Causes Of Feeling Bloated After Eating Only A Small Meal
The most common cause of feeling bloated after eating a small meal is consuming foods or drinks that can cause bloating, such as carbonated drinks, lentils, and beans. However, if you experience bloating regularly, and regardless of what food types you eat, there could be another underlying cause. There are several potential disorders which can cause bloating or fullness, but it is important not to self-diagnose, and you must visit your health professional for further investigation.
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:
Using Milk Alternatives With Carrageenan In It
Well, heres something you may not know. Many people switch from dairy milk because of lactose intolerance, but they choose soy milk or other alternative varieties with carrageenan. What is carrageenan? Well, its a thickening agent that can cause you to bloat and have digestion issues.
There are many alternatives to dairy products on the market these days, and most of these products are good. However, you need to make sure you read the labels as you may be sensitive to carrageenan.
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Why You Experience Bloating After Eating
As mentioned, you usually do not need to worry about feeling bloated after a meal, but if it happens quite often, you may need to dig deeper into the details to identify the underlying cause. Here are some of the most common reasons:
1. Food Intolerance
How people react to certain food is quite fascinating. Some people can eat anything without noticing any problem, while others are more sensitive to certain food and end up feeling bloated. If you experience this on a regular basis, this could be because you are intolerant to certain types of food. Yeast, gluten, milk, and fructose can all cause stomach bloating in some people.
One obvious reason of dealing with bloating after eating is to eat too much. Overeating will most often result in flatulence and bloating. This happens because your digestive system fails to break down the food when there is too much of it. The best solution is to eat smaller meals more often throughout the day.
3. Lack of Digestive Enzymes
4. Eating Fatty Food
If your diet includes too much of fatty food, you are surely going to deal with bloating after eating. Your body takes a lot longer to process high-fat meals. Fat moves slowly through your digestive tract and increases the chances of you feeling bloated. You should consider eating leaner food, such as grains and produce.
5. Eat Too Fast
6. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
7. Coeliac Disease
Check For Lactose Intolerance
Lactose is a sugar found in milk.
Your body needs an enzyme called lactase to break down lactose. However, most people dont produce enough of this enzyme to break down lactose once they reach adulthood. The resulting condition is called lactose intolerance (
- Increasing your fiber intake. Aim for 1830 grams per day of both soluble and insoluble fiber from whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
- Drinking adequate fluids. Drink 68.5 cups per day of water and other fluids.
- Exercising regularly. Walking, jogging, swimming, or bicycling for about 30 minutes each day may help keep your bowels moving regularly.
Keep in mind that you may need to increase your soluble fiber intake with caution, as this type of fiber is fermented in your colon and may contribute to bloated feelings .
Additionally, adding fiber to your diet too rapidly may worsen constipation, so its important to increase your intake slowly. Aim for an intake of 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men .
While constipation may be relieved with medication, certain types like bulk and osmotic laxatives may make bloating worse, so talk with your doctor about your symptoms to determine whats best for you .
Constipation may cause or exacerbate symptoms of bloating. Increased fiber and fluid intake, as well as physical activity, are effective natural treatments.
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Having An Undiagnosed Condition
There are a few conditions that can cause bloating. Heart and liver disease and venous insufficiency can cause excess fluid in the abdomen or limbs. These conditions come with more prominent and tell-tale symptoms, and your health care provider can help you identify them and other illnesses that can cause bloating.
Chronic conditions can cause swelling and bloating in certain areas, Hoffman said. If you have a history or concern of these conditions, then its best to talk with your primary care provider.
Other gastrointestinal conditions can also cause bloating and stomach ailments. Conditions such as ulcerative colitis, Crohns disease and irritable bowel syndrome can all cause bloating. Acid reflux, and the medications to treat it, can cause bloating and a feeling of increased gas in the abdomen, leading to belching.
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Food Allergies And Intolerances
Researchers estimate that 15 million people in the U.S. are living with a food allergy. In total, 1 in 5 Americans face food allergies or intolerances. When you eat something youre either allergic to or have an intolerance to, your body releases histamines, compounds that help tame allergy symptoms. The higher concentration of histamines causes your digestive system to produce more gastric acid and increase smooth muscle contractions, and these changes can equal some uncomfortable symptoms, including indigestion and bloating.
