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What are the causes of abdominal bloating and pain?

Although it might not always feel so, gas is a crucial part of your digestive system and a very normal process as part of healthy digestion. What isn’t quite so normal, however, is trapped gas which can cause your abdomen to bloat and feel very uncomfortable. This occurs as a result of excess gas produced by digestion sticking around too long in the digestive tract, getting trapped or taking too long to move. It’s usually accompanied by other symptoms including:

  • Passing excessive gas (flatulence).
  • Regular belching and burping.
  • Rumbling and gurgling around your abdomen.
  • A swollen and distended stomach.

What can you do to prevent abdominal bloating?

These symptoms are not all that pleasant for anyone, so it’s important to understand what can cause excessive gas and bloating to prevent any unnecessary pain or discomfort. These can range from eating too quickly or eating foods that don’t agree all that well with your body to medical conditions. Here’s a brief rundown of some of the more common causes of bloating:

  • Swallowing extra air when eating or drinking due to consuming them too fast, chewing gum, smoking or wearing dentures that don’t fit correctly.
  • Food intolerances and sensitivities.
  • Weight gain.
  • A change in hormones, particularly for women.
  • Conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
  • Stress.

Tests to diagnose abdominal bloating and pain

It’s important that if you experience any more severe symptoms such as a change in passing stools, including frequency, consistency or blood in your movements, weight loss or vomiting, you should visit your doctor. Experiencing abdominal pain over a long period of time or pain that moves into your chest requires immediate medical attention.

You can, in the meantime however, undertake tests that can help to diagnose regular abdominal bloating symptoms and discomfort resulting from trapped gas. Here are a few we recommend:

CBC Blood Test

A blood test is one of the most common ways to rule out any medical conditions that could be causing abdominal bloating. Certain illnesses and diseases that might result in excessive gas will show up in a blood test, then your doctor can advise you on the next steps to take.

Liver Enzymes

The liver is an important organ in detoxing the body and expelling things you don’t need or that could be harmful. Taking a hepatic function test will show if your liver is working to its full capacity and doing its job correctly.

Gut Bacteria Testing

One big cause of the excessive gas in your digestive tract that can cause abdominal discomfort is an imbalance of bacteria in your gut; this may be an overgrowth of specific types of bacteria or a deficiency in the good types such as probiotics which naturally occur in the gut.

Understanding the balance of these bacteria in your gut is the key to identifying where issues might lie. Our GutQlu test is the simplest and most comprehensive way to do this, meaning that you can alter your diet and intake of healthy bacteria based on your body’s specific needs and our recommendations for you personally.

Urinanalysis

Your urine is an excellent tell-tale of what’s going on in parts of your body outside the digestive tract that could cause abdominal pain, including the kidneys, bladder and ureters. The pain caused by conditions affecting these such as infections can be very similar to general abdominal bloating discomfort so it’s a good idea to rule these out.

DNA Nutrition Test

A major cause of abdominal bloating that you might not have even considered is an intolerance or sensitivity to certain food groups. A nutrition DNA test such as NutriQlu can pick up these weaknesses from your DNA meaning that you’ll know in future where to cut back or cut out certain foods to prevent gas and abdominal pain before it even occurs.

More specialised tests such as CT scans, colonoscopy and even X-rays to check for blockages in your system may be recommended by your doctor if you’re unable to find the cause using more simple tests or to prevent gas by altering your diet.


 

Our GutQlu test will unlock the secrets of your DNA to allow you to understand the effect your diet has on your delicate gut bacteria and how you can better optimise and balance your gut health.

Love your gut with key insights from your own custom genetic report.

If you’re looking to identify problems caused by gut bacteria imbalances such as stomach upset, joint pain and fatigue and to optimise your diet, take the first step with a GutQlu personalised digestive report.

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