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Why My Stomach Feels Bloated

Bloating In The Lower Abdomen

Why Does My Stomach Always Feel Bloated?

Lower abdominal bloat is usually unrelated to eating. Patients with this symptom usually also have constipation or difficulty passing a bowel movement.

What it might indicate: These patients often have irritable bowel syndrome or pelvic floor dysfunction: an abnormal contraction/relaxation of the rectum and anal sphincter muscles.

Workup may include a colonoscopy if red flags are present such as rectal bleeding, weight loss, or a family history of colorectal cancer. Another testing for lower abdomen bloat may include x-ray imaging of the rectum and or anorectal manometry .

What Does Bloating Mean

Bloating is that too-full feeling after youve had a big meal, when your stomach feels stretched, swollen and tight. Weve all had a bloated stomach at some point in our lives, but some of us get it more often than others do.

Bloating usually happens when your tummy is filled with gas or air. It may look bigger than it usually does, or it may look exactly the same but feel bigger. It can feel hard to the touch, and sometimes, it may be very sore.

If youre bloated, you may also have other symptoms like tummy pain, farting , burping and tummy rumbling or gurgling.

The most common causes of a bloated tummy include problems with your digestive system like trapped wind, food intolerances and irritable bowel syndrome . But sometimes, bloating may mean you have fibroids in your womb or a build-up of fluid in your tummy .

You can usually treat a bloated tummy at home with self-care, but if youre feeling bloated all the time, you have severe bloating or very painful bloating, its time to see a doctor.

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You Chew Gum Or Suck On Candy

Gum and hard candy keep your mouth occupied, which can help you lose weight or quit smoking. But they too cause you to inadvertently gulp lots of excess air. And as with using a straw and eating too fast, excessive air can lead to belching and bloat. Try giving up the gum and suckers and instead take frequent sips of waterthat will keep your mouth busy too. There’s a bonus to H2O as well: plain water helps keep your GI tract moving, and that gets rid of excess air and water bloating out your system, Alissa Rumsey, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, tells Health.

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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.

Why Do I Feel Bloated When I Havent Eaten

Why is my stomach bloated?

Bloating is the swollen feeling you get after you have eaten. This is because of excess gas production and disturbances of the muscles in the digestive system. The feeling is as if you are full.

People often find this sensation after 3 hours of having a meal. It is possible to feel bloated even when you havent eaten. Occasionally, even with little food in your stomach, you can perceive the over-eating. The stomach every so often can be expanded forward due to excessive gas collection. All in all, it makes you wonder Why do I feel bloated when I havent eaten?

Table of Content

  • 9 FAQs
  • Recommended Reading: How To Lose Your Stomach Pouch

    Hard Stomach During Pregnancy

    Generally, you expect a hard stomach when youre pregnant. Your hard-feeling stomach is caused by the pressure of your uterus growing and putting pressure on your abdomen.

    The hardness of your stomach while pregnant can be more pronounced if you eat a low-fiber diet or drink a lot of carbonated beverages.

    If your experience severe pain along with your hard stomach, you should see your OB-GYN or seek immediate medical attention. Sometimes severe pain in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy is an indicator of miscarriage.

    Although more common in the third trimester, in the second or third trimester of pregnancy, discomfort can come from labor contractions or Braxton-Hicks contractions. Typically Braxton-Hicks contractions pass. If the contractions dont pass and become more persistent, it might be a sign that youre going into labor.

    How Much Bloating Is Normal

    Bloating is one of the most commonly reported gastrointestinal complaints, according to research published in the journal Gastroenterology & Hepatology. But while bloating is common, only a certain amount is considered normal, or healthy.

    If you eat a huge meal and youre a little bit bloated and gassy, thats normal, says , a dietitian and health coach at Parsley Health in New York City. You may also feel unusually full and tight if you scarf your food down quickly, as this may bring excess air into your stomach. But if youre experiencing it with almost anything you eat, and its hard to identify food triggers, that is a red flag, Cohen says. If you have been experiencing bloat and discomfort for a prolonged period and/or youve had lifelong digestive issues, thats when its time to dig deeper for root causes, she adds.

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    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.

    When To See A Healthcare Provider

    Stomach Bloating Causes – Why?

    Bloating is rarely a sign of a serious medical problem.

    If you notice that you become bloated after eating certain foods, bring it up to your doctor you may have a food sensitivity or intolerance.

    It helps to keep and bring in a food journal in which you note what you eat and when bloating occurs, so patterns can be detected. Be sure to note any other symptoms as well.

    Bloating that is long-term and doesn’t respond to changes in eating habits or OTC treatments can sometimes be associated with certain diseases and conditions that warrant a formal diagnosis and treatment plan.

    Besides those already mentioned, like IBS and celiac disease, this includes kidney or heart failureboth of which can cause fluid to accumulate in the abdomen.

    Though you may be able to ignore or learn to live with chronic bloating, it’s still worth bringing it up to your healthcare provider.

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    Diagnosing Abdominal Swelling And Bloating

    Abdominal swelling and bloating have so many causes, and the diagnosis often has to be speedy to ensure immediate treatment for certain serious causessuch as bowel obstruction and appendicitis.

    The first step your healthcare providers will take in assessing your abdominal bloating and swelling is history and physical examination. You will be asked about the duration, pattern, and location, as well as any associated symptoms you are experiencing, and whether anything makes it better or worse.

    Your physical examination includes an assessment of whether you are in distress, your temperature, pulse, blood pressure, and breathing rate.

    Often, abdominal bloating is non-specific in location, and pain can radiate from its source to another area. Your provider will examine you to determine whether you have a specific location of pain or swelling. For example, a sense of bloating in the upper abdominal area could be associated with a peptic ulcer, while swelling in the lower abdomen on one side is more likely to be associated with an ovarian cyst.

