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Sometimes, we feel bloated after a particularly large or rich meal, and that’s a perfectly normal thing to happen (though you might think twice about third helpings next time), but if you’re experiencing bloating regularly and you have one of these accompanying symptoms, you may have a problem beyond the fact that your eyes are too big for your stomach.

1. Weight loss

If your bloating is accompanied by weight loss, it could be that you have coeliac disease, which is an autoimmune reaction to gluten which causes damage to your intestinal lining. This disease affects about one per cent of the population, and can be treated with a strict no-gluten diet. It’s vital that you wait until you have been diagnosed before you swear off gluten, however, as doing so before tests are conducted could cause confusion with the results.

2. Pelvic pain

If you experience pelvic pain during bloating, there is a chance it is a symptom of ovarian cancer. If you notice this pain, be conscious of other symptoms like more frequent needs to urinate or poo, or filling up more quickly when eating. It’s possible that these symptoms point to a less serious condition, like fibroids, but it’s still important to make an appointment with your doctor as soon as you become aware of them.

3. Bad cramps

If you are experiencing bad abdominal cramps on the lower left side of your tummy, you may have diverticulitis, which causes small pouches to develop in your colon. Even if it’s not on the lower left side, any especially bad cramping warrants a trip to the doctor as quickly as possible to find out what’s wrong.

4. Bloody diarrhoea

If you are bloating, experiencing stomach pains, and you have diarrhoea, it could be a sign of Crohn’s disease, or another inflammatory bowel disease like ulcerative colitis. Make an appointment with your GP so you can both get to the bottom of what’s going on.

When did a seemingly minor pain reveal a major health issue for you or someone you know?

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