Why Is My Stomach Bloated
The most common cause of stomach pain and bloating is excess intestinal gas. If you get a bloated stomach after eating, it can be a digestive issue. It might be as simple as eating too much too fast, or you could have a food intolerance or other condition that causes gas and digestive contents to build up. Your menstrual cycle is another common cause of temporary bloating. Sometimes a bloated stomach can indicate a more serious medical condition.
What Is Bloating Again
Bloating is a feeling of tightness, pressure or fullness in your stomach, according to the Cleveland Clinic. It can also come with a swollen stomach, but it doesn’t in all cases, Farhadi says.
There’s a range with bloating: It can feel anywhere from mildly uncomfortable to incredibly painful, and it can be a recurrent issue for some people, notes Farhadi.
What Are The Most Common Causes Of A Bloated Stomach
There are a wide range of things that can cause a bloated stomach, and some are simple to solve and others are potentially dangerous if not treated. Potential causes of a bloated stomach include eating too much or too fast, an inability to digest food correctly, lactose intolerance and a liver that isnt functioning correctly. Some people may also suffer from aerophagy where too much air is taken into the stomach. Conditions that can cause a bloated stomach include irritable bowel syndrome and Crohns disease.
The most common cause of a bloated stomach is eating too much in one sitting. In most cases, bloating is caused when the body cant digest the food in the stomach quick enough. When a person eats too much in one sitting, then the body may not be able to cope with this amount of food and a feeling of bloating occurs. Although this is usually not a problem that can cause serious complications, it is important that someone suffering from long-term bloating problems seeks professional help.
Lactose intolerance is a condition that can also cause bloating. This condition occurs when the body isnt able to correctly digest lactose and can have a range of symptoms that vary in severity. Fructose intolerance is a similar condition that can also cause bloating.
Recommended Reading: What Antibiotics Are Used For Stomach Ulcers
When To Seek Help
According to the NHS, if you recognise one or more of the symptoms of bowel cancer or if your bloating symptoms persist, consult your GP to rule out a more serious condition.
In most cases, however, simple lifestyle adjustments should help to alleviate your bloating.
If you get constipation, for example, take steps to prevent it by adding more fibre to your diet, drinking lots of fluids and exercising regularly, advises the NHS.
Even a 20 to 30 minute brisk walk four times a week can improve your bowel function, explains the health body.
It is also worth keeping a food diary as this can help to determine whether your bloating is caused by a food intolerance.
The best approach if you have a food intolerance is to eat less of the problem food or cut it out completely, adds the NHS.
Bacteria In Your Large Intestine
Your large intestine contains a large number of bacteria and some fungi and viruses that make up the gut microbiomethe microbes in your digestive tract that help with digestion. Bacteria in the large intestine help break down carbohydrates and create gas in the process.
Certain foods and drinks contain types of carbohydratessugars, starches, and fiberthat your stomach and small intestine dont fully digest. Undigested carbohydrates will pass to your large intestine, where bacteria break them down and create gas. You may have more gas symptoms if you consume more carbohydrates that your stomach and small intestine dont fully digest.
Recommended Reading: How To Relieve Stomach Acid In Throat
Is Your Bloated Belly A Sign Of Something Else
Tummy bloating is usually a harmless annoyance we experience from time to time. And the good news is, its usually short-lived.
For example, if its caused by your guts intolerance for gluten, removing wheat from your meals can often put a stop to bloating and gas after eating.
If your stomach is always bloated or its accompanied with other symptoms, its worth seeking guidance from your GP.
Foods That Cause A Bloated Belly
You May Like: Can Hpv Cause Stomach Pain
Eating More Calories Than Usual
Lets face it. When youre off your schedule, sometimes the most interesting thing you can do is bake. But consuming excess calories especially those found in cookies, cakes and bread can pack on the pounds and cause your belly to bloat.
If cooking is your jam while sheltering in place, reserve high-calorie recipes for special occasions, or cut it back to one meal a week.
Coeliac Disease And Bloating
Coeliac disease is a common digestive condition where your intestine cannot absorb gluten found in wheat, barley and rye.
If you have Coeliac disease, eating foods containing gluten can also trigger diarrhoea, abdominal pain and fatigue.
See your GP if you suspect you may have Coeliac disease.
There is no cure for Coeliac disease but, once the condition has been diagnosed, switching to a gluten-free diet should help.
Find out more about Coeliac disease.
Also Check: What Would Cause Stomach Cramps
When Is It Serious
Most of the time, you can manage bloating on your own. But if you also feel weak or lose your appetite, or have diarrhea, weight loss, fever, belly pain, or blood in your stool, talk to your doctor. To find out whatâs going on, they may take a stool sample or an X-ray of your small intestine, or test you for lactose intolerance or celiac disease.
