Why do I still get abdominal bloating after acid reflux treatment?
I have just completed my 4-week course of PPI prescription for reflux, and the gastric pain and burning sensation which used to occur after meals is gone now. However, I am still feeling bloated (can't finish a normal portion of food) throughout the day and there is a lot of trapped wind in my stomach. What's your advice on the next step? Thank you very much!
Pain and burning sensation are recognized as symptoms of acid reflux, and will hence improve with PPI treatment. However, bloating is not a symptom of acid reflux. Hence, PPI treatment will not have any effect on it.
The commonest causes of bloating we see locally in our clinics are: food intolerance, bacterial overgrowth and constipation. Food intolerance alone accounts for over 50% of bloating. Certainly, there are other causes of bloating, including more serious causes, but these are uncommon.
If the bloating troubles you and affects your quality of life, I would suggest that you consult a Gastroenterologist. The specialist should be able to advise you on the likelihood about the common causes of bloating, as well as the risk of an underlying medical problem.
Ask about hydrogen/ methane breath testing, which is an easy and effective way to test for bacterial overgrowth and some types of food intolerance.
Dr Jarrod Lee