Abdominal bloating typically isn’t cause for concern, but it can point to a deeper underlying issue. If you’re experiencing bloating that won’t go away, talk to Christopher Tomaino, MD, at East Coast Gastroenterology and Endoscopy in Patchogue, New York. Bloating can make you feel full, swollen, or uncomfortable. To find out what might be causing your bloating, call East Coast Gastroenterology and Endoscopy, or schedule an appointment online today.

What is bloating?

Abdominal bloating occurs when your digestive tract fills with gas or fluids. Everybody experiences bloating at some point in their life, but it’s usually temporary. Bloating can make your abdomen feel swollen, firm, and tight. In cases of severe bloating, your clothes may not fit you properly.

Bloating can also occur with additional symptoms, including:

  • Gas
  • Belching
  • Gurgling noises in the abdomen
  • Abdominal distension

If abdominal bloating is interfering with your daily life, it’s time to seek professional guidance at East Coast Gastroenterology and Endoscopy.

What causes bloating?

Temporary bloating can occur with overeating, high-sodium foods, or weight gain. Many women also experience bloating before and during menstruation. Other common causes of bloating include:

  • Heartburn
  • Food intolerance
  • Intestinal infections
  • Constipation
  • Certain medications
  • Eating disorders
  • Hormonal changes
  • Anxiety and depression

Bloating is also a common symptom of many gastrointestinal disorders, such as:

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

IBS is a common functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder that causes bloating, gas, and other uncomfortable symptoms.

Ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disorder (IBD) that causes ulcers, sores, and inflammation to develop in the lining of the digestive tract. It can lead to severe abdominal pain and bloating.

Crohn’s disease

Similar to ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease is another type of IBD that leads to abdominal cramping, fatigue, and painful bloating.

Colon cancer

Colon cancer develops from benign (noncancerous) polyps in the digestive tract. Over time, these polyps can turn malignant (cancerous). Bloating, weight loss, and narrow stools are common symptoms of colon cancer.

What are the treatments for bloating?

To determine what is causing your bloating, Dr. Tomaino performs a physical exam, a complete review of your medical history, and asks questions regarding your diet and lifestyle habits. Since bloating is often a symptom of an underlying condition, treating the root cause can help relieve bloating.

In many cases, simply avoiding foods that trigger bloating can significantly help relieve your symptoms. Even avoiding chewing gum, which causes you to swallow extra air, can ease your discomfort.

Dr. Tomaino may also recommend increasing your fiber intake and drinking more water. You should limit your intake of carbonated drinks.

Probiotics can increase your levels of healthy gut bacteria to reduce bloating and relieve constipation and diarrhea.

If these lifestyle changes don’t help relieve your bloating, antibiotics, or even antidepressants could be your next course of action.

To learn more about treatment for bloating, call East Coast Gastroenterology and Endoscopy, or schedule an appointment online today.

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