ZocdocAnswersUnexplained water retention / bloating?

Question

Unexplained water retention / bloating?

I am a healthy 29yo female, who does not drink or smoke, eats a healthy diet and exercises regularly. I have a tendency to retain water so I intentionally avoid any foods & drinks that are high in salt, sugars, starch or are carbonated. ( I also avoid dairy bc it makes me break out.) The past two weeks after eating or drinking, I have experienced a very uncomfortable 'bloated' feeling. So much to the point I have to unhook my bra and literally lay down. (No nausea, just bloated feeling.) This has never happened to me before and I have none done ANYTHING DIFFERENT in my diet or exercise routine. (I have no other known health problems or allergies, and it is not related to my period.) What can I do to prevent/lessen this?

Answer

I would suggest that you go to see your primary care doctor about this issue, since someone your age without any known medical problems should not be having persistent bloating with food. They will be able to perform an examination and help you figure out what may be going on. The first thing that bloating with food makes me think of is a problem with the stomach. There are several different stomach conditions that can present with pain or bloating with eating, including gastritis or a stomach ulcer. Similarly, a problem with the gall bladder, such as gall stones, may cause bloating, especially after eating a heavy meal with a high fat content. Bloating may also be a sign of constipation, which can sometimes present slowly and gradually so that you are not even aware of it. Finally, bloating may be a symptom of various food intolerance problems, such as lactose intolerance (it sounds like you are avoiding lactose already however) or celiac disease. Your doctor will be able to narrow down the possibilities after performing a physical exam. Based on what they find, they may want to get other testing, such as x-rays, an ultrasound, or basic blood work. Good luck, and please make an appointment to see your doctor.

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