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10% to 30% of the population suffers from bloating. Indigestion, menstruation, constipation, and food allergies are its most common causes, and it’s usually temporary. However, if it becomes chronic, then it might be a sign of something more sinister.

1. Urinary tract infection

6 Times Your Bloated Belly May Be Hiding Something More Serious

A urinary tract infection (UTI) can make you feel the need to rush to the bathroom frequently. Sometimes it can even cause the person to feel like they need to use the bathroom again immediately after doing so. To the person, it might feel like pressure in the abdomen, pain, or bloating. You might also experience fever, chills, nausea, and vomiting.

Bloating can also be caused by severe kidney infections.

2. Liver disease

6 Times Your Bloated Belly May Be Hiding Something More Serious

Liver disease, which can be caused by alcohol usehepatitis C or cancer, can lead to fluid buildup and cause bloating. If the bloating is caused because of a problem in the liver, then you may also feel tired, bruise easily, or develop jaundice. If this is the case, you must immediately get in touch with a doctor.

3. Inflammatory bowel disease

6 Times Your Bloated Belly May Be Hiding Something More Serious

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an inflammatory condition that mainly affects the colon and small intestine. This can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, and even bloating.

Research has shown that people with Crohn’s disease are more likely to be lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerance can cause gas formations which can then lead to bloating.

4. Diverticulitis

6 Times Your Bloated Belly May Be Hiding Something More Serious

Diverticulitis is the inflammation of small pouches called diverticula that develop along the walls of the intestines. Symptoms include a sudden onset of lower abdominal pain. In Asia, the pain is usually on the right side while in North America and Europe, it’s on the left lower side.

Other symptoms may include nauseadiarrheaconstipation, and bloating.

5. Cancer

6 Times Your Bloated Belly May Be Hiding Something More Serious

There are several organs located in the abdominal area like the pancreas, stomach, colon, uterus and the ovary. If cancer develops in one of these organs, it can lead to unexplainable bloating. Therefore, if you notice persistent bloating and a sudden increase in the size of your abdomen, rather than bloating which comes and goes, it could be a sign of cancer.

6. Mental health

6 Times Your Bloated Belly May Be Hiding Something More Serious

When a person is under chronic stress, hormones like cortisol can take precedence. In this kind of situation, digestives hormones are not abundantly produced which can lead to indigestion and cause the person to feel bloated.

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