Can citalopram cause gas and bloating?

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This blog post will answer the question, “Can citalopram cause gas and bloating?”. Citalopram is an antidepressant which is used to treat a variety of mental health related problems. 

However, this medicine can cause a number of side effects, including gastrointestinal disturbances. This blog will cover how you can beat citalopram induced gas and bloating. 

Can citalopram cause gas and bloating?

Yes, citalopram can cause gas and bloating. These are, in fact, the most commonly reported side-effects and can range from mild discomfort to severe abdominal pain. 

Several surveys have revealed that some people have experienced gas pain so severe that they thought it was a kidney-related pain. Experts have explained how citalopram can make gas trapped in your abdomen which can put great pressure on your stomach and can cause significant bloating.

These gases can also put pressure on your chest and make you feel chest tightness or pain. Citalopram is also associated with increased acid production in your stomach that can make your gas and bloating worse.

It can also cause burning sensation in your stomach, oesophagus and throat. This can make the condition much, much worse. In some cases, these side effects even resulted in the discontinuation of treatment. 

One case study included a 25 year old girl who became a victim of these side effects. First she started experiencing gas and bloating, which was more pronounced after meals. 

However, she continued to ignore it because it was not that severe and we all go through these symptoms every now and then. Unfortunately, these side effects took a disturbing turn as the increased acidity started to make her nauseous. 

Soon after she got diarrhoea with horrible gastric pain and her treatment with citalopram was discontinued as she clearly could not tolerate this antidepressant. This indicates that in some people, simple gas and bloating can become that much more complicated. 

Make sure you talk to your healthcare provider as soon as you start noticing your side effects getting worse or if you begin to experience any unusual or unexpected side effects.

It is impossible to predict how your body will react to the antidepressants, which is why it is recommended to start the treatment from the lowest effective dose. 

It is advised to take precautions when you’re new to these meds. It’s crucial to take care of yourself, especially in terms of what you eat, when you don’t know how this medication makes you feel. 

Is there any way to get rid of citalopram induced gas and bloating? 

Following are a few ways to get rid of citalopram induced gas and bloating:

Drink fennel and peppermint tea

Fennel and peppermint have been used for decades for the relief of gases trapped in your stomach. You can either take a teaspoon of fennel and chew it or you can boil some water and add fennel seeds and peppermint in it. 

Let it boil for a while to release all the goodness of these herbs into the water. Cool it down to lukewarm temperature and drink it. Experts suggest that drinking this concoction after meals can not only improve your digestion, but can significantly reduce your bloating and release the trapped gases. 

Try ginger tea

Ginger is also known to aid in digestion and release the trapped gases. You can cut a piece of ginger and boil it in some water. Turn off the stove and let it steep for a while. 

Strain it and add a teaspoon of honey to make your ginger tea sweet and more palatable. This can significantly help you control your indigestion and also reduces nausea. 

Identify your trigger foods and avoid them

Some foods are known to trigger the production of gases like pulses, chickpeas, beans and some vegetables like radish. Make sure you identify your trigger foods that make you feel bulky and bloated after consuming them and avoid taking them. 

Dietary precautions are must when you suffer from citalopram induced gas and bloating. 

Eat slowly 

Make sure you pay attention to how you’re eating and how much you’re eating. When you eat too fast, you keep bulking your stomach up and this puts your stomach under stress of digesting a large amount of food. 

Do not overfill your stomach 

Overfilling your stomach is one thing that you should definitely avoid if you suffer from citalopram induced gas and bloating. Do not watch TV, or turn on your laptop, or start using your phone. 

These distractions don’t let you keep track of how much you have eaten and you end up eating more. 

Eat dinner earlier 

Studies suggest that you should be done with dinner at least 3 hours before you go to bed. When you lie down on bed, the process of digestion gets slower. So you need to digest your food before you go to sleep. 

According to one study, eating a late-night meal can increase acid exposure and bloating when lying down by 5%, compared with eating earlier in the evening.

Avoid caffeine and carbonated beverages 

Caffeine and carbonated beverages can significantly increase your gas, bloating and acid reflux. Studies have observed that regular consumption of carbonated or fizzy beverages, including soft drinks, club soda, and seltzer, could be linked to a higher risk of causing gas and bloating. 

One study found that carbonated soft drinks can also worsen certain acid reflux symptoms, like heartburn, fullness, and burping. 

This is because carbonated beverages make your burp more, that can increase the amount of acid escaping your stomach and irritating your oesophagus, throat and mouth. 

Avoid spicy foods

Spicy food can also increase the risk of getting bloated. Such foods also exacerbate the symptoms of an upset stomach. 

