Painful & Uncomfortable Bloating?
Many people have experienced bloating at some point in their lives, usually from eating too much of the wrong foods. But some people experience bloating on a regular basis due to an underlying medical condition that reduces the motility of the gastrointestinal tract. The type of bloating they can experience can be debilitating and interfere with their daily routines due to the pain and discomfort they have. If this sounds like you, you may be wondering what is causing your bloating, especially if you have not been diagnosed with any other medical condition. Here are just several of the most commonly undiagnosed medical conditions that can cause bloating.
Arnold-Chiari malformation is a condition that can affect the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is responsible for the lungs, heart, and digestive tract. The vagus nerve can be compromised by compression of an Arnold-Chiari malformation, which is an unnatural protrusion of the cerebellar tonsils at the base of the skull where the opening for the spinal cord is. Typically, the first symptom people experience with Arnold-Chiari malformation is a headache, but some people don't have any headaches at all or any of the other typical symptoms of the condition.
Arnold-Chiari malformation is treated by neurologists and/or neurosurgeons. The various symptoms that can be due to this condition can be treated by the medical professional who specializes in that area of the body. For example, your bloating can be treated by a gastroenterologist, while someone who has breathing problems due to the compression of their vagus nerve should be seen by a pulmonologist.
Gastroparesis & Diabetes Mellitus
Gastroparesis is another medical condition you may not be aware of at this time. The reason for this is that, often, bloating is the first symptom people experience when they have gastroparesis. In a literal translation from medical terminology to everyday language, gastroparesis means paralyzed stomach. Normally, the intestinal muscles contract and relax, which is controlled by the vagus nerve.
When the contraction and relaxation of the intestinal muscles occur, it can be due to an underactive vagus nerve which, in turn, could be caused by another medical condition, particularly diabetes mellitus. A gastroenterologist can help you identify whether or not you have gastroparesis and whether it's due to the vagus nerve being sluggish. If it's found to be so, you may need to see an endocrinologist in order to be evaluated for these conditions.