Having a bloated belly is no fun. It makes you feel stuffed and uneasy. You may even have trouble breathing and nausea. Everyone has experienced it at some point or another. It usually goes away when you take an antacid, drink some water, take a walk or sleep it off. However, what happens when you are always bloated despite maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle? Though bloating is usually no cause for concern, sometimes it may be a symptom of an underlying disease. Here are a few signs that tell you it is time to see the doctor for your sore bloated stomach:

1. Pain and a swollen bloated stomach

In extreme cases, bloating can be a symptom of ovarian cancer. It occurs due to fluid build-up in the stomach. Known as ascites, this condition can make your stomach appear bloated, and you may also experience pain. Typically, the cancerous cells produce the excess fluid. However, blockages in the intestine and lymphatic drainage system can also cause fluid retention in the stomach. Bloated stomach and constipation can also be a sign of bowel obstruction. It occurs when blockages in the large or small intestine prevents food from passing properly.

2. Bloated for days with no signs of relief

If you have had a bloated stomach for days or weeks, it is time to see the doctor! While it is natural to have bloating after a heavy meal, it is not supposed to last for more than a few hours. If your bloating persists even after changing diets or having regular bowel movements, there may be an underlying reason. Without a proper check up, diagnosing the condition may be impossible.

3. Big bloated stomach and changes in appetite

Your appetite may go down significantly when you have a full bloated stomach. You may not feel hungry or have the desire to eat. While that is common with bloating, it can be a sign of something serious. In some instances, bloating can be associated with cancers in the stomach, pancreas, breast(s), or colon. When cancerous cells build up in the abdominal cavity, they take up a significant space. That can make you feel full. Along with reduced appetite, you may also experience vomiting and nausea.

Super bloated stomach and fatigue

Cancer, hepatitis C, and alcohol abuse can cause fluid build up in the stomach. It is a slow and insidious process that can occur over time. In such cases, you may have issues such as lower stomach always being bloated. When left untreated, your stomach can increase due to water retention. If it is liver disease, you may also experience extreme fatigue and jaundice. Besides bloating, if you also have yellowish eyes and skin, it may be a sign of liver problems or jaundice.

Bloating is often associated with liver disease and heart failure. However, fluid retention and bloating typically occur when these issues have become advanced. If you are having a bloated stomach for a long time, make sure to consult your primary care physician. It is better to be safe than sorry!