What Causes Abdominal Bloating?

For a long time, there was a misconception about what caused that unsightly “belly bloat.” Previously, many had thought it was caused by water weight. Well, this article is going to dispel that myth. Like it or not, it is caused by gas and air build up in the abdomen. This can make your stomach hard and tight. Furthermore, you can experience a bit of discomfort from this.

The abdominal pain you experience from bloating can be felt anywhere between the chest and pelvic area. Sometimes, this can be described as a stomach ache.

Types of Abdominal Pain:

The pain caused from abdominal bloating can range from mild to severe. There are several causes that create bloating and the discomfort associated. However, there are some common causes that most people experience more regularly.

What Causes Abdominal Bloating:

  • Overeating
  • Gas/air build-up
  • Indigestion
  • Stress

There are many other causes that lead to bloating and abdominal pain. The less common causes are usually related to something a bit more serious than those caused by the reasons previously mentioned.

Other Causes of Bloating:

  • Acid Reflux – Digestive disease causing bile to irritate esophagus
  • Ascites – Buildup of fluids inside the abdominal cavity
  • Appendicitis – Inflammation of the appendix
  • Crohn’s Disease – Inflammation of gastrointestinal tract
  • Viral/Bacterial Gastroenteritis – Inflammation of stomach and bowel
  • Intestinal Obstruction – Blockage caused by digested material in digestive tract
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – Chronic intestinal disorder
  • Ovarian Cyst – Fluid-filled sac on woman’s ovary
  • Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) – Infection in bladder, kidneys, ureter or urethra

Locations of Pain Or Bloating

Pain and bloating can be experienced anywhere between the pelvic area and chest. The location of the bloating and pain are indicators that help discern the causes.

Left Side Region

Upper Left – This area contains portions of stomach, lower portion of the pancreas and the spleen. The spleen filters blood and supports immunity.

Center Left/Middle – Transverse colon and small intestine make up this area. Most of this area is taken up by the small intestine, responsible for food digestion. Transverse colon follows the ascending colon.

Middle Region

Upper Middle – This part of the abdomen contains the liver, stomach and the pancreas. The liver filters blood and creates bile, used to break down and absorb fat in foods. Pancreases releases other digestive enzymes, as well as hormones.

Lower Middle – Contain in the lower abdomen is the bladder, rectum and anus. Bladder collects urine before expelling it from the body via urethra. The Anus is the last area of the colon for evacuating stool.

Right Side Region

Upper Right – The gallbladder, liver and part of the small intestine are found in the right side of the abdomen. After the liver makes bile, it is stored in the gallbladder.

Center Right – This is another area that contains the transvers colon, but also the ascending colon.

Lower Right – The large intestine, appendix and small intestine is in the lower right abdominal region. The purpose of the appendix is widely debated.

Signs of Serious Abdominal Issues

There are additional signs, apart from pain and bloating, that indicate more serious concern. These signs will let you know if you should be seeing the doctor.

  • Uncontrollable vomiting
  • Blood in vomit
  • Blood in stool
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Three days without a bowel movement
  • Uncontrollable diarrhea

If you experience any of these signs, you may have a serious issue. These signs are indicators that you should get a checkup with a doctor.

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