When you are bloated, you may experience symptoms such as expanded belly, tightness in the stomach, mild to severe pain, difficulty breathing, nausea or vomiting. In most cases, bloated stomach symptoms are caused by something as benign as gas. However, in some rare situations, a bloated belly may be a sign of a much more serious disease or disorder. From IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and fluid retention to a stomach infection, anything can give you a swollen bloated stomach. Here, we are going to explore some of the more likely causes of bloated stomach symptoms.

Gas and bloated stomach symptoms

Intestinal gas is the leading cause of bloating. While a certain amount of gas is naturally present in the stomach, an excessive build-up can lead to a very bloated stomach. To know if you have gas, you need look for associated clues such as nausea, excessive flatulence or belching, and the urge to defecate. When gas causes bloating, you may experience intense pain or a mild discomfort. You might even feel like something is trapped inside your stomach.

Food is the primary cause of gas. What you eat can determine the level of gas production in the stomach and intestine. For example, beans and cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower are known to cause gas and bloating. Other than that, indigestion, stomach infection, side effect to medications, and chronic illnesses can make you produce more gas than usual.

Gastroparesis and bloating

It is a disease that prevents the abdominal muscles from working properly, and as a result, stomach cannot empty itself. In most people, who do not have this disease, food passes through the gastrointestinal tract smoothly. However, this disease slows down the process and makes you feel full all the time. As a result, you experience symtoms such as bloating, pain, discomfort, heartburn, loss of appetite, and constipation. Conditions such as hypothyroidism and diabetes are known to cause gastroparesis, and possible treatments include medication and surgery.

Chronic disorders and food intolerances

As mentioned above, chronic disorders such as Crohn's disease and IBS can cause you feel bloated all the time. Crohn's disease is a condition that causes your digestive tract to get inflamed. This inflammatory bowel disease, also called IBD, produces symptoms such as malnutrition, weight loss, severe diarrhoea, abdominal pain, bloating. IBS or irritable bowel syndrome, on the other hand, primarily affects the large intestine. IBS is still poorly understood. However, if you have symptoms such as gas, bloating, constipation and/or diarrhoea, chances are you might have IBS.

Much like allergies, food intolerances are real, and they can cause bloated stomach symptoms too. For example, people who are lactose intolerance cannot digest dairy products such as milk, cheese, ice cream and so on. Then there is celiac disease, which is caused primarily because of an intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat. If you are having bloated stomach symptoms frequently, it would be smart to rule out chronic disorders and food intolerances.

If you are unable to figure out the cause of your bloated stomach symptoms, it would be best to consult a doctor about it.