Bloating And Possible Serious Medical Conditions

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Most people think of bloating as a nuisance and the issue is often caused by the buildup of air somewhere within the digestive system. While bloating will typically pass as the gas makes its way through the intestinal tract, this is not always the case. In some situations, bloating may actually be a sign of a much more serious issue. Keep reading to learn about a few of these serious ailments and how they can be identified.

Intestinal Tumors

Both malignant and benign tumors can build almost anywhere in the body. When a tumor develops within the intestinal tract, it usually does so along the small intestine. These tumors are called gastrointestinal stromal tumors, and they develop inside the intestines and take up the space where food typically moves through the digestive system. As the tumor grows and takes up more and more space, you will start to feel bloated. This may occur due to the distention of the abdomen or the backup of the food since digested material cannot move as quickly through the intestines. 

While bloating is one of the main symptoms of an intestinal tumor, there are some other telltale signs that you have developed the issue. Intestinal tumors are quite fragile and are susceptible to stress and pressure. If too much pressure is placed on them, they will bleed. You may see bloody stool or you may actually vomit blood. Feeling full after a small meal, appetite loss, and weight loss are all signs of the disease as well. Weight loss is one significant sign to look for, especially if it is combined with a feeling of fullness and bloating, as these things do not typically occur together.

Bowel Obstruction

Sometimes a bloating issue may come on suddenly. Tumors do not typically cause a sudden bloating issue, but more of a long term one. If you feel intense bloating that builds within a few days, then you may a bowel obstruction. Bowel obstructions occur when fecal wastes become trapped in the intestinal tract. Over time, the obstruction of trapped waste will accumulate more waste and the obstruction will get bigger and bigger.

You will typically feel full and bloated as the obstruction builds. The problem will soon become quite painful and you are likely to feel nauseous and you may vomit. Pain will build as the obstruction builds and you are likely to feel rolling or waves of pain over time. This pain may be an intense cramp or a sharper pain in the abdominal region. The discomfort is typically felt as the intestines try to force wastes through your digestive system.

Fecal obstructions are emergencies because the intestines can actually burst. This type of issue is called a bowel perforation and it can cause waste and bacteria to enter the abdominal cavity. This can cause a life threatening infection. 


While bloating problems are often caused by issues with the digestive tract, this is not always the case. Bloating also may be caused by issues with the liver. If your liver is not functioning properly, then this causes fluid to build up in the body. The liver is essential when it comes to metabolism and detoxification. If the liver does not functions properly, then it cannot process nutrients, chemicals, medications, and other substances that are ingested. This causes a protein rich fluid to build in the abdominal cavity. 

The fluid buildup issue is called ascites and it is often associated with liver disease or liver cancer. However, there are some other less serious causes of the issue, like hormone imbalances. 

If you have a bloating problem, then it is best to speak with a physician about the issue. While the problem may be directly related to your digestive system, a much more serious issue may be present.