Abdominal Bloating Common Among Americans

Author: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Published: 2022/11/24 - Updated: 2023/01/04 - Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Contents: Summary - Definition - Introduction - Main - Related

Synopsis: A recent study reveals bloating is a common issue among Americans, with women more than twice as likely as men to report feeling bloated. Bloating can make people feel swollen or tight in the abdomen. It may occur when a person's gastrointestinal tract fills with air or gas. It can sometimes result from diet or an underlying condition, such as irritable bowel syndrome, carbohydrate enzyme deficiency, or chronic constipation. To understand the scope of bloating in the U.S., the authors emailed a survey to nearly 90,000 people. Of the 88,795 people who completed the survey from May through June 2020, 12,324 (13.9%) reported bloating in the past seven days.

Introduction

Nearly 1 in 7 Americans experience bloating every week, and most aren't seeking professional care for it, according to a new study by Cedars-Sinai investigators. The findings are published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Main Digest

"Although bloating is a common symptom, some patients may not bring it up with their doctors," said Janice Oh, MD, a resident physician within the Division of General Internal Medicine Division at Cedars-Sinai and first author of the study. "It's important that people feel comfortable discussing bloating because it could be a symptom of a serious condition, and there are treatments available."

Bloating can make people feel swollen or tight in the abdomen. It may occur when a person's gastrointestinal tract fills with air or gas and can sometimes be the result of diet or an underlying condition, such as irritable bowel syndrome, carbohydrate enzyme deficiency, or chronic constipation.

To understand the scope of bloating in the U.S., the authors emailed a survey to nearly 90,000 people. Of the 88,795 people who completed the survey from May through June 2020, 12,324 (13.9%) reported bloating in the past seven days.

"To our knowledge, this is among the largest studies of bloating in the U.S.," said Brennan Spiegel, MD, MSHS, director of Health Services Research at Cedars-Sinai and senior author of the study. "Anecdotally, we often hear about bloating in the clinic, but this study adds concrete evidence to describe how commonly it occurs and what other conditions it's associated with."

Of the people who reported experiencing bloating, about 58.5% said they have never sought care for their symptoms.

Some of the reasons they gave for not seeking care were that:

Women were also more than twice as likely as men to report bloating.

"Other studies have also found that women report more bloating than men, and researchers have proposed various hypotheses for why this may be occurring," Oh explained. "These include hormonal, metabolic, psychosocial, lifestyle and dietary differences between men and women."

Latinos and people under 60 were also more likely to report bloating within the past seven days, as were people with medical conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, chronic constipation, and ulcerative colitis. People with related gastrointestinal symptoms, such as abdominal pain and excess gas, were also more likely to experience bloating.

"Bloating can often be managed effectively with various medications, such as gut-directed antibiotics or treatments that affect serotonin levels in the gut. There is also evidence that lifestyle changes can help, including exercise, core strengthening, and dietary changes. Still, it requires discussion with a healthcare provider about what might be causing the bloating," Oh said.

More studies are needed to investigate the causes of bloating and how to best treat it, according to the investigators.

Attribution/Source(s):

This peer reviewed publication titled Abdominal Bloating Common Among Americans was selected for publishing by Disabled World's editors due to its relevance to the disability community. While the content may have been edited for style, clarity, or brevity, it was originally authored by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and published 2022/11/24 (Edit Update: 2023/01/04). For further details or clarifications, you can contact Cedars-Sinai Medical Center directly at cedars-sinai.org Disabled World does not provide any warranties or endorsements related to this article.

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Cite This Page (APA): Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. (2022, November 24 - Last revised: 2023, January 4). Abdominal Bloating Common Among Americans. Disabled World. Retrieved June 14, 2024 from www.disabled-world.com/health/digestive/bloating.php

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