Bloating is the name for the feeling you get when your tummy feels stretched, puffy and uncomfortable. Everyone is bloated around Christmas or after a heavy night on the town. But what else causes bloating? Express.co.uk talks you through a list of bloating causes.
If you are persistently bloated, it could be down to digestive problems or issues with your diet.
Frequent bloating could be due to:
• excess farting
• swallowing air (from talking while eating etc)
• food intolerance
• Coeliac disease
• irritable bowel syndrome
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To get to the root of the problem, you will need to rule out these causes by making some easy changes.
Cut down on foods known to cause wind and bloating, such as beans, onions, broccoli, cabbage, sprouts and cauliflower.
Make sure you get enough fibre in your diet and your five a day in order to prevent constipation which can lead to bloating.
On top of that, you need to drink lots of water and exercise regularly.
If you talk and eat at the same time, or eat standing up or slumped on a sofa, you could swallow too much air and become bloated.
Fizzy drinks and chewing gum could have the same effect, so stop consuming tor chewing these to see if that makes a difference.
Food intolerance can lead to bloating when the reaction to the food causes too much gas to be produced and it gets trapped.
You will have heard of wheat, gluten or dairy intolerances, and these could be affecting you.
Keep a food diary for a couple of weeks, noting down what triggers your bloating.
Does endometriosis cause bloating?
The NHS does not list bloating as a symptom of endometriosis, but many women who experience the illness complain about bloating.
Endometriosis UK describes the different symptoms of endometriosis in four categories:
- Pain symptoms (e.g painful periods, pain during an examination, pelvic pain and pain during or after sex)
- Bleeding symptoms (e.g. heavy periods, spotting or bleeding between periods and dark blood period) periods)
- Bowel and bladder symptoms (e.g. painful bowel movements or when passing urine)
- Other symptoms (e.g. back pain, tiredness and depression)
Bloating: One condition that could be behind a bloated tummy [INFORMER]
Stomach bloating: When your bloating could be something more serious [INSIGHT]
Stomach bloating warning: Why you should avoid eating apples [EXPLAINER]
- Stomach bloating: The condition that may be causing your bloating
Bloating is listed on the organisation’s site as a bowel and bladder symptom.
It is connected with the symptom of irritable bowel, so if your bloating is caused by endometriosis it may be accompanied by diarrhoea or constipation.
It is easy for doctors to mistake endometriosis for IBS, especially if your earliest symptom is bloating.
Make a list of all of your symptoms and talk to your doctor to confirm whether or not your bloating is caused by IBS or endometriosis.
The only way to know you definitely have endometriosis is by having keyhole surgery to inspect the tissue of your womb and elsewhere.
Does pelvic inflammatory disease cause it?
Pelvic inflammatory disease is another problem affecting women of reproductive age.
Bloating is not listed as one of the symptoms on the NHS website, but the symptoms are similar to endometriosis.
Bloating alone is not a symptom of the disease, but women with this disease do often experience bloating.
Some women with the disease will experience bloating, but again this could be in connection with IBS, menstrual pain or endometriosis.
If your bloating is accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms, you should see your doctor about pelvic inflammatory disease:
• pain around the pelvis or lower tummy
• discomfort or pain during sex that’s felt deep inside the pelvis
• pain when peeing
• bleeding between periods and after sex
• heavy periods
• painful periods
• unusual vaginal discharge, especially if it’s yellow or green
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