What causes abdominal bloating? 48 possible conditions

Viewing 1 - 20 of 48 results

What Is Abdominal Bloating?

Abdominal bloating is a condition in which the abdomen feels uncomfortably full and tight and may be visibly swollen (distended). Bloating is a common complaint, affecting between 10 and 30 percent of adults (Thiwan).

According to Dr. Syed Thiwan of the University of North Carolina, abdominal bloating can interfere with a person’s ability to work and participate in social or recreational activities. When compared with people who do not have abdominal bloating, sufferers use more sick days, visit the doctor more often, and take more medications (Thiwan).

What Are the Symptoms of Abdominal Bloating?

The symptoms of bloating can be vague and difficult to pinpoint, but most people describe an uncomfortable feeling of fullness, tightness, or swelling in the abdomen. This can be accompanied by pain, excessive gas (flatulence), frequent burping or belching, and abdominal rumbling.

What Causes Abdominal Bloating?

The most common causes of abdominal bloating are:

  • swallowing air
  • constipation
  • heartburn
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • intolerance to dairy products
  • eating too fast
  • weight gain
  • overgrowth of bacteria in the small bowel
  • menstruation
  • giardiasis (intestinal parasites)
  • anatomical or structural abnormalities of the gastrointestinal tract
  • some medications
  • sugar substitutes (fructose and sorbitol)

Abdominal bloating can also be a symptom of several serious conditions, including:

  • fluid in the abdominal cavity (ascites) as a result of cancer, liver disease, kidney failure, congestive heart failure, and other disorders
  • celiac disease (wheat gluten intolerance)
  • ovarian cancer
  • pancreatic insufficiency (impaired digestion because the pancreas cannot produce enough digestive enzymes)

Treatment Options for Abdominal Bloating

In many cases, the symptoms of abdominal bloating can be diminished or even prevented by adopting a few simple lifestyle changes.

  • Don’t chew gum. Chewing gum can cause you to swallow extra air, which in turn can lead to bloating.
  • Limit your intake of carbonated drinks.
  • Avoid “gassy” foods, such vegetables in the cabbage family, dried beans, and lentils.
  • Eat slowly.
  • Avoid drinking through a straw.
  • Lose weight if you are overweight.
  • Use lactose-free dairy products.

Consult your doctor if bloating is accompanied by any of the following:

  • abdominal pain
  • blood in the stools or dark, tarry looking stools
  • diarrhea
  • worsening heartburn
  • vomiting
  • unexplained weight loss

Article Sources:

Read More

See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.

1

Indigestion

The feeling of being too full, bloating, heartburn, gas, and nausea are signs of indigestion.

Read more »

2

Gas & Flatulence

Flatulence is a medical term for releasing gas. It occurs when gas collects inside the digestive system. Food choices, swallowing too much air, and digestive problems can all lead to excess gas.

Read more »

3

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerence occurs when a person's small intestine can't break down lactose, an enzyme found in dairy foods. The condition can cause many gastrointestinal symptoms.

Read more »

4

Gallstones

Gallstones are hard deposits in the gallbladder that can eventually block the exiting bile ducts. Abdominal pain, fever, itchy skin, and jaundice are possible symptoms.

Read more »

5

H. Pylori Infection

H. pylori are a type of bacteria that may not cause problems. However, sometimes it can cause pain, bloating, and burping, and may lead to ulcers or stomach cancer.

Read more »

6

Giardiasis

Giardiasis is a parasitic infection of the small intestine. It may cause fatigue, stomach pain, bloating, and excessive gas.

Read more »

7

Food Allergy Basics

Food allergies are overblown responses by the immune system to foods that aren't typically harmful - like eggs and peanuts. Continue reading and learn more about food allergies, and how to prevent or treat sever...

Read more »

8

Amebiasis

Amebiasis is a parasitic infection, common in tropical countries and caused by contaminated water. Symptoms can be severe and usually start one to four weeks after exposure.

Read more »

9

Hiatal Hernia

A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of your stomach pushes up through your diaphragm and into your chest cavity. Common symptoms include heartburn, belching, and abdominal discomfort.

Read more »

10

Hookworm Infections

Hookworms are parasites that affect the small intestine and lungs. The first sign of infection is usually a rash where the parasite entered the skin, followed by diarrhea.

Read more »

11

PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a condition that affects a woman's emotions, physical health, and behavior during certain days of the month generally just before her menstrual period. PMS symptoms start five to 11 day...

Read more »

12

Pregnancy

Pregnancy occurs when a sperm fertilizes an egg after it is released from the ovary. An egg enters one of the fallopian tubes where it may be fertilized. The egg then enters the uterus where implantation occurs...

Read more »

13

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

A syndrome is a collection of symptoms that often occur together. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common syndrome that causes many individuals to seek medical help. This condition is separate from inflammatory bowe...

Read more »

14

Malabsorption Syndrome

Malabsorption syndrome refers to a number of disorders in which the intestine's ability to absorb certain nutrients, such as vitamin B12 and iron, into the bloodstream is negatively affected.Proteins, carbohydrates...

Read more »

15

Intestinal Obstruction

Intestinal obstruction occurs when there is a blockage of your small or large intestine. The blockage prevents the passage of fluid or digested food. The blockage may be partial or total.There are many potential cause...

Read more »

16

Gastroparesis

Gastroparesis is a disorder that occurs when the stomach takes too long to empty the food inside. This disorder, also known as delayed gastric emptying, is a result of weak or abnormal muscles in the stomach. Right no...

Read more »

17

Anorexia Nervosa

Almost everyone worries about gaining too much weight. But in some people the worry becomes obsessive, causing a condition called anorexia nervosa. Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that can result in severe weigh...

Read more »

18

Fatty Liver

Fatty liver, or steatosis, is a broad term that describes the buildup of fats in the liver. Having fat in your liver is normal, but if more than five to 10 percent is fat, then it is called fatty liver disease. Fatt...

Read more »

19

Hernia

A hernia occurs when an organ pushes through an opening in the muscle or tissue that holds it in place. For example, the intestines may break through a weakened area in the abdominal wall. Hernias are most common in th...

Read more »

20

Colic and Crying

Colic is when your baby cries for three or more hours a day, three or more times a week, for at least three weeks. Symptoms usually appear during your baby's first three to six weeks of life. According t...

Read more »

This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.
  • Page 1 of 3
Advertisement
Add another symptom to narrow down the possibilities

I'm experiencing:

Choose from list of symptoms:

Advertisement
Advertisement