Bloat: How Serious Can It Be?

By Stepy Kamei

Bloating can be uncomfortable and embarrassing to deal with, but you can all take comfort in knowing that it's a relatively common problem. Still, this knowledge doesn't take away the discomfort that it can bring, sometimes seemingly out of nowhere. There are more than a few ways we can treat this issue and manage it from getting worse, such as cutting out certain foods from our diet, drinking more water, and exercising on a regular basis. However, if you have started to notice that bloating is occuring on a very frequent basis for you, or some of the common methods for treating bloating just aren't working, it may be the symptom of a larger problem which should be looked into by a doctor or other healthcare professional. Take a moment to see if any of the following issues sound familiar, and if so, consider making an appointment with your primary healthcare provider soon. 

Signs Your Bloating is Serious

If you experience the occasional bout of bloat due to overindulgence in food, you more than likely know exactly what the problem is, and therefore do not need to worry too much. However, if your bloating seems to come on randomly, is persistent, or is accompanied by other symptoms, this is when you should take this issue a little more seriously. 

If you are experiencing bloating along with another health concern such as sudden or abrupt weight loss or gain, this may be something you want to look into. It's a good idea to start keeping a journal recording your weight fluctuations, and noting whether they coincide with episodes of bloat as well. If you notice a pattern, be sure to mention this to your doctor, especially if you also are experiencing a suppressed or increased appetite. 

Bloating accompanied by abdominal pain, cramping, or digestive issues should be further looked into as well, especially if it all comes on very suddenly or abruptly. Pain, constipation, diarrhea, or cramps may all be a sign of something as mild as a food allergy, or as severe as a bowel obstruction. 

If you want to get down to the bottom of your bloating problem, it will help you greatly to start up a journal recording when you experience this issue, and the other circumstances surrounding it. As long as you record the food you eat and how you feel, physically as well as emotionally, on a daily basis, you can more than likely begin to see a pattern emerging which can help you figure out what you need to do to stop the bloating.