Medical Q&As

Bloatedness - causes?

I am a 26-year-old woman and am not overweight. Over the last year or so I have a terrible bloated feeling in my stomach after I eat anything at all. I would wake up and have a fairly flat stomach but if I eat so much as a slice of toast, I get a hard stomach and feel bloated. I had a smear test a few months ago and even the nurse commented that I looked bloated. I sometimes suffer from constipation but even when I don't I suffer from this. Can you advise me what it could be?

Bloatedness can be a very uncomfortable symptom and can be associated with a diverse range of conditions. For example it is commonly associated with hiatus hernia and disorders of the gallbladder. It can also be associated with lactase deficiency, which means the affected person has a difficulty in digesting dairy products. Lactase is the enzyme that digests lactose, which is the sugar contained in milk and other dairy products. Therefore if a person is deficient in this particular enzyme the lactose remains undigested. Sometimes the feeling might even be due to bolting down food too quickly, which results in swallowing copious amounts of air along with the food thereby inflating the stomach. Unfortunately it is not possible for me to be more specific in this response because bloatedness alone is a not a very reliable indicator of any condition in particular.