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What Causes Stomach Bloating And Loss Of Appetite?


Stomach bloating is a condition that makes your stomach feel full or bigger. It can develop within a few hours. In contrast, weight gain tends to develop over time. Abdominal bloating can be uncomfortable and even painful at times. It is often accompanied by gas or bloating.

What Causes Stomach Bloating And Loss Of Appetite?

Loss of appetite occurs when you lose the desire to eat meals and snacks. It can be a short-term or chronic condition.

In some cases, abdominal bloating and loss of appetite occur together. A variety of medical conditions and treatments can cause these symptoms.

What causes abdominal bloating and loss of appetite?

Abdominal bloating usually occurs when your stomach and/or intestines fill with excess air or gas. This can happen when you inhale too much air through your mouth. It can also develop during your digestion.

Loss of appetite is often a side effect of acute illness or medical therapies, such as cancer treatment. The changes in your body associated with aging can also cause you to lose your appetite as you age.

Some common causes of bloating and loss of appetite include:

  • constipation

  • gastroenteritis, both viral and bacterial

  • giardiasis

  • gallstones

  • Food poisoning

  • hookworm infection

  • congestive heart failure (CHF)

  • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

  • gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

  • food intolerances, such as lactose or gluten intolerance

  • gastrointestinal obstruction

  • gastroparesis, a condition in which your abs don't work properly

  • pregnancy, especially in the first trimester

  • taking certain medications, such as antibiotics or chemotherapy drugs

  • Crohn's disease

  • E. coli infection

  • PMS (premenstrual syndrome)

In rare cases, bloating and loss of appetite can be a sign of certain cancers, including colon, ovarian, stomach, and pancreatic cancers. Sudden weight loss is another symptom that tends to accompany cancer-related bloating and loss of appetite.

When should I seek medical help?

Seek immediate medical attention if you vomit blood or you have bloody or tarry stools along with abdominal bloating and loss of appetite. Call 911 if you feel chest pain, dizziness, sweating, and trouble breathing. These are symptoms of a heart attack, which can mimic GERD symptoms.

Make an appointment with your doctor if you experience sudden, unexplained weight loss, or you lose weight consistently without trying. You should also see your doctor if you experience bloating and loss of appetite on an ongoing or recurring basis - even if they are accompanied by more serious symptoms. Over time, loss of appetite can lead to malnutrition.

This information is a summary. Always seek medical attention if you are concerned that you may be experiencing a medical emergency.

How are bloating and loss of appetite treated?

To treat abdominal bloating and loss of appetite, your doctor will need to diagnose and address their underlying cause. They may start by asking about your symptoms and medical history. They may also order blood, stool, urine, or imaging tests to check for potential causes. Your recommended treatment plan will target the disease or condition responsible for your symptoms.

For example, if you have IBS, your doctor may recommend changes to your overall diet and lifestyle. They may also encourage you to take a probiotic supplement. These healthy bacteria can help prevent bloating and discomfort, which can lead to a loss of appetite. Your doctor may also prescribe medication to help keep your bowels from cramping, as well as treat any constipation or diarrhea that may accompany it.

If you have GERD, your doctor may encourage you to take an over-the-counter antacid. They may also prescribe medications such as proton pump inhibitors or H2 blockers, which can reduce the amount of acid in your stomach and help relieve symptoms. They may also recommend changes like losing weight or raising the head of your bed six inches.

More serious conditions, such as an intestinal blockage or cancer, may require surgery.

Your doctor will carefully evaluate your symptoms to determine the best course of action. Ask them for more information about your specific diagnosis, treatment options, and outlook.

How can I reduce bloating and loss of appetite at home?

In addition to following your doctor's treatment plan, you should take simple steps at home that may help relieve your symptoms.

If your bloating and loss of appetite are caused by something you ate, your symptoms may go away on their own over time. Increasing water intake and going for a walk can help relieve indigestion. Staying hydrated and exercising regularly can also help prevent and relieve constipation.

Eating small meals with bland foods, like crackers, toast, or broth, can help calm your stomach in the event of an intestinal infection. As your bloating starts to improve, you'll notice your appetite return.

Taking over-the-counter medications can also help relieve your symptoms. For example, simethicone can help reduce gas or bloating. Calcium carbonate and other antacids can help relieve acid reflux, indigestion, or heartburn.

How can I prevent bloating and loss of appetite?

If bloating and loss of appetite are related to certain foods, avoid them whenever possible. Some foods that commonly cause these symptoms include:

  • bean

  • lentils

  • Brussels cabbage

  • cabbage

  • broccoli

  • radish

  • milk product

  • foods high in fat

  • gum

  • Sugar-free candy

  • beer

  • gas drink

Track your snacks, meals, and symptoms. This can help you identify foods that seem to trigger your symptoms. If your doctor suspects you have an allergy, you may be encouraged to undergo allergy testing. Avoid making drastic changes to your diet without first talking to your doctor. Cutting down on too many foods can increase the risk of malnutrition.

Eating slowly and sitting upright afterwards can also help reduce the risk of indigestion. Avoid overeating, eating too quickly, and lying down immediately after a meal.

If you have GERD, avoid over-the-counter aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen. It can worsen your symptoms. Acetaminophen is often a better choice for pain relief when you have GERD.

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