Abdominal bloating occurs when the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is filled with air or gas and where your belly might feel tight, full, or swollen. Some might describe a feeling of being swollen (distended), hard, and painful. Bloating is often accompanied by pain which can be attributed to gas. Below are some common causes of bloating, however, always check with your doctor if you have abdominal bloating that does not respond to diet changes or continues to be a problem.

  1. Indigestion: sometimes called dyspepsia, is discomfort or pain in the stomach. This can come about due to eating too much, too fast, or without proper chewing.

2. Food Intolerance: some food intolerances can cause digestive distress in some people and may lead to feeling bloated and gassy. However, some people find that if they stay off the specific food for a while, they most likely will have no reaction when eating it again. This is known as tolerance.

3. Constipation: constipation can contribute to abdominal pain and bloating. Signs of constipation are straining from start to finish, stools that look like rocks and pebbles, and not feeling empty after a bowel movement to name a few.

4. Menstrual Period and/or PMS (premenstrual syndrome): PMS bloat can be caused by fluctuations in estrogen levels and a sharp drop in progesterone right before your period.

5. Pregnancy: one possible cause of bloating during pregnancy is hormonal fluctuations. Pregnancy hormones relax the womb, and the digestive muscles also relax, slowing down digestion.

6. Smoking: when smoke is inhaled into the body, it also enters the stomach and intestines. Tobacco is a known irritant to the digestive tract that can cause bloating, cramping, gas, and stomach rumbling.

7. Food combining incorrectly: food combinations that are not suitable for some people because they can slow down the process of digestion, leaving the food undergoing fermentation for longer in the intestine, which will generate more gas and bloating. Adding digestive enzymes might help to alleviate some common symptoms of bloating.

8. Too much carbonated drinks: carbonated water or drinks can cause a buildup of air in the intestines that can move down the digestive tract and into the colon, causing bloating and gas.

9. Hiatal hernia: a hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of your stomach pushes up through your diaphragm and into your chest region. This can cause digestive issues, gas and bloating.

10. Too much salt or sugar: salt causes your body to retain water, predominantly around your abdomen. Some sweeteners can also cause gas and bloating, especially sorbitol, an artificial sweetener that can’t be digested. Fructose, a natural sugar, is also added to many processed foods and is difficult for many people to digest.

Health Studio Labs and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on Health Studio Labs is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programs.

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