What Causes Stomach Tightness After Eating
Feeling overfull is caused by your eating habits as well as how your body responds to what you eat.
Certain foods, like those high in fat, take longer to digest, meaning they stick around in your stomach longer and can cause you to feel overly full. Foods high in fiber, like lentils and beans, are more likely to cause bloating and gas, especially if you arent used to eating them.
The speed at which you eat also plays a role, Simon says.
When you eat too fast, you swallow more air with each bite. This means the faster you eat, the more likely it is that air bubbles will get trapped in your gastrointestinal tract and cause bloating. Plus, eating quickly can lead to indigestion, and research has shown that the faster you eat, the more likely you are to eat more than your body needs to feel full both scenarios that can cause stomach tightness.
Along with eating habits, conditions like irritable bowel syndrome , gastroparesis and gastroesophageal reflux disease can cause discomfort after eating. And Simon notes pregnant people may experience stomach tightness after eating as their baby grows and pushes on their intestines and stomach.
Causes Of Bloated Stomach
Bloating of the stomach can occur due to a number of causes. Below are some common and less common causes of bloated stomach.
1. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
This is a condition that occurs when stomach contents flow back up into the esophagus. This happens when the lower esophageal sphincter does not work properly. Irritation of the esophagus can cause symptoms of heartburn and bloating along with nausea and burping, etc.
2. Lactose Intolerance
Some people may be allergic or may not be able to digest sugar or lactose in milk or milk products. This occurs when the intestines do not produce sufficient lactase enzyme to help in food absorption. Abdominal bloating, flatulence and diarrhea are common symptoms of lactose intolerance.
3. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Abdominal pain, cramping, bloating and other symptoms may also occur due to a condition known as irritable bowel syndrome or IBS. This occurs due to stress or various foods. The exact cause of IBS is unclear therefore, there is no cure for the syndrome although triggers can be avoided.
4. Excessive Sodium Intake
Sometimes, bloating may occur due to excess fluid in the abdominal area caused by excessive sodium intake. Sodium helps retain water and any person experiencing bloating in the stomach should be aware of the sodium levels in their diet.
5. Ovarian Cancer
Be Mindful Of Food Intolerances
Its important to be aware of any food allergies or intolerances that you may have, as these can contribute to bloating.
For example, lactose intolerance the inability to digest the natural sugar found in milk can cause symptoms like bloating, fullness, gas, stomach pain, and diarrhea .
Similarly, those with celiac disease a sensitivity to gluten may experience digestive issues like bloating after consuming gluten-containing foods like wheat, barley, and rye .
Additionally, people with irritable bowel syndrome are sometimes advised to limit foods high in fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides, and polyols , which are carbs that are poorly absorbed in the digestive tract, to reduce gastrointestinal symptoms .
Being aware of which foods trigger your symptoms can help you modify your diet to prevent issues like bloating. Try keeping a food and symptoms journal for a few weeks to identify when your symptoms may arise.
Certain food intolerances can cause bloating and other digestive issues for some people. Identifying and avoiding triggering foods may limit your symptoms.
Don’t Miss: What Is The Best Way To Reduce Stomach Fat
Reducing The Need To Fart
Farting is the way the body releases swallowed air and other trapped gasses. The positions listed above may help relieve gas temporarily, but many people also look for ways to reduce the need to pass gas.
While it may be impossible to make farts disappear completely, there are some ways to reduce the number of times a person has to pass gas each day.
Many foods increase the amount of gas that results from the digestion of food. Beans are well-known culprits, but these pulses contain many nutrients so should still be included in a healthful diet.
Soaking beans before cooking them may help reduce flatulence in some people, while others may want to limit the quantity of beans they eat.
Cutting down on other foods that cause gas may help as well. This includes foods high in sulfur or certain fermentable carbs and fibers, such as:
- carbonated drinks
Dairy foods, including cheese and ice cream, may also cause gas, especially for people who are sensitive to lactose.
Another important tip is to chew all food slowly and with a closed mouth. A lot of trapped gas is swallowed air, which is more likely to happen if a person eats quickly or with their mouth open.
Eat Several Small Meals
To keep your metabolism revving throughout the day, focus on small, protein- and fiber-packed snacks or small meals every 3 to 4 hours. You will not only burn more calories eating a series of smaller meals, but also avoid the afternoon crash and end of the workday slump.
Eat This! Tip: Use your smartphone or computer to remind you of these intervals. Some go-to healthy snack ideas include:
- Apple with peanut butter
Recommended Reading: What Will Help Stomach Cramps
How To Get Rid Of Bloating Fast According To Dietitians
Stocksy / Design by Dion Mills
Bloating happens to everyone. And while it’s not something you need to get rid of, if it’s causing you discomfort there are ways to find relief. In a perfect world, we’d all subscribe to a balanced diet filled with organic veggies, gluten-free grains like quinoa, and easily digestible proteins like chicken and fish. We’d trade in happy hour cocktails for water and manage to avoid any trace of fatty, salty foods. While a bit idealistic, this is what Charles Passler, DC, founder of Pure Change and nutritionist to celebrities like Bella Hadid and Adriana Lima, recommends for avoiding the common feeling of belly bloat altogether.
