What Causes Bloating?

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  • Written By: Sherry Holetzky
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 October 2019
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Bloating is a term that describes abdominal swelling or the feeling of swelling, and there are a variety of causes for this condition. It is frequently referred to as distention. Intermittent distention means it occurs at irregular intervals while continuous distention clearly means it is an incessant problem. Continuous distention often indicates more serious health problems.

Several causes of bloating are related to diet. By changing your eating habits, you may be able to prevent or treat bloating quickly, easily, and safely. Eating too much salt can result in retaining water. Eating foods that produce gas, such as certain types of beans and other vegetables, can also result in bloating, as can drinking too many carbonated beverages. Lactose intolerance is another culprit, as many people suffer uncomfortable symptoms including bloating, after consuming dairy based foods or drinks.

Avoiding foods and drinks that are known to cause bloating is good preventive medicine, but there are also other issues to consider. For example, hormonal changes during a woman’s monthly cycle can leave her feeling bloated. The effect can be mild but sometimes more severe, to the point that clothes feel tight and uncomfortable. Bloat can occur during Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), as well.


There are many other health related issues that can cause bloating, some of them minor but others more serious. Irritable Bowel Syndrome can be a problem due to trapped intestinal gas, frequent bowel movements, or constipation. Constipation on its own can also result in uncomfortable abdominal swelling as can overeating.

While some of these issues, left untreated, can lead to serious consequences there are other health problems that should be ruled out such as fibroids and other tumors, cancer such as ovarian cancer, and liver disease, which can create excess fluid. If you suffer from bloating, especially on a regular basis, it is important to discuss it with your health care provider. He or she will need to determine the cause in order to devise a proper treatment plan.

One tip to prevent bloating is to avoid chewing gum since excessive chewing leads to more swallowed air. A home remedy believed to relieve bloating is fennel tea. It is said to taste like licorice and to have soothing properties. It is imperative that you consult with your health care provider before using any remedies, including herbal remedies, as well as before trying any new medications even if they are available over the counter.


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Discuss this Article

Post 4

I ate a plain hamburger tonight and my stomach bloated up over 3 inches. I have been measuring it every day trying to lose weight. This morning is was 36 inches and tonight 39.5 inches! Immediately after I ate the hamburger I noticed swelling, pain, and gas. Does anyone else have this severe an issue with red meat? Thanks!

Post 3

Bhtuan- I just want to say that foods high in dairy also tend to cause bloating.

For example, foods like milk or cheese should be avoided if you suffer from constant bloating.

Peppermint or green tea can be excellent bloating remedies.

Post 2

Sunny27- I agree with you I always use Tums when I feel bloated and get indigestion.

I also wanted to add if you suffer from chronic bloating then avoiding bloating foods like spicy foods and soda might help the situation.

In addition, if you start and exercise program and drink more water it will reduce your abdominal bloating significantly.

Post 1

Great article- I just wanted to add that a bloated stomach can be caused by diet and eating too quickly.

A diet rich in high fiber food such as vegetables and beans can also cause a bloated feeling. Eating greasy food also contributes gas bloating.

If you are eating these foods in large quantities and eat too quickly, you are also swallowing air which makes intestinal bloating worse. Products like Beano and Tums help with bloating relief .

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