Stomach bloating: Five warning signs your bloated belly could be dangerous

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Stomach bloating: Five warning signs your bloated belly could be dangerous

Most stomach bloating can be treated at home, or after a quick trip to the supermarket or pharmacy. However, there could be a time when a doctor's

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Most stomach bloating can be treated at home, or after a quick trip to the supermarket or pharmacy. However, there could be a time when a doctor’s appointment is the only thing that will do.

1. Pain

Painful bloating could be indicative of an underlying health condition that needs attending to.

Dr Lauren Cobb stated how this could be a sign of a build-up of fluid – otherwise known as ascites.

This fluid could be the result of blockages in the lymphatic drainage system, or intestinal blockages caused by the presence of cancer.

The charity Target Ovarian Cancer wanted to make it clear that persistent bloating is indeed a symptom of the deadly disease.

In order for the bloated belly to qualify as a symptom of ovarian cancer, the bloat doesn’t come and go – it’s persistent.

3. Change in bathroom habits

Dr Swain mentioned that unusual toilet habits could indicate a cancerous mass is “pressing on the bladder”.

Changes in bowel habits could include diarrhoea or constipation, or needing to wee more urgently and more often than usual.

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5. Fatigue

The fifth warning sign that you need to make a doctor’s appointment, pronto, is feeling fatigued.

However, this time it could be a sign of another underlying health condition – that’s not cancer.

Liver disease could lead to a bloated belly and fatigue. Dr Alex Hewlett explained further.

“Normally, [fluid build-up] is a slow, insidious process where you just start to feel it in the lower belly.

“As it progresses, your belly becomes more and more distended with fluid.”

It’s important to seek medical care if you feel tired, bruise easily, or develop jaundice – a yellow tinge to the skin and eyes – when you’re bloated.

“Once you get bloating and fluid retention, it may mean the disease process affecting your liver is advanced,” added Dr Hewlett.

It’s better to get yourself checked over by a doctor or nurse if you identify with the symptoms outlined above.



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