Yes, food can taste pretty bland without spice and your favourite seasonings, but spicy food can mess up your stomach and is the most common cause of acid reflux in people who add high amounts of spices in their foods. Make sure you cut back on spicy food, at least for a while. 

Walk a mile after your meals

Studies suggest that going for a short walk after your meals can help your body to produce more digestive enzymes and make your stomach absorb the nutrients from your food. 

It improves your digestion and reduces gas, bloating, acid reflux, constipation and provides relaxation from several other gastrointestinal problems. 

Use probiotics 

Every human body has different types and quantities of bacteria in their gut. These bacteria can significantly help in making the process of your digestion much better and reduce gas and bloating. 

Following foods can help replenish your gut bacteria:

  • Prebiotic rich foods:  They are found in many fruits and vegetables, especially chicory root, artichoke, onion, garlic, asparagus, leeks, banana, and avocado. Grains, such as barley and oats, are also considered good sources of probiotics.
  • Fermented foods: They include sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, yoghurt, tempeh, miso etc. 

Make exercise a part of your routine 

Exercise is crucial for maintaining the health of all your organs and the physiological functions associated with them. Several studies suggest that people who are overweight or obese are more likely to suffer from trapped gases and bloating. 

Make sure you work out the best way possible. Add cardio, strength training, yoga and stretching, all in your exercise regimen. 

There are some yoga moves that can also help to release the trapped stomach. If you’re a beginner and don’t know such moves, you can simply search them on YouTube. You will find plenty of debloating workouts which can help tone down your stomach by releasing gases. 

Don’t stick to one kind of workout session if you wish to make exercise interesting for you. If you’re running for an hour one day, try doing a 10-minute high intensity interval training (HIIT) session the next. 

Over-the-counter medications to get rid of the trapped gas

There are plenty of over-the-counter meds that can help release the trapped gases. If you are lactose intolerant and that makes your gas and bloating worse, you can use OTC enzymatic preparations like lactaid and dairy relief. 

Other gas relieving agents include Alka-Seltzer gas relief and Gas X etc. If your gases and bloating are affected by the increased acid reflux, then you can take over-the-counter acid reducers to help relieve your symptoms. 

Conclusion 

In this blog post, we have discussed the citalopram induced gas and bloating. Citalopram is an antidepressant which is used to treat a variety of mental health related problems. However, this medicine can cause a number of side effects, including gastrointestinal disturbances. 

Gas and bloating are, in fact, the most commonly reported side-effects and can range from mild discomfort to severe abdominal pain. Several surveys have revealed that some people have experienced gas pain so severe that they thought it was a kidney-related pain. 

We have also discussed some ways that may help reduce these side effects and provide some relief. 

FAQs: can citalopram cause gas and bloating

Does citalopram cause excessive gas?

Yes, citalopram can cause gas and bloating. These are, in fact, the most commonly reported side-effects and can range from mild discomfort to severe abdominal pain. 

Several surveys have revealed that some people have experienced gas pain so severe that they thought it was a kidney-related pain. Experts have explained how citalopram can make gas trapped in your abdomen which can put great pressure on your stomach and can cause significant bloating.

Can citalopram cause gastric problems?

Yes, citalopram can cause gastric problems including nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, acid reflux, gas and bloating. These side effects can vary from person to person and so do their intensity. Some people get away with mild stomach discomfort. However, some people suffer from disturbing GIT side effects which can lead to the discontinuation of treatment. 

What are the most common side effects of citalopram?

Common side effects of citalopram include:

  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhoea or Constipation 
  • Acid reflux or heartburn 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Weight gain or loss 
  • Excessive sweating or night sweating (nocturnal/night hyperhidrosis) 
  • Frequent urination 
  • Polydipsia or excessive thirst
  • Tremors 
  • Muscle twitching and pain
  • Drowsiness 
  • Dizziness 

Can citalopram cause stomach acid?

Yes, citalopram can cause increased stomach acidity. It is considered one of the most commonly reported side effects of citalopram and it can be managed. 

However, some case studies revealed an extreme heartburn, which led to the discontinuation of treatment with this antidepressant. There’s one thing to bear in mind that the effects of every medicine are unique to every individual.

What can I replace citalopram with?

You can replace citalopram with other SSRIs including sertraline, escitalopram, fluoxetine, and paroxetine. Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) can also be used.

Can antidepressants cause heartburn?

Yes, antidepressants can cause heartburn associated with increased stomach acidity. However, this side effect seems to tone down a bit if you take your antidepressant with food. Studies suggest that taking your antidepressant on an empty stomach makes you more susceptible to acid reflux.

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