How to Prevent It: The only real way to know if you have a food allergy or intolerance is to talk with your doctor. They may order a series of tests to check for allergies or signs of sensitivity to specific foods. These issues cannot be self diagnosed, and you may end up eliminating foods that are healthy and entirely safe for you to eat if you try. Keep a food diary if you suspect food is your bloating culprit. A food diary will help you and your doctor eliminate possible problem foods and identify a list of troublesome options quickly.
It might seem hard to narrow down the culprit, but the more information you can gather about your reactions to different foods and circumstances, the better idea youll have as to what triggers your symptoms, says Josh Axe, D.N.M., C.N.S., D.C., founder of Ancient Nutrition.
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Noisy Abdomen / Rumbling
A noisy gut does not always mean youre hungry. There may be other reasons why your stomach is churning and gurgling. The digestive system causes belly noises, known as borborygmi when fluids or air moves around your small and large intestines.
Borborygmi Definition: The term for the gurgling or rumbling noises made by the movement of gas and fluids in the intestines. During the process called peristalsis, the small intestine and stomach muscles contract and move contents forward in your gastrointestinal tract. These gas noises in stomach can occur both when the stomach is empty and when its full.
Peristalsis Definition: A series of wave-like contraction and relaxation of stomach muscles. Two hours after the stomach contents are emptied, the brain signals the digestive muscles to begin peristalsis again. The belly noises and contractions of an empty stomach can make you hungry. A noisy gut may be louder in this case because the intestines and stomach are empty the stomach noises and pain are not muffled. Take note that you may swallow a lot of air because of eating too fast or talking while eating. This can lead you to have louder stomach rumbles after eating.
Bloating: Causes And Prevention Tips
How often do you hear yourself or friends complain about bloating? We often just say we’re 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 of women.
Here are some common causes of bloating and tips on preventing this uncomfortable condition.
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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.
Ways To Avoid Bloating After Eating
Once you know the reasons behind bloating,you can take steps to deal with it. Here is what you can do to keep bloating at bay.
1. Avoid Carbonated Drinks
You should avoid carbonated drinks or at least limit their intake. Drink more of these drinks and carbon dioxide will build up in your system. This will lead to bloating. The best thing is to stick with plain water or add a slice of lemon to make it taste better.
2. Eat Slowly
Do not eat too fast because this makes you swallow air that leads to bloating after eating. Take more time to eat this keeps you from swallowing air and also helps reduce your overall food intake.
3. Take a Walk
Go for a walk after you eat your meal. Even a short walk after a meal can work wonders in reducing the gas buildup that usually leads to bloating. Besides, walking will also benefit your overall health.
4. Mind the Food You Eat
What’s more, several difficult-to-digest, bloat-inducing foods can make things extremely difficult when you are already having a hard time dealing with bloating after eating.
5. Try a Supplement
You can find gas-busting or anti-gas supplements such as a-galactosidase tablets to avoid dealing with gas after eating certain foods. These pills not just help relieve bloating, but they also prove effective against flatulence and belching. You need to take most of these supplements before every meal, but talk to your doctor about how often you should take it.
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Why Healthy Eating May Cause Stomach Issues
The irony is that when you decide to clean up your diet and commit to whole foods and lots of vegetables, you expect to feel better than ever, but you dont. Suddenly youre bloated or full or have diarrhea or are nauseated. Its helpful to know this is a transition phase where your digestive system is adjusting to new foods, according to dietitian Tamara Duker Freuman, RD, author of The Bloated Belly Whisperer..
When people start eating healthier, which usually means more vegetables and possibly swapping refined grains for whole grains, they sometimes find theyre getting stomach upset, she says. That might include bloating, feeling overfull, even nausea in some cases.
This is a short-term effect, so, fortunately, you dont need to ditch your healthy strategies, she says. But there are ways to make the transition go smoother. Here are some potential causes and how to adjust.
