What Are the Causes of Bloating in Men?

Bloating occurs when the abdomen becomes visibly extended, and may be accompanied by cramps and a physical feeling of fullness in the stomach. Men often experience bloating as a result of increased gas in the abdomen. Increased gas can occur as a result of intestinal infections or intolerances to certain foods.

Viral Gastroenteritis

Viral gastroenteritis is an intestinal infection that can develop in a man after the consumption of contaminated food or beverages, or direct contact with an infected individual. Although commonly referred to as the stomach flu, viral gastroenteritis does not affect the stomach and is not caused by the influenza virus. Some of the most common viruses that cause viral gastroenteritis include rotavirus and noroviruses. A man that has been affected by viral gastroenteritis will experience severe bloating, abdominal cramps and pain, watery diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches and a low fever, according to MayoClinic.com. Because viral gastroenteritis is caused by a virus, it cannot be cleared with antibiotics. The best treatment for viral gastroenteritis consists of increased fluid intake, bed rest and avoiding irritating foods.

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose is a natural sugar found in milk and milk products. In order to properly digest lactose, the body must have significant amounts of the enzyme lactase. A man who is lactose intolerant does not have enough lactase in his body. Because of this, lactose moves through his digestive system in its full form and causes a number of irritating symptoms: bloating, abdominal pain, gas, diarrhea and nausea. The symptoms of lactose intolerance can be avoided by eliminating lactose from the diet. The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse recommends taken a vitamin supplement rich with calcium if eliminating lactose from the diet. There are also synthetic enzymes available that can be taken with lactose-containing foods to prevent symptoms.

Celiac Disease

The lining of the small intestines contains small projections called villi which are needed for proper absorption of nutrients. Celiac disease is a condition characterized by damaged villi and the resulting malabsorption of nutrients. In a man with Celiac disease, the villi become damaged as a result of ingesting gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Symptoms of Celiac disease can vary between individuals, but generally include abdominal bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, decreased appetite, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, floating stools and unexplained weight loss. Celiac disease cannot be cured, but damage can be reversed and symptoms avoided by following a gluten-free diet.

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