Bloating: Causes and Diagnosis


A single scoop of cherry vanilla ice cream; several sips of a frothy, strawberry shake; a few bites of a cream cheese omelet–as much as you love dairy foods, they don’t seem to love you. Eating even modest portions makes your stomach balloon up, and you feel uncomfortably stuffed.
Doctors call the gassiness, bloating and discomfort that occurs after eating dairy foods lactose intolerance. It means your stomach is unable to digest the lactose–or milk sugar–in dairy foods.

Patients whose gas and bloating is accompanied by recurrent, severe or prolonged abdominal pain should seek medical attention because this may indicate the presence of another underlying condition (e.g., irritable bowel syndrome) – especially if they also experience bleeding, nausea, vomiting, fever or weight loss. The physician will perform a physical examination and compile a thorough medical history. Screening tests (e.g., endoscopy) may also be conducted to help determine the cause of gas and bloating.

The Relationship Between Bloating and Distension
Chang and colleagues  recently conducted a questionnaire study investigating the relationship between bloating and distension and found that three quarters of patients with IBS with bloating also described physical abdominal distension, whereas only one quarter had bloating alone. Several factors were reported to influence this relationship: for example, bloating and distension were more frequently associated with constipation and female sex. Furthermore, although bloating without distension was rarely described as an intrusive symptom, bloating with distension was frequently ranked as one of the most bothersome symptoms of IBS.

What causes bloating?
In discussing bloating, it is important to distinguish between bloating and distention. Bloating is the subjective sensation (feeling) that the abdomen is larger than normal. Thus, bloating is a symptom akin to the symptom of discomfort. In contrast, distention is the objective determination (physical finding) that the abdomen is actually larger than normal.

Differential diagnosis
·    Constipation
·    Gastroenteritis, giardiasis
·    Malabsorption
·    Inflammatory bowel disease
·    Subacute obstruction
·    Abdominal or pelvic malignancy
·    Eating disorder or laxative abuse
·    Anxiety, depression or somatisation contributing to symptoms
·    Endocrine e.g. Cushing’s syndrome, hypothyroidism
A treatment so effective for stomach gas and pains that you’ll feel lighter on your feet than your cat.
Amritdhara”Stomach gas is an extremely universal problem which largely results due to improper eating habits.”
Just as the problem is extremely common, so has modern medicine derived novel ways to keep the problems in check – antacids.

How modern antacids work?
As the name suggests, antacids work by using a base to neutralize the acid. These “neutralizers” are generally salts of calcium, magnesium, sodium or aluminum. Therefore, they use an external influence rather than helping the body to use its own power to treat stomach acidity.

Bloating relates to a number of possible digestive imbalances
If one of our clients says they are experiencing bloating, pain or wind then we consider this to be a sign that there may be one of several digestive factors out of balance. The underlying causes of this are numberous and include: low stomach acid, low digestive enzymes, stress, food intolerances, poor gut motility and gut dysbiosis. By asking our clients questions about there lifestyle and diet we can get a more detailed idea as to why they are experiencing digestive imbalance and start to formulate a pro-active plan to help relieve them of their symptoms.