Stomach bloating is so common that it’s been called an epidemic. It can be caused by many factors including unhealthy diet, stress, various medications or exposure to environmental pollution. Bloating is manifested by full and gaseous stomach along with burping and abdominal gurgling and rumbling. In the majority of cases, the causes for bloating are overeating, heartburn and acid reflux, swallowing excess air, hormonal imbalance, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), intestinal bacterial overgrowth, thyroid dysfunction, intolerance to certain foods or drinking too much carbonated drinks.
However, chronic bloating can be an indication of a serious health problem, so it is best to know the warning signs and symptoms associated with it.
Serious bloating – signs and symptoms
Gastrointestinal disorders like IBS, celiac disease and ulcerative colitis have symptoms like gasses, bloating, distension, etc. Bloating is experienced by 93% of people with IBS, 50% of people suffering from dyspepsia and 56% from people with chronic constipation.
Fluid retention (Edema or Ascites)
Fluids are sometimes stored in parts of the body like the abdomen and pelvic area, causing weight gain and excess bloating. This can occur due to a liver disease and rarely in cancer. Check for other signs of liver failure or hepatitis, jaundice, changes in your eye color or pain in the abdomen.
Abdominal bloating can occur due to liver disease or cirrhosis caused by hepatitis, drug and alcohol abuse or liver cancer. Other symptoms of liver disease can appear as yellowing of the skin and eyes.
A severely bloated stomach along with nausea, vomiting and constipation is often due to a bowel obstruction caused by scar tissues or tumors. When they grow, they press on the bowels and block them, holding in the fluids and stool. This is an extremely painful issue and will stop you going to the bathroom regularly.
Sudden loss of more than 10% of the body weight without exercise or a change of your diet is a warning of intestinal tumor. It can be a result of the tumors pressing on the bowels, making you feel full after a small amount of food, which is used by the tumors to suppress your appetite.
This is an inflammation of the diverticulum in the colon, caused by a combination of bloating, fever, abdomen pain along with diarrhea or constipation. A high fiber diet is required in these cases after the inflammation is over, to ensure the fecal matter flows in the bowels and prevent future issues.
This autoimmune disease affects the small intestine or the colon and bloating is one of its earliest symptoms. Chron’s disease can lead to bowel obstruction which will result in severe bloating, nausea, vomiting and weight loss. If the disease occurs in the colon, the usual symptom will be bloody diarrhea.
Pelvic inflammatory disease
This disease is caused by STDs such as Gonorrhea or Chlamydia. It occurs when the female reproductive organs become infected. The typical symptoms are bloating, fever, pain and tendonitis in the pelvic area. Vaginal discharge is the main symptom of pelvic inflammatory disease, which can lead to infertility if left untreated.
Colon cancer can block the inside of the colon and result in bloating. Bloating is the earliest symptom of early stage colon cancer, and when it advances, the bloating is accompanied by constipation and bleeding.
Bloating along with jaundice may indicate pancreatic cancer. This is a highly lethal type of cancer. Its symptoms are loss of appetite, weight loss, upper abdominal pain that reaches to the back, etc.
The stomach cancer is very difficult to diagnose since it displays no symptoms in the early stages. It can cause flatulence, indigestion, weight loss, nausea and vomiting in the advanced stages. The biggest risk factor for stomach cancer is the bacteria H. Pylori, as well as nitrates and nitrites from processed meats.
Uterine cancer manifests itself with vaginal bleeding, vaginal discharge, pelvic pain and pain during or after sex. The most common cause for uterine cancer is the absence of progesterone, tamoxifen, radiation therapy, genetics, etc.
Symptoms of ovarian cancer include bloating, pelvic pain and feeling full faster. Women over 50 are mostly exposed to the risk of ovarian cancer. Other risk factors can be giving birth at a late age, obesity, genetics,