What Causes Bloating In The Stomach
Gas is a natural byproduct of digestion, but too much intestinal gas means your digestion is gone awry. While you can ingest gasses by swallowing air or drinking carbonated beverages, these gasses mostly escape through belching before they reach your intestines. Gasses in your intestines are mostly produced by gut bacteria digesting carbohydrates, in a process called fermentation.
If theres too much fermentation going on, its because too many carbohydrates werent naturally absorbed earlier in the digestive process, before reaching those gut bacteria. That could be for several reasons. Maybe you just ate too much too fast for proper digestion. Or you might have a specific food intolerance or gastrointestinal disease. Some possible causes include:
These can include solids, liquids, and gas. Digestive contents can build up in your digestive system when there is a backup or restriction in your digestive tract or when the muscles that move digestive contents along are somehow impaired. Any build-up of digestive contents along the digestive tract will leave less room for normal amounts of gas to process through. It also leaves less room for other things in your abdomen, including circulatory fluids and fat, making everything feel tighter. Causes of build-up can include:
Bloated Stomach After Eating Anything
If you experience stomach bloating after eating or drinking anything, even after eating very little or only a small meal, you may want to look into the following common conditions known to cause bloating:
Trying to manage bloating without identifying the causes of the bloating can be very frustrating. Whatever you do, you get bloated stomach after eating, even when drinking or eating very little. This is also very common, , yet often overlooked.
Dont Have Dinner Late
Eating too late at night can make you feel bloated. And no one likes to go to bed on a full stomach. Not to mention the strain on your digestive system! And it can lead to weight gain.
Thats one thing I like about Intermittent Fastingwith my 4 to 5-hour window of eating from 11:30 am to 4 pm ish, theres no late-night eating for me. Learn all about Intermittent Fasting here.
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What Does Inflammation Have To Do With Bloating
Inflammation has a LOT to do with bloating. So much, in fact, that Ive dedicated a video to the topic, which you can watch here.
Ive also written several posts about inflammation because it really can wreak havoc on your health.
- Take a look at 18 Top Anti-Inflammatory Foods to see some of the foods best for helping to reduce inflammation and bloat.
- On the other end of the coin, youll find 10 Foods that Cause Inflammation. Find out what to avoid and why.
- If you need help with all of this, start off on the right foot with my 5-Day Anti-Inflammatory Diet Meal Plan.
I hope you find some of this information helping! If you are struggling with the discomforts of bloating, relook at the 10 simple tips Ive outlined above and try them out. Even bit by bit is fine.
The more steps you take, the better youll feel. Guaranteed!
This post contains affiliate links to products I use regularly and highly recommend.
Your Health Questions Answered
- Answered by: Healthily’s medical teamAnswered: 09/09/2021
If you have a swollen stomach and have put on weight, the 2 could be connected or not. If youve been exercising less than normal or your diet has changed, this may have caused you to put on weight and become constipated, which may be making your stomach look swollen. Another cause could be pregnancy. But if your stomach is swollen, it could also be that your bodys holding on to too much water and youve got a build-up of fluid in your tummy, which can also make it look like youve gained weight. It can be a serious problem, so see a doctor if youve got a swollen stomach and have gained weight.
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Bad Eating Habits = Bloating
Its no surprise that bad eating habits can contribute to bloating. Overeating or eating too quickly can cause that stuffed feeling because your digestive system slows down, trying to process a large or fast intake of food. When you talk while eating, drink through a straw or chew gum, you swallow air that can go into your digestive system, causing bloating.
Processed foods, such as hotdogs and chips, also can create bloating. Many processed foods are high in sodium, which makes your body retain water and can cause your stomach to feel bloated. Sugary foods and snacks break down in your body and can make you gassy.
Even what you drink can upset your stomach. Carbonated beverages like beer and soda contain bubbles with carbon dioxide, a gas that releases into your stomach.
How Is Bloating Treated
Bloating will usually go away by itself if you adjust your diet for a while. Cut down on salty foods, carbohydrates and fizzy drinks. For some people, it can help to avoid foods that contain onion or garlic, wheat, rye, lactose products or stone fruit.
Bloating caused by constipation can be treated by eating more high-fibre foods, increasing the amount of water that you drink, and exercising regularly. Some people may need laxatives to treat constipation.
If you have a medical condition such as coeliac disease, you will need to follow a strict diet to prevent bloating and other symptoms. If you have IBS, following a high-fibre diet and the low FODMAP diet may help. This involves cutting out some dairy products, wheat and other grains, and some fruits and vegetables. Talk to a health professional such as your doctor or a dietitian before starting this diet to make sure it is right for you.
