If you’re suffering from a bloated belly, get yourself checked, but also try adding and subtracting a few items from your food chart as it can help you in a big way.
Here are some common causes of bloating without a reason.
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Irritable bowel syndrome: It could be the cause if you’ve been bloated on and off for a long time and have also experienced symptoms including pain, constipation and/or bouts of diarrhoea.
Cutting out cereal fibre eases symptoms by between 30 percent and 40 percent in the majority of sufferers. This means avoiding wholemeal bread, oats, muesli, digestive biscuits, cereal bars and all breakfast cereals other than Rice Krispies, but white bread, cakes, cream crackers and most biscuits are fine. Try doing this for three months to see if it helps. Probiotics may also ease symptoms.
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Flatulence: It could be the cause if you are passing a lot of wind, but don’t notice any other symptoms. We all experience flatulence from time to time – it’s perfectly normal to do so up to 15 times a day and sometimes you may not even notice that you are doing it.
While there’s no medical definition of excessive flatulence, if it’s bothering you and makes life awkward or feels uncomfortable, there are steps you can take to reduce it. Try cutting down on foods that are high in non-absorbable carbs. Common culprits include beans and pulses, broccoli, cabbage, prunes and apples, and foods containing the sugar substitute sorbitol.
Coeliac disease: Could be the cause if you often feel tired, you’ve lost weight for no apparent reason and you are suffering from abdominal pain.
Coeliac disease is an adverse reaction to gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye and all foods containing them – everything from pasta and bread to pies and some gravies and sauces. It used to be mainly diagnosed in children, but it’s now known people can go undiagnosed into middle age.
If you have these symptoms, see your doctor and ask to have a blood test for coeliac disease. If you’re diagnosed, you’ll feel better once you start avoiding all foods containing gluten.
Ovarian cancer: Could be the cause if bloating is persistent and you have other symptoms such as a perpetual feeling of fullness and abdominal pain.
The symptoms of ovarian cancer tend to be quite vague, which is often why it’s diagnosed late when it’s harder to treat, so it’s important to be aware of potential signs.