Stomach bloating: The bowel movements and stool shapes warning it may be more serious

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Bloating can be an uncomfortable and often painful ailment that is most typically caused by diet but can also be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Your stools can indicate if your bloating may be something more serious. What to spot?

Diarrhoea-predominant IBS is one of the three main types of irritable bowel syndrome  (IBS).

It affects roughly one-third of patients with IBS.

Accelerated bowel transit in IBS can also result in a sudden, immediate urge to have a bowel movement.

Some patients describe this as a significant source of stress, even avoiding some social situations for fear of a sudden onset of diarrhoea.

Additionally, stool in the diarrhoea-predominant type tends to be loose and watery and may contain mucus.

READ MORE: High cholesterol: Five warning signs in your legs

One study in the National Library of Health, looked at IBS-diarrhoea symptoms and how it can be spotted in your stools.

The study compared patients from a control group and IBS sufferers and found that IBS patients had increased dyspepsia, weekly bowel movements, different stool shape, and alexithymia.

IBS patients had normal gallbladder emptying but delayed gastric emptying.

“Fullness, nausea, and epigastric pain/discomfort were greater in IBS than in controls,” added the study.

In another study, stool characteristics in irritable bowel syndrome was analysed.

Twenty-one female patients with IBS underwent a colonic transit study.

An increase in loose or watery bowel motions was found for those suffering with IBS.

The study concluded that stool frequency, as well as stool consistency, correlates with colonic transit time for IBS sufferers.

Stomach bloating can also be the result of a food intolerance.

A food intolerance is difficulty digesting certain foods and having an unpleasant physical reaction to them.

Eliminating certain foods should therefore provide bloating relief.

According to the NHS, the most common foods to cause problems are wheat or gluten and dairy products.

The health body also says to keep a food diary for a couple of weeks, noting everything that you eat and drink and when bloating troubles you most.

“But do not get rid of food groups long-term without advice from your GP,” advises the NHS.

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