Abdominal pain and bloating is an uncomfortable sensation that occurs when gas builds up in the abdomen, causing the stomach to become distended. These episodes can occur after a heavy or light meal and are usually not severe. Although bloating is common among both children and adults, it can interfere with daily life and is often accompanied by uncomfortable symptoms. Bloating may be caused by certain gastrointestinal conditions, but in many cases, it is a short-lived issue that can be treated with diet and lifestyle changes.
Many people who experience bloating notice a predictable pattern. Gastrointestinal bloating may be caused by:
However, abdominal bloating can also be caused by chronic conditions, such as functional gastrointestinal disorders. Abnormal abdominal bloating could be a sign of:
The main symptom of abdominal bloating is discomfort and distension of the stomach. You may feel as if you have eaten a large meal, and your stomach may feel hard, full, and tight. It is not uncommon to experience other gas-related complaints along with abdominal bloating. Abdominal bloating may be more serious if it is accompanied by pain or any of the following symptoms:
In order to determine the cause of your abdominal bloating, your physician at DHC will ask questions about your symptoms, including how often bloating occurs. If bloating happens often and is accompanied by other symptoms, your doctor may consider tests, such as an x-ray or CT scan, to rule out underlying causes.
Abdominal bloating is often acute in nature. However, chronic and persistent abdominal bloating could be an indication of an underlying condition. Therefore, treatment may vary depending upon the primary cause.
If the bloating is acute, it often resolves itself over a short period of time. To avoid future occurrences, there are treatment options, but the majority are preventive. Treatments often include:
In addition, it is important to avoid certain foods that may increase the bloating sensation. These include:
If abdominal bloating becomes chronic and your symptoms persist, schedule an appointment with a gastroenterologist at DHC for further evaluation. Although bloating is a common condition that can be caused by something as simple as eating too quickly, it can also be caused by an underlying condition that will need to be addressed. Our gastroenterologists at Digestive Healthcare Center proudly provide digestive health care in Somerset County and want to help you get on track to healthier and more comfortable living.
At Digestive Healthcare Center, we are proud to put each patient first. You can visit us in person at one of our three office locations in NJ, or speak to one of our physicians from the comfort of your home via a telemedicine virtual visit. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment.