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WebMD: Bloating Common but Often Ignored | Survey

WebMD recently interviewed Janice Oh, MD, a resident physician within the Division of General Internal Medicine at Cedars-Sinai, about a recent survey that found that nearly 1 in 7 Americans regularly experience bloating, but most don’t talk to their doctor about it. The survey was issued as part of a Cedars-Sinai study, of which Oh was first author.

More than half of those surveyed who experienced bloating said they never sought help for the condition. Among those who said they hadn’t gone to their doctor, nearly 1 in 10 said it was because they were uncomfortable discussing it.

Oh told WebMD that doctors should routinely ask their patients about bloating.

“The hesitancy in seeking health care or discussing bloating in patients may be attributed to lack of routine screening for bloating, lack of focus on bloating complaints by providers, or patients’ dissatisfaction with management of bloating symptoms,” Oh told WebMD.

Bloating can be caused by a number of factors, ranging from diet and nutrition to potentially more serious conditions, Oh said.

“Bloating is common because it usually has multifactorial causes and can also be a secondary symptom to another gastrointestinal symptom or condition,” Oh told WebMD. “Its mechanisms are complex and individualized, making it difficult for providers to identify and treat each patient. Thus, many adults may be persistently suffering without proper diagnosis or management.”

If left unchecked, bloating can negatively affect quality of life—a good reason to discuss the symptoms with a health care provider, Oh said.

Click here to read the complete article from WebMD.