they choose not to have one.
Over the past few months, over 200 feedback surveys from a (random) selection of RTH patients were completed. We thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. As a practice, we always welcome feedback and are committed to constantly improving the service we offer you! We were thrilled to to find that for the most part the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
There were a few areas that came up which we would like to address here.