Ask Sofia: When is bloating a concern?
Most bloating and stomach pain is caused by excess intestinal gas related to eating too fast, a food intolerance or a large meal. It can also result from the menstrual cycle, swallowing air when you chew gum or drink carbonated beverages, constipation, weight gain, reflux and irritable bowel syndrome.
Generally, bloating is not a cause for concern and will resolve on its own.
However, if bloating occurs along with significant stomach pain, nausea/vomiting, dizziness, unexplained weight loss, severe constipation or a fever, it may be a sign of infection, a bowel obstruction or something else that requires medical attention. Likewise, persistent bloating without a clear cause should also be examined.
“Bloating is one of those issues that we are sometimes hesitant to talk about, but your gut health and the way you feel after eating a meal are important to your overall wellness,” said Dr. David Clay. “If you continue to experience bloating despite lifestyle modifications, let us know. We can discuss potential causes, treatments and relief.”
You can relieve bloating with gentle exercise—walking or yoga, for instance—as well as herbal tea, a warm bath and antacids. Try to avoid processed foods, slow down your pace of eating, and ensure that you are eating ample fiber and drinking enough water to prevent it from happening in the first place.