When Should I Be Worried About Abdominal Bloating
See your healthcare provider if your bloated stomach:
- Gets progressively worse.
- Persists for more than a week.
- Is persistently painful.
- Comes with symptoms of illness, such as fever, vomiting or bleeding.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
A bloated stomach is not a pleasant feeling. While its a common experience and usually temporary, you may become weary of the cycle. Spending a little focused attention on the problem to identify the cause can be well worthwhile. Try recording your symptoms and possible triggers in a journal. Note diet, hormonal and stress factors. When in doubt bring your notes to a specialist for professional guidance. The different factors that contribute to bloating can be complex and difficult to parse, but medical testing can help. As always, seek medical attention if your symptoms are persistent or severe.
Don’t Miss: How To Treat Stomach Pain In Child
Causes Of Bloated Stomach
There are many different causes of bloated stomach, some of which occur simultaneously. The main causes of a bloated stomach to watch out for are:
- Cruciferous vegetables: Certain cruciferous vegetables contain a complex sugar called raffinose which causes excess gas during digestion and triggers a bloated stomach. Popular cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cabbage, sprouts and cauliflower. These foods are nutritious so dont avoid them completely, just cut down on portion sizes and make sure they are well cooked – the body has a harder time digesting raw or undercooked vegetables.
- Eating too much or too quickly: Overeating causes the stomach to expand quickly to allow for the increased volume of food. Eating too quickly or chewing gum can increase the amount of air that is swallowed which also triggers bloating.
- Too much or not enough fibre: The digestive system needs fibre to function properly and a lack of fibre can lead to constipation, which results in bloating and a rock solid belly. If you are suffering from constipation, increase your dietary fibre gradually. Its important to do this gradually as adding too much fibre to the diet too quickly can result in excess trapped gas and make bloating worse.
- PMS: In the days leading up to menstruation, many women experience uncomfortable bloating and abdominal pain. This is due to hormonal fluctuations that cause water retention.
Causes Of Serious Bloating You Dont Want To Ignore
Bloating everyones had the feeling once before, especially all those pasta lovers out there.
Bloating is a common side effect of eating too many bloating foods like carbohydrates or downing your oh so good fizzy drinks.
But what about if youre experiencing chronic bloating where you get so bloated you look pregnant?
Perhaps youve ruled out pregnancy, cut back on the bloating food and drinks, but still feel as though you have a bowling ball in your stomach.
Usually are not too worrisome, but if your persistent bloating is accompanied by other symptoms this just might be the canary in the coal mine.
Persistent bloating along with other symptoms such as severe abdominal pain, fever, or blood in your stool might be a sign of a more serious health issue than just bloating from a bad meal.
Health issues such as cancer, liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and other conditions can cause severe bloating.
So differentiating between a simple case of bloating and severe bloating is important.
Causes For Stomach Bloating
Stomach Bloating can be a troublesome issue to deal with. And though there are several ways you can treat the issue, understanding the causes for the same can help you deal with it better. Accordingly, here are some of the more common causes for stomach bloating in women.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS is one of the most common causes for bloating in individuals. And sadly, most of the time it gets mistaken for either indigestion or gas. More prominent in women, IBS can cause bloating in addition to causing other conditions like abdominal pain, extreme discomfort, gas and irregular bowel movements etc.
Eating Fatty Foods
Fatty foods do much more than just adding fat cells to your body. Accordingly, fatty foods can prolong digestion and just stay in the stomach for long periods without moving out. This can then cause severe bloating.
Drinking Less Water
In addition to ridding your body off impurities and other toxins, water helps to regulate digestion and takes care of gastrointestinal disorders as well. So if you are not drinking enough water on a daily basis, you may experience indigestion problems and severe bloating as a result of the same.
Increased Intake Of Dairy Products
Eating Foods That Are Reheated
Can My Thyroid Cause Stomach Pain And Bloating
Christel started working with me because she experienced bloating, stomach pain and acid reflux. During the intake she shared that her GP told her recently that thyroid was on the borderline of working too slow. Can my thyroid cause stomach pain and bloating? she wondered. Yes it can and its actually very likely that it does.
Your thyroid is responsible for providing energy to nearly every organ in your body. It controls functions such as how your heart beats and how well your digestive system works. Without the right amount of thyroid hormones, your bodys natural functions begin to slow down.