Unfortunately, busy schedules and the convenience of a quick takeout meal can make it difficult to stay on track. Add in other factors that may lead to bloating like dehydration, constipation, PMS, and you can be stuck with an uncomfortably bloated stomach despite your best efforts. Fortunately, there are ways to combat belly bloat for quick relief from even the worst symptoms of this pesky digestive problem. We spoke to Passler and other health experts on how to get rid of bloating fast, so you can get back to your routine and feel your best.
Here are 20 things to do the minute you feel bloated.
Other medicinal bitters that may aid with digestion include dandelion, gentian root, burdock, yellow dock, and Angelica.
Tone Down The Bubbles And Booze
Bubbles are gas by definition, so go easy on carbonated things like champagne and beer to lower your chances of a bloated stomach. At Parsley Health, our most frequent recommendation for consuming alcohol is to cut wine and beer altogether and stick to vodka, white tequila, and mezcal instead. This is especially important for people who have digestive issues, imbalances in gut bacteria, food sensitivities, or blood sugar issues, as these forms of alcohol have very little residual sugar or toxins.
I also recommend two days off of drinking for every one day that you drink so your body has time to repair and detoxify and so that you do not become dependent on alcohol.
Don’t Miss: How Can I Tone My Stomach Fast
What Is A Bloated Stomach
A bloated stomach is first and foremost a feeling of tightness, pressure or fullness in your belly. It may or may not be accompanied by a visibly distended abdomen. The feeling can range from mildly uncomfortable to intensely painful. It usually goes away after a while, but for some people, its a recurring problem. Digestive issues and hormone fluctuations can cause cyclical bloating. If your bloated stomach doesnt go away, you should seek medical care to determine the cause.
Why Do You Get A Bloated Stomach
Bloat sneaks up on you in surprising ways, depending on what you eat, certain habits you have, and even specific medical conditions. For example, bloating can be a result of digestive distress from eating certain foods , eating habits that cause you to take in more air, and even certain conditions such as a weak heart or being pregnant can all contribute to water retention.
Women can also retain water while they’re menstruating. Those who have irritable bowel syndrome can also experience uncomfortable bouts of bloating after eating foods that contain FODMAPS or during moments of stress.
Also Check: Can You Lose Weight By Rubbing Your Stomach
Get Some Light Exercise
Regular exercise can reduce some symptoms of IBS and chronic constipation, perhaps due to its effects on gastric motility. In a small trial of healthy adults, a single session of mild physical activity on an exercise bike accelerated the movement of gas through the intestines, which may reduce the sensation of bloating or distention.
Replace Sodas With Water
Fizzy, carbonated drinks contain gas that can build up in the stomach. The carbon dioxide that makes soda and similar beverages fizzy can also cause bubbling and bloating in the stomach.
Sugars or artificial sweeteners in the diet can also cause gas and bloating. Drinking water eliminates these issues and helps to treat constipation as well.
You May Like: Why Is My Lower Stomach Bloated
Look At Supplements And Medications
Some supplements, such as iron, can cause constipation and other symptoms of indigestion. This can increase bloating. Potassium, on the other hand, may reduce bloating by helping to balance the bodys sodium levels .
Medications may also cause side effects that affect GI function or cause indigestion. If this happens, a doctor or pharmacist can suggest alternatives that are more gentle on the digestive tract.
Although it is not common, bloating and swelling of the abdomen can signify a severe medical condition. Liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, heart failure, kidney problems, and some types of cancer can cause bloating.
Bloating that continues for days or weeks may indicate a health issue that needs medical attention. It is advisable to speak to a doctor about ongoing bloating that does not go away over time.
People whose bloating occurs alongside these symptoms should seek medical advice:
- appetite changes or trouble eating
- bright red blood in the stool
- black or dark maroon stools
What Causes A Bloated Stomach
When our stomach is empty, it is about the size of a clenched fist. However, the design and structure of the stomach allows it to increase in shape and size to accommodate what we eat. That said, it’s worth bearing in mind that your stomach can only handle about a litre to a litre and a half of food at any one time. Overeating can put strain on your stomach and compromise your digestion.
1. Food and lifestyle factors
Our lifestyles and dietary choices will influence our gut and how it functions and feels. Inactivity, being over-weight, weak abdominal muscles and even psychological issues, including stress, can influence how effectively our digestion processes the food we eat. For some, certain foods can trigger symptoms artificial sweetners, dairy, some starchy foods and even certain vegetables can potentially be triggers. If this sounds familiar, keep a food diary and record the food you eat and your corresponding symptoms be prepared to discuss this with a medical professional before making any changes to the foods you eat. Do not eliminate food groups without professional guidance.
