Abdominal bloating

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Abdominal bloating is a condition in which the belly (abdomen) feels full and tight. Your belly may look swollen (distended).

Common causes include:

  • Air swallowing (a nervous habit)
  • Constipation
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Lactose intolerance and other food intolerances
  • Overeating
  • Small bowel bacterial overgrowth
  • Weight gain
  • The diabetes medication acarbose, as well as any medicine containing lactulose or sorbitol, may cause bloating.

    More serious disorders that may cause bloating are:

  • Ascites and tumors
  • Celiac disease
  • Dumping syndrome
  • Ovarian cancer
  • When the pancreas is not able to make enzymes needed for digestion (pancreatic insufficiency)

    Home Care

    You may take the following steps:

  • Avoid chewing gum or carbonated drinks, especially those with high levels of fructose or sorbitol
  • Avoid foods such as Brussels sprouts, turnips, cabbage, beans, and lentils
  • Do not eat too quickly
  • Stop smoking
  • If you have constipation, it should be treated. However, fiber supplements such as psyllium or 100% bran can make your symptoms worse.

    You may try simethicone and other medicines you buy at the drugstore to help with gas, but these medications are often not helpful.

    Call your health care provider if you have:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Blood in the stools or dark, tarry looking stools
  • Diarrhea
  • Heartburn that is getting worse
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Posted in Side Effects

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