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Bloating is an issue for 1 in 7 U.S. adults every week


In any given week, about 1 in 7 U.S. adults (14 percent), women more often than men, suffer from abdominal bloating — the sensation of having a full and tight stomach that might also look swollen, according to a report in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

The findings are based on data from a nationally representative sample of 88,795 adults who were questioned about gastrointestinal issues they had experienced in the previous week. Of those who reported abdominal bloating, more than half (58 percent) did not seek care, with most saying the bloating resolved on its own (32 percent) or was not overly bothersome (30 percent).

Others managed the condition on their own with an over-the-counter medication or lifestyle changes (21 percent), and some (8 percent) said they would simply be uncomfortable discussing the problem with their doctor. Bloating stems from excessive air or gas in the intestinal tract, most often related to digestion troubles. It also has been linked to various gastrointestinal conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome and chronic constipation, and to a woman’s menstrual cycle.

Possible home remedies include herbal teas (peppermint, chamomile, ginger, turmeric or fennel), antacids, fiber supplements and regular exercise. In most cases, bloating starts to ease in a few hours or days, but health experts recommend seeking medical attention if symptoms persist or are severe or if bloating becomes a recurring problem.

This article is part of The Post’s “Big Number” series, which takes a brief look at the statistical aspect of health issues. Additional information and relevant research are available through the hyperlinks.