ZocdocAnswersWhat causes bloating?

Question

What causes bloating?

I'm a 29 year old guy with the normal kind of physical problems. I get sick every once in a while but that is about it. Lately though, I have had what I guess you would call bloating. It is like my stomach is full of air. What do I do? I am kind of embarrassed to say I am bloated.

Answer

The feeling of bloating is a very common problem to report. The most common cause of bloating is eating a food that tends to cause you to produce a lot of gas. If you are at all constipated, then any gas you produce is going to make you feel quite a bit more gassy. The feeling of being bloated can also accompany any viral gastrointestinal infection. If your feeling of being bloated is associated with any diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting, then this is one of the possibilities. Some people with irritable bowel syndrome also report a lot of bloating. Irritable bowel syndrome is a common cause of abdominal pain. If your bloating is associated with pain that is relieved when you have a bowel movement, then this is something to consider. This type of problem is perfect for your primary care physician to help you with. Come to his or her office prepared to discuss your symptoms and your current diet. Your doctor will want to do a thorough abdominal exam to look for any abnormalities. If it is just gas that your doctor suspects, then you would benefit from a trial of a medication that helps with gas such as simethicone. This can be purchased over the counter. Good luck.

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