Most of the time, stomach bloating is just caused by gas resulting from your body breaking down food, or from a food allergy.
Sudden weight loss or gain, accompanied by bloating can be a sign of a more serious condition, such as the following. The 5th leading cancer in women, ovarian cancer affects women over 50 at a higher rate, especially if they have not had children, are obese, are taking hormone therapy, or have a family history. You can view and print the quick guides for all the pages in the about liver cancer section. Doctors usually define significant weight loss as more than 10% of your body weight - a stone for every 10 stone you weigh. You may have some discomfort or pain in the tummy (abdomen) caused by the liver getting larger. The earlier a cancer is picked up, the easier it is to treat it and the more likely the treatment is to be successful.
Cancer Research UK is a registered charity in England and Wales (1089464), Scotland (SC041666) and the Isle of Man (1103). The first symptoms of blocked bowel obstruction, also called bowel blockage, are typically pain, nausea or vomiting. We have found that a mechanical bowel blockage is almost always caused by abdominal adhesions. If you experience severe abdominal pain or other bowel blockage symptoms, you should seek immediate medical care. Obviously losing weight doesn't mean you are ill if you are dieting or there is some other reason. This squeezes the blood vessels inside the liver and the blood that normally flows through it gets backed up in the veins.
So it is important that you go to your GP as soon as possible if you notice worrying symptoms. Adhesions are bands of internal scar tissue that form on or between organs, preventing them from functioning correctly.
The two most common forms are Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, which affect about 250,000 people in the UK.
It is intended for general information purposes only and does not address individual circumstances.
The pressure in these veins increases and forces fluid to leak from the veins into the abdomen. It means that your liver is not working properly or there may be a blockage in the bile duct. This is caused by the enlarged liver stimulating the nerves under the diaphragm, which are connected to nerves in the right shoulder (referred pain). In the case of bowel blockage, adhesions obstruct the passage designed to transport food and may prevent the body from processing food.
It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. The veins may grow in size so much that they can be seen underneath the surface of the skin. IBD can severely disrupt digestion by causing the walls of the digestive tract to become swollen, inflamed and develop ulcers. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the BootsWebMD Site.
The bile's yellow pigment is excreted through the kidneys, so your urine appears darker than normal. And because the bile is not passing into your bowel, your stools will be much paler than normal. You can get it at any age, but it often affects younger people between the ages of 10 and 40. It can develop anywhere in the digestive tract, from the mouth to the anus, but most commonly affects the small intestine, the colon, or both.


It may also develop a cobblestone pattern of sores or ulcers deep inside the bowel wall, as seen here.
Fistulas and abscesses are also common in Crohn’s disease and may develop around the back passage. Ulcerative colitisUlcerative colitis differs from Crohn’s disease in that it only involves the large bowel (colon) and rectum. Unlike the deep lesions seen in Crohn’s, with ulcerative colitis inflammation and ulcers usually only affect the inner lining of the bowel and rectum. Other IBD symptomsIf you have IBD, you may experience less common symptoms that affect other parts of the body. One theory is that environmental factors may trigger the body's immune system to malfunction, causing it to attack healthy tissue inside the digestive tract. It’s also known that having a relative with Crohn’s increases your risk and over 200 genes that are more common in people with Crohn’s disease have been identified. Who gets IBD?A family history of IBD is the single most significant risk factor in developing the disease – making you at least 10 times more likely to develop IBD than those with no family history. It is most prevalent among Jewish people of European descent and more common in Caucasians compared to black or Asian people.
IBD is not IBSIBD should not be confused with IBS or irritable bowel syndrome, which is a more common but less serious condition that causes bouts of diarrhoea, constipation or both. Both illnesses cause chronic digestive problems, but people with IBD have inflammation, ulcers, and other visible damage inside the digestive tract. With IBS there are no physical signs of damage, despite evident symptoms, pain and discomfort. The symptoms of diverticulitis are similar to those of IBD – causing stomachache, bloating, and diarrhoea. However, diverticula are inflamed or infected bulges along the colon wall, often associated with ageing. Coeliac disease is another example of a condition with similar symptoms but this condition is triggered by a protein in food called gluten. For some specialised tests, you may be asked to fast overnight or for a few hours before the sample is taken.
Red blood cell and haemoglobin levels can indicate whether a person is anaemic and what type of anaemia they have. Other blood tests for IBD include: erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein (CRP), ferritin and liver function tests (LFTs). Diagnosing IBD: Barium X-rayAs the digestive tract does not show up well on normal X-rays, barium X-rays are often used.
The Barium temporarily coats the inside of the gut and shows up on the X-ray helping your doctor get a clearer picture of what’s going on inside. If there are abnormalities such as ulcers, swelling, narrowing (seen here), or intestinal blockages, you may have further imaging tests, such as a CT scan. Diagnosing IBD: ColonoscopyA colonoscopy can give doctors a direct view of inside the digestive tract using a thin, flexible tube with a light and a camera linked to a video system.
It also allows the doctor to take a small scraping or biopsy for further investigation if an area looks unusual.
Faecal calprotectin testA new test is being introduced to help diagnose serious bowel disorders. The diagnostic test measures the levels of faecal calprotectin, which are raised when the bowel is inflamed. As well as helping to diagnose serious bowel disorders, it’s hoped the test will relieve pressure on colonoscopy departments by reducing unnecessary and invasive procedures. IBD: What to expectThe initial diagnosis of IBD may come as a shock, especially coming to terms with a long-term condition. You may experience long periods of remission, which last months or years, between flare-ups, or you may have symptoms more frequently.
This is a challenge as chronic stomachache and urgent toilet trips can severely impact your lifestyle including work, travel, child care and social life.


