ADHD: A Parenting Guide

Uncomfortable Bloating: Should You Be Concerned?

Bloating is a common issue. It's uncomfortable and for some people an ongoing issue. While occasional bloating is normal, it can be a sign of a more serious issue. If you have continual bloating along with other worrisome symptoms, it's best to see a doctor.

What's Not Normal?

Occasional bloating is normal, especially if you've eaten something that doesn't quite agree with you. However, if bloating is ongoing and you also have other symptoms, you should consider seeing a stomach doctor. Some symptoms to look for are:

  • Unintended weight loss
  • Bathroom habit changes
  • Changes in appetite
  • Tiredness
  • Blood in your stool
  • Fever
  • Worsening heartburn

An exam and tests can determine if there is something more serious going on with your body.

What Are Serious Issues That Cause Bloating?

While benign issues cause most cases of bloating, some more serious issues could be behind your discomfort and symptoms like:

  • Crohn's disease
  • Bowel blockage
  • Infection
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
  • Liver disease
  • Certain cancers (ovarian, pancreatic, colon, uterine)

A stomach physician takes a patient history and decides if further testing is needed to determine if your bloating is something serious.

What Are Less-Serious Bloating Causes? 

Bloating often has less serious causes. This can be something as simple as food intolerances and other issues like:

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Mental health issues (anxiety, depression)
  • Constipation
  • Diet
  • Menopause
  • Premenstrual Syndrome

Your doctor can help you determine the cause of your bloating and recommend a treatment plan. This may include changes in the foods you eat and/or medications.

What Are Some At-Home Treatments For Bloating?

If your bloating is not serious, you can take some steps to help control the bloat. Following a few suggestions like the following can help you find relief from uncomfortable bloating:

  • Consume smaller meals
  • Eat slowly
  • Drink room-temperature beverages
  • Get more exercise
  • Sit up while eating
  • Don't drink from a straw
  • Try to reduce stress

You can also try yoga and other natural remedies, like peppermint capsules or essential oils. Over-the-counter medications, gas relief medications, may also help. If stress is a factor, try practicing relaxation techniques, like deep breathing and meditation. Also, soaking in a warm bath may also help. Walking is also great for helping digestion and bloating. Sometimes a walk after your evening meal can help reduce bloating and discomfort.

Bloating rarely is a cause for concern. However, if it's accompanied by other symptoms, it's best to see a doctor to rule out any serious issues or medical conditions.