If you have a food intolerance, you may need to try an elimination diet to find out which food or foods are causing your problems. Your doctor or dietitian will advise you.
Some people find that probiotics containing lactobacillus and bifidobacterium can help with bloating by reducing the production of gas in the gut.
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Eat The Right Amount Of Fibre
Sometimes a low fibre diet is prescribed to people who suffer with bloating because of bowel problems.
Foods like lentils, beans, broccoli, asparagus, corn, wheat, potatoes, artificial sweeteners or too much fibre can cause bloating, says Mr Chophada. Keeping a food diary to see if any specific foods trigger your symptoms and trying an elimination diet can help.
Your gut bugs have a bit of a party when you feed them fibre, which can shake things up while your gut adjusts. So you might find yourself a little bloated or windy, adds The Gut Stuff team. Try to increase your fibre intake by 5g per day per week over a few weeks to reduce the risk of bloating, advises the team.
If you love bread, here are some breads that may not make you bloat.
Get Relief From Bloating
The most obvious way to reduce bloating is to avoid any foods that are your gassy triggers. Some foods that are high in certain carbs such as garlic, onions and other vegetables arent easy for the body to absorb and can bring on bloating. A low FODMAP diet is often recommended for anyone with irritable bowel syndrome because those foods dont cause as much gas. Foods in a low FODMAP diet include:
- Fruits such as bananas, cantaloupe, oranges and grapes
- Grains such as quinoa and rice
- Lactose-free dairy products
When you eat, consume smaller meals and allow your body time to digest. Drink plenty of water to help your digestive system run smoothly. If high fiber foods make you bloated or constipated, staying hydrated can help soften bowel movements, making them easier to pass.
Activity also can calm that bloated feeling. Although exercise may not sound appealing when you feel bloated, mild physical activity can stimulate the digestive system. Gentle yoga movements that relax the abdomen can help relieve belly swelling, too.
To combat occasional gassiness, try over-the-counter antacids.
If these DIY remedies dont help, talk with your doctor. Although rare, chronic pain and lethargy could be symptoms of inflammation or other conditions.
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Rule Out Medical Conditions
In some cases, bloating may result from a medical condition. To get rid of this bloating, a person may need help from a doctor to diagnose and manage their condition.
Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis, may cause people to experience bloating. Irritable bowel syndrome , can also cause this symptom.
People with these symptoms should discuss them with a doctor, who will also want to know about any relevant family medical history and other medical conditions. The doctor may order diagnostic tests to look for any problems. These may include an X-ray, ultrasound, colonoscopy, or blood tests.
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.
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Abdominal Bloating And Pain Treatments
Treatments for abdominal bloating and pain will address the underlying condition.
Examples may include antibiotics for infections. If an intestinal obstruction is the cause, your doctor may encourage bowel rest by decreasing oral intake.
If theres a deficiency moving contents within the GI tract, your doctor may prescribe medications to encourage intestinal movement. Surgery may be necessary in severe instances.
Slow Down And Reduce Stress:
Eating too quickly is another cause of low stomach acid levels and bloating. Food that is consumed without proper chewing aggravates the digestive process. In circumstances of low stomach acid, the gallbladder and other organs cannot secrete adequate enzymes to metabolize food in the small intestines. This can further result in the accumulation of bacteria in the small intestine that have been introduced with food and have not been broken down from acid.
Similarly, stress depletes stomach acid. When a perceived threat is detected, the body innately is designed to shut down non-essential processes to conserve energy. Remaining in a state of chronic stress, especially during and after a meal, can indirectly shut down digestion.
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Bloated Stomach After Eating
Feeling bloated after eating is very common, although the causes of bloated stomach after eating may be completely different and as such the treatment you may need. The first question to ask yourself in order to effectively stop bloating after eating, is whether everytime you eat you feel bloated and uncomfortable, or if you only experience bloated stomach after eating certain foods, meals or in certain scenarios that involve problematic eating habits The latter is very common . Eating fast, eating when you are stressed or while at work, eating while drinking, emotional eating or eating too much are common causes of bloated stomach after eating. Even if you eat healthy foods.
How Do I Get Rid Of Bloating Fast
For quick results, grab a water bottle and hit the streets for a mini-workout. Walking helps get your stomach contents moving and water does, too.
Stay clear of carbonated water and drinks, though, as the bubbles sometimes add air to the stomachand you dont want that.
Remember that getting rid of bloat fast isnt always super simple and its not always a quick fix. But if you are feeling full and tight in the abdominal area, the best thing to do is to get moving!
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Middle Of The Abdomen
The upper middle part of the abdomen contains the liver, the cardiac region of the stomach, part of the body of the stomach, the pyloric region of the stomach, and the pancreas.
