The painful swelling of the abdomen, known as bloating, happens to everyone on occasion. If bloating occurs regularly, it can be more than embarrassing and uncomfortable. It can be a symptom of an underlying condition.
Causes Of Occasional Bloating
Excess air in the GI tract can enter by chewing gum, sucking hard candy, drinking carbonated beverages, and eating certain foods. These types of occasional factors usually resolve themselves quickly by the passing of gas by belching or through the rectum.
Causes Of Chronic Bloating
If bloating becomes a chronic issue, it is important to contact your doctor. Many GI conditions share symptoms. Lactose intolerance, the inability to digest lactose containing foods, can cause bloating and is treated by relatively simple dietary changes. Other more serious conditions such as IBS, Crohn’s Disease, and even colon cancer can all lead to bloating and require a doctor’s diagnosis and treatment.
Diagnosis and Treatment
It is important to keep track of symptoms and when they appear. Discussing these with your doctor can be the first step toward a diagnosis. Additional tests to confirm a diagnosis will be based on the medical history provided to the doctor.