Severe bloating in the abdomen and painful cramps, and wind pains

by Sarah
(Dublin, Ireland)

Severe bloating in the abdomen and painful cramps, and wind pains.


For the past couple of years I've been suffering with sever tummy bloating and trapped wind. (I know it's bad I've let it go on this long but to be honest I kind of hoped this was in someway normal bodily functioning).

It started off that it was only after eating and around the time of my period. Then the bloating started to increase to most of the time and would increase again at the time of my period. At times the pains I would experience were so sharp and sudden I would have to grab tight hold of the nearest thing to me and wait for the pain to pass. It was excruciating. It would calm down after I would pass wind.

I'm now exercising quite a lot, drinking more water and generally feeling ok. Except I still have the bloating and wind pains. I've noticed at night I release A LOT of wind. To the extent where I'm petrified when I share a bed with my boyfriend as we're only newly together. I've had to leave my desk in work several times to go to the loo to expel wind for obvious reasons.

I've only noticed how bad it is on a day off when I'm at home alone and not struggling to contain it.

It feels like something just isn't right. I eat relatively healthy. Not into fish, or much veg but I do eat a little veg. I do eat bread quite a bit but no fizzy drinks. Alcohol is at a minimum so I'm not sure if my body is reacting to what I put into it. I do tend to eat later in the evening so I'm unsure if that might be a factor. Please help.

I'm actually too embarrassed to go to the doctor with this.
Dear Sarah,

I see quite a few patients with similar complaints like yours weekly. I can see why you feel embarrassed to see a doctor to discuss this issue. You actually should not, as it is a very common problem.

You most likely are suffering with irritable bowel syndrome, though it is important to exclude celiac disease and other common causes of excessive bloating, abdominal cramps and flatulence.

To be sure, are you experiencing any:

  • Unintended weight loss?
  • Decreased appetite?
  • Recent change in your bowel habit - diarrhea or constipation?
  • Passage of blood in your stool?

If you answer yes to any of those questions, you would require a more extensive testing soon.

There are things you can do to reduce the symptoms you have described.
  1. Keep a diary of your abdominal cramps and as well as foods you had before the onset of the cramps to see if you can pin down a connection with certain types of food
  2. Learn about the Fodmap diets and see if going on low fodmap diets would make a different. Lots of people with the symptoms you describe acually report tremendous improvement in their symptoms on switching to a low Fodmap diet. You can read more about FODMAP diets and actually print off a PDF copy, telling you what to eat and what to avoid here
  3. Before waiting for your dietary changes to take effect, you could try the use of Bean-zyme Anti-Gas Digestive Aid, 500 Capsules per bottle, Food Enzyme Dietary Supplement or
    even in combination with Gas-X Antigas, Extra Strength, 125 mg, 72 Softgels for near immediate relief of symptoms.

Please remember to see your doctor to discuss this and for possible physical examination as well as some routine blood works including check for celiac etc.

Sarah, I hope this helps. Please do not hesitate to contact us, should you require any further information or clarify any of the suggestions mentioned here.

We hope you a gas "free" bowel soon.

Family Physician, Emergency Medicine Practitioner and WebMD

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