    Diagnostic tests can include:

    • Complete blood count : This blood test can detect low red blood cells, a sign of bleeding, or high white blood cells, a sign of infection or cancer.
    • Urine test: This test can detect signs of a UTI.
    • Stool analysis: A stool sample can be assessed for evidence of an infection.
    • Imaging tests: An abdominal or pelvic computerized tomography scan or ultrasound can detect fluid, tumors. obstruction, and more.

    Is Bloating A Cause For Concern

    October 26, 2018 By Yenny Rojas

    Weve all had that bloated, uncomfortable full belly feeling at some point. Most of the time, its perfectly normal and no cause for concern. On rare occasions, it could be an indication of a more serious problem. Unless your bloating is accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and weight loss, its probably nothing to worry about. Most of the time, diet and other simple reasons such as eating a big meal or too much salt can explain the bloating youre experiencing. Lets discuss some common causes of bloating, and when bloating can be a cause for concern.

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    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:

    • Spinach
    • 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.

    What Causes Bloating In The Stomach

    Why Does My Stomach Get Bloated After I Eat


    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:

    Digestive Contents

    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:


    Other Causes

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    It Could Be Constipation

    While youre spending a lot of time at home, you may not be moving as much as you usually do. You may also be eating different foods. This can lead to constipation. You may be constipated if you experience:

    • Fewer bowel movements than normal for you
    • Stool that is lumpy or looks like pebbles
    • Difficulty passing stool or a feeling that you still need to go after youre finished

    Fortunately, you can make a number of at-home changes to help relieve your constipation. These include:

    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:

    • cramp-like
    • dull
    • sharp

    Causes of abdominal bloating and pain can vary from mild to severe. Most of the time, abdominal bloating and pain occur due to:

    • overeating
    • stress
    • indigestion

    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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    Excess Gas Can Build Up

    Gas is a normal part of digestion, but if it builds up in your intestines, it may cause bloating and pain. Gas happens when food that is not digested is broken down in your colon. This process produces methane and hydrogen, which you pass naturally as gas.

    If you do experience bloating due to gas, modifying your food intake may help. Here are some common drinks and foods that can cause bloating:

    • Foods high in fiber or fat
    • Fried and spicy dishes
    • Carbonated drinks, such as soda or beer
    • Lactose found in milk, cheese and yogurts

    Over-the-counter supplements can even trigger bloating.

    You Ate A Lot Of Carbs

    Suffering with Stomach Bloat & Pain Vlog

    Carbs seem harmless enough, but there are a few ways they can cause your stomach to puff up, Deborah Cohen, DCN, RDN, an associate professor at the Rutgers School of Health Professions Clinical and Preventive Nutritional Sciences Department, tells Health. Complex carbs like garbanzo beans, kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, split peas, and lentils are high in fiber and they can cause gas and bloating. It’s all thanks to the bacteria in your gut, which produces gas as a byproduct of digesting fiber.

    That doesn’t mean you should ditch all high fiber foods, though. Instead, Cohen says, you’ll want to pivot to foods with fiber that won’t cause you to puff up, like tomatoes, zucchini, lettuce, cucumbers, and green beans.

    If you have a gluten sensitivity, eating carbs that contain gluten like bread or crackers can lead to bloat, Cohen says. If you suspect that this is what’s being your bloat, Cohen recommends consulting your doctor or a nutritionist for dietary guidance.

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    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.

    When Symptoms Persist

    The signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer are often easy to miss. This is why only about 15% to 20% of cases are diagnosed in the early stages . Often, symptoms dont appear until the disease is in its advanced stages .

    If symptoms dont go away within two weeks following normal interventions such as laxatives, rest, or changing diet and exercise, contact a physician immediately. If cancer is suspected, a gynecologic oncologist should also be consulted before surgery.

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    Working With A Doctor

    It is important to speak openly and honestly with your physician to express a clear picture of your experiences and symptoms. FGIDs present special challenges when communicating, specifically because of their vague symptoms and sensitive subject matter.

    There isnt a diagnostic test for bloating or distension however your doctor may run some tests to rule out underlying problems or associated disorders.

    For more information about GI tests and how to prepare for them, see our website or see IFFGD publications #111 or #510.

    Journal Your Way To Finding The Culprit

    Why Am I So Bloated? 11 Causes of Belly Bloat

    If you get bloated often, say, more than once a month, its worthwhile to figure out what triggers your symptoms. Try keeping a food journal for a few days and write down everything you eat and drink. Be sure you include the ingredients in your meals in case one of those is the actual problem.

    As you make that journal entry, note how you feel 30 minutes after you eat. Terrific? Overly full? Tired? Gassy? You may see some patterns that help you figure out if you have any food allergies or intolerances.

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    Drinking Too Much Soda

    Carbonated beverages, such as soda or sparkling water, are a common reason for bloating. The fizz in your favorite sodas can cause gas to get trapped in your stomach, which can lead to bloating and belching.

    Try limiting the amount of soda you drink and switch to a healthier alternative. Water with cucumber or lemon can offer a flavorful drink with your meal, and black tea can provide the caffeine kick you may need in the early afternoon. If youre already feeling bloated, peppermint tea is a common remedy that can be used to help reduce the discomfort.

    Bloated Stomach After Eating Certain Foods Or Meals

    Getting bloated stomach after eating certain foods or meals is usually a much easier to handle. The solution is simple: the elimination diet. You stop eating the foods or meals you suspect cause bloating for a few days and see if eliminating these foods reduce your bloating and other digestive issues. Many people are surprised to learn that many foods that are considered very healthy and are widely recommended for good health, are the cause of their bloating issues.

    If this is something you want to explore, you may want to check if these common foods and eating habits known to cause bloating apply to you:

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