Causes and Treatment of Abdominal Bloating and Pain

Causes and Treatment of Abdominal Bloating and Pain

Aug 03, 2021

Common abdominal bloating might not cause serious effects, but it’s alarming in the cases where it causes severe pain. Mainly, upper abdominal bloating is caused by simple processes like indigestion or the buildup of too much gas in the stomach or bowels.

Bloating will not be an issue of concern in the following cases:

  • Stomach bloating after eating
  • If it doesn’t worsen with time
  • If bloating settles in less than two days

You can diagnose bloating by checking for a swollen or misshapen belly or immense stomach pain. Most victims of bloating describe it as a tight or full abdomen. It’s constantly accompanied by pain, flatulence, constant belching, and abdominal gurgles. Abdominal pain can affect your working ability and the ability to engage in social activities.

Abdominal bloating is common both in children and adults.

Causes of Bloating

Abdominal bloating is not an unusual thing. Many people experience a similar type of bloating. It also follows a similar predictable pattern, so it shouldn’t worry you. A change of pattern or worsening of the bloating may be due to the following reasons.

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Gas buildup in the stomach is among the most common reasons for bloating. Symptoms of gas buildup include too much belching, flatulence, intense bowel movements, and nausea. The effects of gas bloating range from mild restlessness to intense pain. Most victims describe it as a feeling of something trapped inside the stomach.

Abdominal gas results from:

  • Stomach infections
  • Some foods include broccoli, cabbage, and cruciferous vegetables.
  • Indigestion
  • Chronic illnesses like Crohn’s disease
  • Many other conditions

In many cases, the gas disappears after several hours.


Also called dyspepsia, indigestion is stomach pain or discomfort occurring in brief episodes from time to time in different people. Common causes of indigestion include overeating, excessive alcohol, stomach irritating medicines, and minor stomach infections.

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Frequent indigestion cases that do not result from food indicate something more severe and need attention in an ER near you.


Infections that cause gas are often accompanied by diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach pain. Infections go away in a few days, but some people get dehydrated, and it becomes worse. This individual should visit an ER for abdominal pain if it coincides with fever, bloody stool, and frequent vomiting.

Fluid Retention

Your body can retain more fluid if you consume more salty foods, have hormonal level changes, or have food intolerances. In some women, bloating occurs immediately before their monthly periods or in early pregnancy.

Chronic bloating from fluid retention is an effect of serious causes like diabetes and kidney failure. If bloating gets persistent, the person should immediately consult an Ascent ER doctor.

Food Intolerances

Bloating can also occur after consuming certain foods. For example, lactose-intolerant people or people with gluten allergies get bloated after eating such foods. This bloating disappears on its own but may come along with diarrhea or stomach pain. If it persists, you should visit an emergency room in Houston.


Constipation is a common cause of bloating. Here are some causes of constipation:

  • Dehydration
  • Diets with inadequate fiber
  • Food intolerance
  • Pregnancy
  • Bowel disorders
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Some medicines

Constipation episodes are mainly short-lived.

Treatments that Prevent or Release Bloating

Lifestyle Changes

In most cases, bloating and its symptoms can be diminished by adopting some simple lifestyle changes, for example, losing weight for overweight people.

You can avoid swallowing excessive air if you:

  • Avoid chewing gum
  • Limit taking carbonated drinks
  • Avoid gas-causing foods like vegetables, cabbages, dried beans, and lentils
  • Eat slowly
  • Do not drink using straws
  • For lactose-intolerant people, use lactose-free dairy foodstuffs.


If lifestyle changes and dietary regulations do not relieve upper abdominal bloating, consult the doctor at an ER near you. If the doctor detects a medical cause for the bloating, they will recommend several medical treatments.

Treatments require antibiotics, antispasmodics, and antidepressants. However, it hinges on your condition.

When to See a Doctor

Bloating is rarely a symptom of something serious. Still, visit the emergency room in Houston if bloating comes with:

  • Intense pain
  • Fever
  • Vomiting lasting more than 24 hours
  • Bloody stools
  • Rapid abdominal swelling or other parts of the body
  • A worsening heartburn
  • Unexplained weight loss

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