People often feel bloated on occasion after eating a really big meal or indulging in a lot of salty snacks. But if you're feeling bloated more often than not, or if you're dealing with really frequent bouts of bloating, this could be a sign that something more sinister is going on. Here are some of the more common causes of frequent or persistent bloating.
People often assume that food allergies will make them itchy or cause them to sneeze, but this is not always the case. Sometimes, food allergies only cause a localized reaction in your digestive tract, and the key symptom tends to be bloating. You may want to work with an allergist or a dietitian to create and follow an elimination diet. You'll eliminate various foods from your diet until the allergy symptoms die down, helping to identify your allergens. Then, avoiding those allergens should help ease your bloating.
Some bloating is pretty normal when a woman is menstruating, but excessive bloating during this time can be abnormal. It may be caused by endometriosis, a condition in which the uterine lining grows outside the uterus. It is a good idea to see your OBGYN and talk about this possibility if your bloating is more prevalent around the time of your period. Treatments like birth control pills can help.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome can cause your digestive tract to be overly sensitive and reactive. Common symptoms include diarrhea and bloating. Some people instead experience a combination of constipation and bloating. IBS can be tough to diagnose and treat since every patient's triggers are different. Your GI doctor can work with you to identify and learn to avoid your triggers, which should reduce bloating and other symptoms. Common triggers include fatty foods, hot and spicy foods, alcohol, and stress.
Sadly, liver disease can be a cause of persistent bloating. When your liver is ailing, it swells, which makes you look and feel bloated. People who consume a lot of alcohol are at a higher risk for liver disease, but they're not the only ones who develop it. If you're always bloated, your GI doctor will definitely want to examine your liver.
Persistent bloating can be rather annoying to deal with, but once you're able to narrow down the cause, you should be able to treat it with good results. Meet with a doctor to learn more about bloating.