The liver filters blood and creates bile, which is a substance that helps in the breakdown and absorption of fat in the foods you eat.
The cardiac region of the stomach is where food enters from the esophagus.
The pyloric region of the stomach is the last part of the stomach before food enters into the duodenum of the small intestine.
The pancreas is a large glandular organ that releases digestive enzymes and hormones.
The lower middle part of the abdomen contains the urinary bladder, rectum, and anus.
The urinary bladder is the organ that collects urine for excretion out of the body through the urethra.
The rectum goes into the anus, the final section of the large intestine that carries stool for excretion from the body.
Make Water Your Number One Drink
Flush toxins, decrease your histamine response, and prevent bloating by drinking lots of water. Sure, green tea is good for you and coffee has benefits, too, but to reduce bloating fast, stick to water for the day. If you are really craving tea, make ginger tea.
*Ginger is good for your digestion and is an anti-inflammatory food.
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Regular Foods And Bloating
Regular consumption of foods that are prone to irritating your gut can cause bloating. The digestive tract is very sensitive and not the same for everyone. It is to be kept in mind that what is good for you can not be good enough for others. Your tolerance level, allergies may not be the same as others.
But in general certain foods are considered to inflame bloating. Like
A few behavioral patterns also initiate bloating. Some of them are:
- Drinking less amount of water
- Not chewing food properly
- Keeping food in mouth for a long time
- Increase fiber intake in a short period of time
Avoid Rapid Weight Gain
Rapid weight gain is linked to bloating for several reasons.
First, a buildup of fat in your stomach area may constrain your bowels, increasing tension and contributing to bloating. Additionally, fat may have inflammatory effects, contributing to hypersensitivity in your gut .
Finally, unwanted weight gain may cause you to focus attention on your stomach area, which may increase your perception of bloating .
If you have overweight or obesity and are experiencing bloating, trying some healthy strategies for weight loss such as exercise and limiting portion sizes may be beneficial.
Rapid weight gain may contribute to bloating by increasing bowel tension, inflammation, and mental focus on your stomach area. Conversely, weight loss may help reduce these effects.
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Swallowing Too Much Air
Most people think of taking in air when they inhale, but it can also be done a number of other ways. Common daily habitssuch as drinking from a straw, chewing gum and eating too quicklyare ways to add air into your digestive tract instead of your respiratory system.
When you swallow too much air you can start to feel bloated, Hoffman said. If its becoming a problem, start cutting out gum and straws and see if that helps eases your symptoms.
Remedies And Treatments For Bloating
Once a cause of bloating is established, the symptom can be treated. Depending on your doctorâs findings, he or she may suggest one of the following remedies for bloating:
Eating too quickly causes you to swallow more air, which can lead to gas and bloating. Eating slowly can help reduce bloating. Additionally, slowing your eating can make you feel full, faster, helping you avoid overeating, which can lead to bloating.
Changing Your Diet
If you notice a trend in certain foods causing you to bloat, try reducing or eliminating those foods from your diet. Foods that commonly cause bloating are wheat, beans, lentils, garlic, onions, and asparagus. Milk and dairy foods can also cause bloating, as some people have a hard time digesting a sugar they contain called lactose.
Researchers have found that certain antidepressants can affect the way your body reacts to gas, keeping it from overreacting to its presence.
Eating too much fiber is one of the most common reasons for bloating. Fiber is an essential part of a healthy diet, but it can cause a lot of gas in your digestive system because your body cannot digest it. The key with fiber is to eat it in moderation. Foods high in fiber include beans, lentils, broccoli, whole wheat, apples, berries, and quinoa.
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How Can Bloating Be Prevented
To deal with bloating, you may consider discussing your diet and eating habits with your doctor or a registered dietitian. If you can identify the food or eating behavior that causes belly bloat, you can effectively prevent future bloating. To help prevent bloating:
- Avoid eating super large meals in one sitting.
- Eat slowly while seated.
- Avoid foods that tend to make you gassy.
- Be mindful of how much fiber you eat.
- Avoid bubbly beverages.
Wheres Your Abdominal Bloating And Pain
Pain in different areas of the abdomen can mean different things.
Abdominal pain can be anywhere between the chest and the pelvis. People often call it a stomachache. The pain can also be:
Causes of abdominal bloating and pain can vary from mild to severe. Most of the time, abdominal bloating and pain occur due to:
This kind of bloating or pain is usually normal and will go away within two hours.
In cases of the stomach flu, you may feel intense pain or bloating that comes and goes before each episode of vomiting or diarrhea. Stomach viruses usually go away with rest and home care.
This guide lists the organs associated with different locations of abdominal bloating or pain:
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