Bloating can be caused by a number of factors – alongside poor diet, some people find they bloat when stressed (especially if they suffer with IBS) or before, during or after their menstrual cycle.
But sometimes if symptoms are pro-longed and there are other side effects it’s advised you speak to your GP to get to the root of the problem and find out whether it could be something more serious.
Dr Andrew Thornier, chief medical officer at Now Patient, says there are five signs your bloating could be something more serious.
Dr Thornber said: “Weight loss alongside continually bloating should be explored by your GP, especially if the weight loss was not part of a change of diet/lifestyle.”
Changes in bathroom habits.
“Out of the ordinary bathroom changes such as continuous diarrhoea, needing to go more frequently or blood in your stools may indicate that you have something which needs medical attention,” said Dr Thornber.
Dr Thornber advised: “Continually tiredness combined with bloating can be attributed to many things but shouldn’t be ignored.”
“If you’re starting to feel full when eating less or find your appetite isn’t as much as it used to be, then speak to your GP about your symptoms,” according to Dr Thornber.
Dr Thornber said: “If you have bloating which doesn’t seem to resolve and/or is really painful then again it is advisable to get advice from your GP.”
In serious cases, bloating can be a warning sign of bowel cancer, ovarian cancer and stomach cancer.
Bowel cancer is a disease which is easily treatable if it is caught early. It is one of the most common types of cancer diagnosed in the UK and most people diagnosed with it are over the age of 60.
Symptoms to look out for include persistent lower abdominal pain, bloating and discomfort in the abdomen.
Ovarian cancer symptoms are not always easy to spot. Cancer Research UK said each year around 7,300 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and long-term survival remains just 35 per cent.
Dr Alison Wint, on NHS Choices said: “Feeling bloated most days for three weeks or more can be a sign of ovarian cancer, which is why it’s so important to see your doctor straight away.
“Early detection makes it easier to treat. Seeing your doctor could save your life.”
If your stomach bloating is caused by diet then it’s good to know which foods to avoid or cut down on.
The NHS recommends cutting down on foods known to cause excess wind and bloating – and there are six to be watchful of.
Beans, onions, broccoli, cabbage, sprouts and cauliflower are all known for causing these symptoms.
But the health body advises to make sure you still eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, if you are cutting down on your intake of these vegetables.