Bloating in constipation: Relevance of intraluminal gas handling

Lesley A. Houghton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The symptom of bloating and sometimes associated increase in abdominal girth (distension) is often described by patients as very intrusive, significantly impacting their quality of life. Indeed many patients rank it as their most bothersome symptom, even above abdominal pain. Despite this fewer patients appear to seek medical attention for this problem compared with other gastrointestinal symptoms. This has been attributed to the fact that most sufferers usually have other symptoms, such as abdominal pain, which they may perceive as potentially more serious, and hence seek preferential medical advice and treatment. This review aims to clarify the meaning of the terms bloating and distension, explores their association with constipation, and discusses possible pathophysiologies, in particular the relevance of intraluminal gas handling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-150
Number of pages10
JournalBest Practice and Research: Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Distension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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