A recent Dartmouth study revealed that over 30% of people complain about regular gastrointestinal bloating. While drinking fizzy beverages, eating gassy vegetables and PMS are the most common culprits, they aren't the only ones.
In fact, sometimes gastrointestinal bloating can be due to a serious underlying health problem. So how do you tell between a normal bloated gut and one that requires a visit to the doctor? Read on to find out…
Three possible signs that your gastrointestinal bloating is something more serious
#1: The pains are on your lower left side
It’s easy to dismiss abdominal pains as part of your period or a stomach bug. However, if these pains are on the lower left side of your abdomen, you might have diverticulitis, an inflammation or infection in one or more small pouches in your digestive tract. While it’s traditionally believed that diverticulitis is much more common in people over the age of 40, a review published in the Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
showed that there’s been a rise in cases among people under 40 in recent years.
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#2: You’re losing weight without trying
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If your chronical gastrointestinal bloating is accompanied by unexplained weight loss
, you may be part of the 83% of the population that have undiagnosed or misdiagnosed celiac disease, a condition in which your body has an autoimmune reaction to gluten that damages your intestinal lining. While these are the most common symptoms of celiac disease, about 50% of all adults with the condition also experience signs that aren’t related to their gut, such as headaches, skin rashes, anaemia and early stage osteoporosis
#3: The pain extends to your pelvis
Does your abdominal pain
extend to your pelvis? Then it could indicate ovarian cancer
. However, if the pain isn’t accompanied by symptoms such as suddenly have to visit the bathroom frequently or feeling full quickly while eating, the chances are pretty slim. The reason for these symptoms in ovarian cancer
is due to an accumulation of fluid in the abdomen, a condition called ascites, and pressure from an ovarian mass in your abdomen or pelvis.
If you’re experiencing gastrointestinal bloating along with any of the symptoms above, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.
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