Question

Bloating

How does bloating affect the body?

A Answers (2)

  • Bloating is usually harmless to the body. However, sometimes on rare occasions bloating may be caused by an underlying serious condition, such as gallbladder disease, celiac disease, or a pancreatic disorder. In these cases, the body's inability to digest food leads to diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, or unexplained weight loss. See your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.

  • AMarjorie Nolan Cohn, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

    Bloating is any abnormal general swelling, or increase in diameter of the abdominal area. As a symptom, the patient feels a full and tight abdomen, which may cause abdominal pain, and sometimes accompanied by increased stomach growling or more seriously the total lack of it. The most common symptom associated with bloating is a sensation that the abdomen is full or distended. Rarely, bloating may be painful or cause shortness of breath.

    Pains that are due to bloating will feel sharp and cause the stomach to cramp. These pains may occur anywhere in the body and can change locations quickly. They are so painful that they are sometimes mistaken for heart pains when they develop on the upper left side of the chest. Pains on the right side are often confused with problems in the appendix or the gallbladder.

    One symptom of gas that is not normally associated with it is the hiccup. Hiccups are harmless and will diminish on their own; they also help to release gas that is in the digestive tract before it moves down to the intestines and causes bloating.

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