Stomach bloating with abdominal pain, weight loss and blood in stools may be serious

Easy Ways to Live Well: Steph McGovern discusses bloating

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Stomach bloating is one of those strange health conditions which seems to come about almost out of nowhere. Often than not though, your stomach bloating is directly correlated to either something you ate, how quickly you ate, or in extreme cases, pinpointing an underlining health condition. When should you be worried about your bloating?

Abdominal pain

Experiencing severe abdominal pain alongside your bloating may be a sign of a bowel obstruction from scar tissue or a tumour pressing on the bowel.

If these symptoms are accompanied with nausea or vomiting, you should speak with a medical professional.

When there is an obstruction in the bowel, they can be very painful because the bowel above the blocked area stretches as it fills with food and digestive juices, said Everyday Health.

It added: “The pain can be intense and may occur in waves as the bowels try to push their contents through the obstructed area.”

Weight loss

Weight loss is one of the main warning signs for serious bloating.

Everyday Health said: “Losing weight without trying alongside having a bloated belly should be cause for concern, especially if it’s 10 percent or more of your body weight.

“Weight loss can be caused by tumours that press on the intestines, making you feel full after just a small amount of food, or from substances secreted by tumours that suppress your appetite.”

Blood in stools

Blood in your stool with serious bloating is a cause for concern.

Bleeding should always be evaluated because it can be a sign of cancer, particularly colon or uterine cancer.

Bloating is one of the first symptoms of ovarian cancer that you may notice, but it’s usually considered a sign of advanced disease.

An often overlooked cause for bloating is bacterial overgrowth.

Known as SIBO, the idea is that bad bacteria in the small intestines can grow out of control, eating a person’s food, and producing additional gas.

Dr Kyle Staller, a gastroenterologist said: “”The theory is that by wiping out those bacteria you can sometimes treat those people’s bloating.

“But often the SIBO comes roaring back, and if you’re treated with multiple courses of antibiotics, that might be dangerous.

“Because we don’t have a lot of evidence about it, we still have a lot to learn about it, and testing [a breath test] isn’t reliable.

“Antibiotics do resolve bloating in some people, he notes, but he is hesitant to make a diagnosis of SIBO.”

Long term solutions to help ease your bloating that is not caused by anything serious, according to Medical News Today include:

  • Increase fibre gradually
  • Replace sodas with water
  • Avoid chewing gum
  • Get more active every day
  • Eat at regular intervals
  • Try probiotics
  • Cut down on salt

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