Stomach Bloating After Eating: Causes And Treatment
Written byBel Marra HealthPublished onFebruary 23, 2018
Bloating can be a huge painliterally. Bloating is characterized by inflation of the stomach, often after eating. Stomach bloating can often occur after eating certain foods. It may be accompanied by pain, cramping, flatulence, and belching. At times, bloating can be caused by underlying medical conditions and can be experienced by women during menstruation, but more often, bloating is a result of dietary choices. Bloating is usually temporary and will subside on its own in time.
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The Story Behind Bloating And Gas
- Bloating happens when air or gas gets trapped in your gut
- It can be caused by taking in air when you eat and drink, or from gas produced by your gut microbes
- Gas and bloating after eating can be triggered by certain foods, as well as some health conditions
- Simple changes to how and what you eat can help cut down on bloating and gas
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 may 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.
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What Causes Bloating And Gas After Eating
Bloating is a term thatâs often used to describe a feeling of uncomfortable fullness, having a tight, swollen belly, and feeling gassy after eating. Bloating happens when large amounts of air or gas get trapped in your gut.
So, what causes bloating?
Eating is a common cause of bloating because our bodies produce gas as they digest food.
We can also end up swallowing air when we eat, which gets trapped in our digestive system. The fizzy gas in carbonated drinks and beer can also make you feel bloated, although it often comes out through burping rather than from the other end of your digestive system.
The gas lower down the gut mainly comes from the trillions of microbes that make up your gut microbiome. As our gut microbes break down components in our food, they release lots of different molecules, called metabolites, as well as gases that we usually get rid of by farting.
Several factors affect how much gas brews up in the gut. The most obvious is what youâve eaten, as well as the types and numbers of different microbes living in the gut. Another is the length of time food takes to travel through your gut, known as transit time.
This gut gas is mostly made up of nitrogen, hydrogen, methane, and carbon dioxide, which donât smell. The classic fart stink comes from the tiny amounts of strong-smelling hydrogen sulfide and other sulfur-containing compounds that are also in there.
How To Relieve Bloating After Eating
The best way to relieve bloating is to prevent its occurrence. As dietary triggers are often the cause of bloating, knowing which triggers you are most sensitive to is vital to avoid bloating. Keeping an eye on your intake of fiber, salt, and carbonated beverages can also play a big part in preventing stomach bloating. Also, make sure you are not consuming a high-fat diet, as fatty foods are a major culprit in stomach bloating after eating. There also may be a difference between trans fats, saturated fats, and unsaturated fats for your digestion as well, so try and keep track of which ones make you feel the worst.
Although it is a dairy product, eating yogurt can help to fill your stomach with healthy bacteria in the form of probiotics, which boost digestion and gut health. When eating, try not to drink too many liquids. Beverages dilute stomach acids and cause the digestion process to become prolonged. Wait until after eating to finish your drink. Finally, take your time and eat slowly while sitting up straight. Allowing your digestive tract time to begin the digestive process will help to decrease the risk of bloating after eating.
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Fizzy Drinks Expand Your Waistline
If you experience stomach bloating after eating very little, maybe its what you drink rather than what you eat. Fizzy or carbonated drinks cause carbon dioxide to build up in the body, inflating your stomach, resulting in gas immediately after eating.
The best drink to combat this is water. Just still water, not sparkling though. If, like many others, youre not keen on the taste, try adding a little flavour like a slice of lemon or lime. These not only enhance the flavour of water, but wont expand your tummy either.
How To Improve Your Gut Health
Finding the foods that work best for your unique body and your community of gut bacteria starts with understanding which bugs are living in your gut right now, and which foods will help them thrive.
Our gut microbiome test is the most advanced available on the market, using a deep level of sequencing to identify the microbes in your gut. Weâll tell you which bugs youâre hosting, together with an in-depth understanding of how your body responds to foods so you can take back control of your health and weight for good.
Want to learn more about your unique microbiome and discover your responses to food? Join the ZOE Program today and start your journey towards a healthier gut.
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