Consistent Abdominal Bloating in 18-Year-Old, 80 Lb. Female

Patient

Q: What are the causes and/or remedies for a constantly bloated stomach in an adolescent female?

Symptoms:  Hi, I am an eighteen-year-old female, and I stand at about 4'5". I have a long-term problem of what I think is a bloated stomach. I am not overweight (I weigh no more than 80 pounds) and when I suck in my stomach, a small amount of baby fat is noticeable, although I think this is reasonable for my age. I have had a bit of a protruding stomach for as long as I can remember, although it has never been because of a serious weight problem. I understand that most people do not have a perfectly flat stomach, but I am worried that I might be accumulating gas in my small intestine (as the upper part of my abdominal area is always harder) that cannot be expelled entirely. My diet is generally low-sugar, although I do consume pasta and other starches (such as potatoes and corn) almost daily. I believe that I consume a necessary amount of meat and vegetables, and I hardly ever drink soda or carbonated beverages. I have consulted my General Practitioner about this issue, although she advised me that it is nothing serious. She also suggested that I sleep on the left side of my body, as gas is supposedly allowed to travel through the small intestine instead of collecting throughout the night. I trust her word for the most part, but her suggested practice has unfortunately helped to little avail. Thus, I have decided to consult other doctors through the web in order to obtain different opinions. Thank you for taking the time to read about my problem, and I hope to hear back from you soon.
Doctor

A:   This question is currently in queue and will be answered shortly by one of our doctors. In the meantime you may browse our library of answered questions by clicking here.

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