Survey Finds Why So Many Americans Suffer In Silence Through Bloating

You've probably experienced bloating at one time or another. A common symptom of bloat is feeling too full, which might make your belly feel uncomfortably tight. Sometimes, you may be so bloated that it literally hurts (via Cleveland Clinic). Most of the time, bloating isn't a reason to be alarmed — especially if you can trace it to overindulging in a meal or not taking your time to eat (via WebMD).

Gas is one cause of bloating, and what you eat or drink can increase gas in your digestive tract. Beans and dairy products are culprits for many people, according to WebMD. For women, hormonal fluctuations can also cause bloating, and this can occur around their period or during perimenopause, per the Cleveland Clinic. While many people experience the overstuffed, gassy feeling that comes along with bloating, a new survey published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology reveals that a good deal of the population suffers in silence with the condition.

More than half of those polled don't seek treatment

For the survey, researchers asked 88,795 people about their experience with bloating over the past week. Of those, 12,324 said they had dealt with it. Responses revealed that women and people with gut-related medical conditions along with other gastrointestinal issues were more likely to experience bloating. Of the 12,324 participants who experienced bloating, more than half of them (58.5%) didn't seek medical care for it. Moreover, 29% of those who didn't seek care either felt uncomfortable talking about it with their doctors or treated the symptoms on their own.

Researchers noted that the findings showed that more of an effort should be made in encouraging patients to discuss bloating with their health care providers. The Cleveland Clinic explains that if you experience bloating regularly, if it is painful most of the time, or if you experience it with a fever or vomiting, you should tell your doctor because another more serious condition may be the culprit.