This common sensation is often associated with irritable bowel syndrome, but if it is new most patients require a scan to make sure there is no fluid or growth in the abdomen. Other investigations may include breath tests to check for bacterial overgrowth or dietary intolerances, and blood tests for coeliac disease (gluten allergy).
In may cases a referral will be made to a dietician for a general review and consideration of the FODMAP exclusion diet. This diet eliminates foods that tend to be poorly absorbed and ferment in the bowel (leading to excess gas production.) The FODMAP diet has been shown to be effective in clinical trials.