Stomach bloating: A bloated tummy could be a sign of this more serious condition

Bloating is often diet related and often occurs after eating foods the body finds difficult to digest or not eating enough of certain foods like fibre. Swallowing air from talking while eating is another cause of bloating. But if bloating occurs more often than not, and it’s accompanied by other symptoms, it could be the sign of a more serious health condition. A common digestive condition bloating has been associated with is coeliac disease.

A common digestive condition bloating has been associated with is coeliac disease

Coeliac disease is a condition in which the small intestine becomes inflamed and is unable to absorb nutrients, according to the NHS.

It states: “Coeliac disease is caused by an adverse reaction to gluten, a dietary protein found in three types of cereal – wheat, barley and rye.”

As well as bloating and flatulence, the health body lists a number of other symptoms linked to coeliac disease.

These include:

  • Diarrhoea, which may smell particularly unpleasant
  • Abdominal pain
  • Indigestion
  • Constipation

More general symptoms can also occur, including fatigue, unexpected weight loss, an itchy rash, problems getting pregnant and nerve damage.”

If coeliac disease is left untreated, some of the long-term complications that can occur include osteoporosis (weakening of the bones), iron deficiency anaemia and vitamin B12 and folate deficiency anaemia.

This makes spotting the symptoms of coeliac disease very important, and if you experience any of the signs, see your GP.

There’s currently no cure of coeliac disease, but as part of treatment, your doctor will advise you switch to a gluten-free diet to help control symptoms and long-term complications.

On a gluten-free diet you can eat any naturally gluten free foods.

Coeliac UK recommends the following naturally gluten free foods:

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Rice
  • Potatoes
  • Lentils

There are also a range of alcoholic and soft drinks that don’t contain gluten.

These include:

  • Fruit juice
  • Flavoured water
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Cider
  • Wine
  • Sherry
  • Spirits
  • Port
  • Liqueurs

But you should avoid the following drinks:

  • Barley squashes
  • Beer
  • Larger
  • Stout
  • Ales

If your symptoms are very severe or do not improve on a gluten-free diet, again you should speak to your GP.

Coeliac disease isn’t the only serious condition bloating can be linked to. 

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