Bloating After Meals

What Causes Bloating After Meals?

Bloating after meals can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'troubling' to 'generally fatal'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose bloating after meals, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "bloating after meals" as a symptom.  Here are eight of many possibilities (more below):
  • Heartburn
  • Immune System Imbalance
  • Low Digestive Enzymes
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Diverticular Disease
  • Candida / Yeast
  • Ovarian Cancer

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
anal itching
non-vaginal candidiasis
history of vaginal yeast infection
current birth control pill use
moderate abdominal pain
loss of appetite
regular painful urge to defecate
cigarette smoke sensitivity
vaginal yeast infection
allergy to chemicals
history of non-vaginal candidiasis
craving specific foods
... and more than 110 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of bloating after meals:
Cause Probability Status
Low Digestive Enzymes 92% Confirm
Irritable Bowel Syndrome 25% Unlikely
Immune System Imbalance 15% Unlikely
Ovarian Cancer 2% Ruled out
Candida / Yeast 0% Ruled out
Heartburn 0% Ruled out
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity 0% Ruled out
Diverticular Disease 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate occasional problems caused by eating, regular problems caused by eating or frequent problems caused by eating, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Does your belly feel full and tight ("bloated") after eating a normal-sized meal?
Possible responses:
→ No / rarely / only if I eat too much / don't know
→ Bloating is (also) present before meals
→ Occasionally - several times a year
→ Regularly - at least once a month
→ Frequently - after most or all meals
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate absence of meal-related bloating, meal-related bloating or frequent meal-related bloating, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Lactose Intolerance

"An estimated 50 million Americans experience intestinal discomfort after consuming dairy products.  Symptoms include bloating, stomach pain, cramps, gas, or diarrhea." [Postgraduate Medicine 1994;95(1)]

Ovarian Cancer

Gastrointestinal symptoms, such as gas, indigestion, nausea, or changes in bowel movements, are sometimes early warning signs.

Concerned or curious about your health?  Try The Analyst™
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