Am I Bloated, Distended Or Both?

Posted on January 8, 2015

Both can be uncomfortable and even painful. At their worst, they can even trigger nausea and vomiting.

But how do you know if you’re bloated, distended or both? The fact is, bloating symptoms can be a sign of both conditions, but bloating can make you feel as if there is an inflated balloon – and perhaps a growing balloon – in your abdomen.

Distension can feel exactly the same way but it is accompanied by a visible increase in the girth of your abdomen. It will looked swelled, and trying to zipper or buckle a pair of pants will definitely add to your discomfort.

In the worst cases, you might be both bloated and distended. And at this point, you probably are experiencing other bloating symptoms, such as belching, constipation or flatulence. Yes, it can hurt to suffer from bloating and distension, but they usually are short-lived and often are caused by an unfortunate food choice that has disagreed with your digestive tract.

Processed and greasy foods are obvious culprits, but even healthy foods can trigger bloating symptoms. So it pays to be alert to your reaction after eating fruits such as apples, avocados, mangoes and pears; vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and onion; beans such as baked beans, kidney beans and lentils; and dairy products including ice cream, goat milk, yogurt and especially soft cheeses such as cream cheese, cottage cheese and mascarpone.

Aside from a food intolerance, bloating and distension also can be traced to:

  • Gas buildup in the intestine
  • Bacteria in the small intestine
  • An imbalance of micro-organisms in the bowel, sometimes triggered by antibiotics
  • Gastroparesis, a disorder that occurs when the muscles that channel food through the digestive tract do not function as they should

It’s smart to consult a physician if your bloating symptoms don’t dissipate on their own in a few days; it could be the sign of a more serious condition, including one involving your colon or esophagus. A conscientious physician should conduct a full round of tests, including a blood workup and x-rays.

But it might not have to come to that, especially if you can find relief from your bloating symptoms in CharcoCaps. The active charcoal ingredient in these over-the-counter tablets, which should be taken before and after a meal, literally adsorb gas. In no time, they can make the pain of bloating symptoms nothing more than a painful memory.

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