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Does stomach irritation (nausea) cause bloating?

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Does stomach irritation (nausea) cause bloating? I've been sick with what seems like a stomach bug for three days and my stomach seems distended.

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Category: Family Physician-GP
Dr. John Monheit is online now

Expert:  Dr. John Monheit replied 4 Days.


Nausea (sensation of uneasiness and feeling like vomiting) and bloating (fullness of stomach) are two different symptoms and can occur in a multitude of problems.

Food poisoning or gasteroenteritis can cause bowel irritation and inflammation with nausea, bloating, abdominal pain with diarrhea or vomiting. It can be caused by bacteria, virus or parasites like amoeba. Acute food poisoning usually subsides within few days and if symptoms do not worsen there is nothing to worry. If it worsens, antibiotic course along with antacids might be necessary.

Bloating and nausea is common in indigestion (dyspepsia). Indigestion can occur due to many reasons like GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastric ulcer or can be an early sign to cancer. Irregular meals, stress and sleeplessness often cause indigestion in young people. Life style changes like having timely meals and avoiding stress can be beneficial. Antacids and probiotics also can be helpful in acid reflux and IBS.

Other causes of bloating and nausea include gall bladder stones, pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) and can be early signs of pregnancy. If you had any unprotected sex, take a pregnancy test to be sure.

If symptoms persist, consult your physician or gasteroenterologist for further evaluation. Ultrasound examination can reveal any underlying conditions responsible.

Hope this helps. Thank you

Dr. John Monheit
Category: Family Physician-GP
Residecny: North Colorado Family Medicine
Medical School: The Chicago Medical Center
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