Managing IBDEasy access to public toilets can be very important if you struggle with IBD and have a sudden need go to the toilet.
The body reacts to stress by releasing hormones that can affect the immune system and increase inflammation. If you are in remission, you can help yourself by trying to avoid events or situations that may put you under unnecessary stress.
IBD Complications: ObstructionSometimes, the chronic inflammation caused by Crohn's disease, can narrow the inside of the intestine so much that it becomes blocked. IBD complications: Abscess or fistulaUlcers deep in the intestinal lining can form balls of pus or abscesses. Sometimes an abscess can develop into an abnormal passage, called a fistula, that breaks through to another organ. Does IBD cause bowel cancer?There is an increased risk of developing bowel cancer if you have had long-term or extensive IBD or for at least eight years. However, the majority of people with IBD do not develop bowel cancer and the number that do is small.
Your doctors should carry out regular checks for signs of cancer, as treatment is more effective when it is detected early. IBD diet: Foods to watchAlthough there's no firm evidence of diet having a role in IBD, some people find that certain foods trigger symptoms. However, people are not usually advised to give up complete groups of foods, such as grains or sugars, before consulting a registered dietitian for advice. Managing IBD: Low-residue dietA low-residue diet may be recommended for you by a dietitian if Crohn's disease has caused a narrowing of your small intestine. More research is needed, but it’s possible this diet may help reduce symptoms like stomach pain and cramps or diarrhoea.
Managing IBD: Nutritional needsIf you have Crohn's disease in the ileum (small intestine), it can affect the body’s ability to absorb all the nutrients it needs. Ask your GP to recommend a dietitian who can help and ask about vitamin and mineral supplements as well. Managing IBD: Stress reductionAlthough the evidence is limited, some people find that addressing IBD-related stress through counseling improves their wellbeing and ability to cope.
Yoga, meditation and exercise, talk therapy or group therapy may also help reduce the emotional stress of coping with a long-term condition. Treating IBD: MedicineMild to moderate cases of IBD are usually treated with anti-inflammatory medicines called aminosalicylates.
During a flare-up, corticosteroids may be used to reduce inflammation and encourage remission. More severe IBD may be treated with immunosuppressants to block the destructive way the immune system may turn on the body. Treating IBD: Combination therapyRecent research suggests combining immunomodulator and biologic medication may be the best approach if you are suffering from moderate to severe Crohn's disease. Immunomodulators cause it to be less active, while biologic drugs, given by injection, block the action of proteins that cause inflammation.
Treating IBD: SurgeryWhen damage to the bowel is severe, surgery to remove it may be necessary. It does not always cure Crohn's disease, which can develop in other parts of the digestive tract.
Living well with IBDLiving with a lifelong challenge like IBD can be difficult, but there are ways to ease the impact on your everyday life. A healthy lifestyle, exercise, stress management and availing yourself of the best medical help and support can keep IBD from interfering with the life you want to lead. The charity Crohn's and Colitis UK runs local support groups so that you can talk to people with similar concerns.



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