One of the most common causes of bloating, IBS affects one in five people at some stage in their lives. Symptoms include changes to bowel habits, cramping, bloating and distension as well as excess gas. Treatment varies but dietary changes, the addition ofprobiotic and prebiotic foods, exercise and stress management may be effective.
4. Food intolerances
5. Coeliac disease
You May Like: What Causes Stomach Virus Symptoms
Take Probiotics And Magnesium
Supplementing with probiotics and magnesium can reduce constipation. Many patients at Parsley Health that are low in magnesium often complain of bloating. I recommend our own probiotic and magnesium citratethe kind of magnesium that relaxes your gastrointestinal tract and makes you go. Take them both with a large glass of water when you go to bed and another first thing in the morning. For an extra belly flattening bonus, try giving yourself a belly massage
Get Your 8 Hours Sleep
Turns out its not only your brain that does not function as well on little sleep, it affects the gut too.
Most of the time well start the day with a flat stomach but if were not getting enough sleep our body will produce cortisol, a stress hormone which can disrupt our digestive system, leading to bloating and constipation. Not an ideal start to the day.
So its key to get your recommended daily 8 hours sleep. Also avoid eating food right before you go to bed. Eating late into the evening and eating lots of raw food especially later in the day may also increase fermentation and gas build up, explains Kalinik.
Read Also: How To Burn Fat Around Stomach
What Causes Bloating And How Can I Reduce It
Were all familiar with that uncomfortable, bloated feeling and some of us are well aware of the cause overdoing it over the festive season or after a full on blowout at the weekend. For others, bloating is a more than an occasional annoyance. Research suggests that 10-25% of healthy people experience frequent, uncomfortable and, in some cases, painful bloating and it’s more common in women than men.
Pin-pointing your exact triggers and knowing how to resolve the problem can prove complex. First, be clear about your symptoms if you are experiencing bloating youll be feeling pressure in the abdomen with or without any sizeable change in your tummy or waistline. Some sufferers experience symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, indigestion or even premenstrual syndrome. Be clear what your symptoms are and be aware of how frequently you experience them keeping a symptom diary can be invaluable.
Lay Off The Carbohydrates
In addition to being delicious, carbs are not the enemy. They’re your body’s go-to fuel source, so you need them, period. But in order to create glycogen, a form of energy that’s stored in your muscles and liver, carbohydrate molecules bind with water like it’s their job, says Langer. The more carbs you eat, the more water you hang onto, and the more bloated you feel. “This is still a bad reason to completely remove carbs from your diet,” says Langer. “But if you want to de-bloat, you can cut down on carbohydrates for a day or so and make the basis of your diet greens and lean proteins.”
Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Fat Rolls On Stomach
Pay Attention To Your Fiber Intake
Fiber is key for staying healthy. It keeps your digestive system chugging along smoothly and helps you feel satiated for longer, which is a plus if weight loss is what you’re after. The issue is when you go from eating very little fiber to taking in way too much, like when you’ve decided to overhaul your eating habits in an effort to get healthy. “Overdoing the fiber when you’re not used to it can make you really bloated,” says Langer. Too much fiber can be tough to digest and create gas, both of which might puff you up. Langer recommends aiming for between 20 and 25 grams of fiber per day and drinking a lot of water along with any fibrous food to help your body digest it more easily.
How To Prevent Bloating
Typically, the first line of treatment for preventing gas and bloating is changing your diet. Research has shown that a low fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols diet can reduce the symptoms of gas and IBS. A low FODMAP diet avoids fermentable, gas-producing food ingredients, such as:
- Oligosaccharides, which are found in wheat, onions, garlic, legumes and beans
- Disaccharides, such as lactose in milk, yogurt and ice cream
- Monosaccharides, including fructose , apples and pears
- Polyols or sugar alcohols found in foods such as apricots, nectarines, plums and cauliflower, as well as many chewing gums and candies
In people sensitive to FODMAP-rich foods, the small intestine doesn’t always fully absorb these carbohydrates, and instead passes them to the colon, where they are fermented by bacteria and produce gas. To see if some of the FODMAP foods are causing your gas and bloating you can start by cutting out FODMAP foods and then slowly bringing them back into your diet one at a time to pinpoint any foods that are causing the problems.
In the long run, the key to preventing bloating is understanding its cause. If mild constipation is the problem, a fiber-rich diet, water and exercise may help, but these steps wont always work for chronic constipation. Chronic constipation and other conditions, such as IBS or gastroparesis, require medical treatment, so its important to talk to your doctor about your bloating symptoms.
Don’t Miss: What To Do When Your Stomach Is Bloated