Don’t Miss: What To Take For Sick Stomach
Bloating: Causes And Prevention Tips
How often do you hear yourself or friends complain about bloating? We often just say were bloated when we feel full, but for many women, the problem relates to a chronic underlying condition. If you feel bloated often, you may have a condition like irritable bowel syndrome , which affects up to 24 percent of women.
Linda Lee, M.D., explains common causes of bloating and what you can do to prevent this uncomfortable condition.
What Causes Excess Gas
Many people who feel as though they have excess gas may have increased levels or just an increased sensitivity to it in the gastrointestinal tract. Passing gas, bloating, burping, and belly pain and discomfort are common sensations in those who feel like they have excess gas. These symptoms may be due to a variety of conditions. Health problems including small intestinal bacterial overgrowth , gastroesophageal reflux disease , irritable bowel syndrome , and difficulty digesting certain types of carbohydrates may all contribute to gas build up. Other conditions like abdominal hernias, masses in the GI tract, abdominal adhesions, and dumping syndrome can affect the way gas moves through the intestines.
Don’t Miss: How To Remove Stomach Pain
Medications And Other Therapies
Some medications and other treatments have been found to help ease the symptoms of bloating and distension. Your doctor may talk to you about some of these options, depending on your symptoms and other health related considerations.
Antispasmodics: These can relax the muscles of the bowel and provide relief. Examples include dicyclomine and hyoscyamine in the United States and otilonium bromide or pinaverium bromide available in Latin America and some countries in Europe and Asia and a combination of pinaverium bromide with simethicone in some Latin America countries.
Probiotics: These dietary supplements contain live bacteria that help balance out the existing bacteria of the intestines. Some that include a relatively low level of probiotic bacteria are available over the counter or in yogurt varieties. Other options include Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 for individuals with irritable bowel syndrome in general, and Bifidobacterium animalis DN-0173 10 for patients with IBS with constipation .
Rifaximin: This antibiotic is only slightly absorbed and can be used for short periods of time. Usually it is used to lessen bloating in people with IBS whose symptoms do not include constipation, or in those with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.
Other options: Medications that increase fluid content in stools, lubiprostone or linaclotide for example, may also be used.
Things To Tell Your Doctor:
- Is the symptom located in the upper or lower abdomen?Is it in a concentrated area?
- Is your bloating or distension associated with burping?
- Do you experience nausea or vomiting?
- Is the symptom associated with pain in your abdomen?Upper or lower?
- Does the bloating or distension relate to passing gas or a change in your bowel habits ?
- Are your symptoms related to food? Which ones?
- Do they occur right after eating?
- Do your symptoms increase during the day or improve during night hours?
Don’t Miss: How To Lose Stomach Fat Fast Exercises
What Is Abdominal Bloating
Abdominal bloating refers to a sensation of fullness or a sense of abdominal enlargement. It is often due to disturbance in the normal function of the gastrointestinal tract, causing an increase in intestinal gas.Gas in the intestine is a mixture of numerous different components which can be increased by swallowing too much air, excess production, or impaired absorption due to obstruction. Excess gas causes bloating as well as other gas symptoms such as flatulence or burping.If the abdomen is visibly distended in association with bloating, it is more likely that there is an organic, rather than functional, cause of the symptom. Bloating is frequently associated with abdominal pain that may be relieved by passing gas or bowel motions.
What Causes A Bloated Stomach
A bloated stomach is a symptom where the stomach feels tight, swollen, or full. Chronic bloating can cause an individual to have trouble carrying out their everyday responsibilities and tasks. Stomach bloating occurs in all ages, but certain causes are more common in specific age groups. Bloating is often accompanied by stomach rumbling and gurgling, frequent belching, excessive flatulence, cramping, and pain. To another person, the abdomen in an affected individual may appear distended and may feel hard to the touch.
Abdominal bloating can be managed by treating its underlying cause. Treatment may involve diet changes such as limiting the consumption of carbonated drinks, limiting foods that cause gas, using products that are lactose-free, eating at a slower pace, and drinking through a straw. Massages, medications, and probiotics may be needed to help relieve stomach bloating. A bloated stomach can be the result of benign conditions, or it may be a symptom of serious disease.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Unwanted Hair On Stomach
Having A Food Intolerance
Typically, if someone is feels bloated, it is because of their food or water intake, but even if you havent eaten too much, you may have eaten the wrong thing. Certain food intolerances or sensitives to spicy or acidic foods can cause the gastrointestinal tract to have a more difficult time than usual.
An undiagnosed intolerance to foods can cause a lot of bloating, Hoffman said. The body is trying to break down the foods for the body to use, and a lot of gas can be the result of that work.
If you experience a lot of bloating, try keeping a food journal to track what you eat, when you notice bloating and the amount of discomfort you experience.