Inside: Reasons for a bloated stomach/belly. Why are you feeling sick and tired with bloating? A quick guide to stop feeling bloated.
Stomach bloating is one of the most common complaints that I have seen patients with. Patients will often say ” I am so bloated that I feel pregnant but I know I am not “. Some people don’t even realize that they are bloated because as far as they can remember, bloating is so normal for them.
Bloating oftentimes is accompanied by tiredness, feeling rundown all the time. This makes them feel nauseous and also some people complain about gaining weight with this bloating. Bloating will typically happen after eating food, but for some they always feel bloated.
Oftentimes there are reasons for bloating that people are not aware of and simple things can be done to alleviate this bloating.
Is Stomach Bloating Normal?
People often say bloating is normal, isn’t it? and I ask them these following question:
- Does this bloated belly makes you feel uncomfortable
- Does this bloating come with pain
- Does this abdominal bloating make you look different than before like a swollen stomach?
- Does this feeling of bloating come with excessive burping or feeling gassy all the time
- Does this bloating increase after eating food or liquids
- Does this bloating makes you nauseous
- Does this bloating gets better after you throw up
- Does this bloating makes you feel anxious
- Does this bloating comes with a feeling of tiredness and rundown
- Does this bloating comes with a headache
If the answer to any of these questions is a “ YES” — then this bloating you are experiencing is pathologic and there might be an underlying reason for you to feel bloated.
What causes Bloating
There are various reasons for the person to feel bloated. Bloating typically happens when you eat food or drink something that causes you to produce gas when digesting or because sometimes we swallow excessive air during this time. But there can be other reasons for being bloated.
- Carbonated beverages
- Food sensitivity and intolerances
- Improper digestion
- SIBO – small intestinal bacterial overgrowth
- Poor gut motility
Carbonated beverages like sodas of any kind, sparkling water all can cause bloating. These beverages cause bloating in some people more than the others, but if you do suffer from bloating then stopping them would be a good idea.
Food sensitivity and intolerances
Most people will have a sensitivity to one or more foods which will cause them to feel bloated. So doing an elimination diet to figure out which food might be the culprit is a good idea. A simple way of doing elimination diet is to eliminate foods that are not good for your system and see if bloating gets better and then reintroduce them back one at a time to figure out which food is the culprit. Most commonly people will eliminate gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, corn, sugar, peanuts, alcohol, carbonated beverages, alcohol, red meat. And then they do this elimination for 3-4 weeks and then slowly introduce them one at a time.
A large number of people are able to find out the cause for their bloating with elimination diet.
Digestion is a process where we break down the food that we eat to an easily absorbable form.
It’s a complex process that starts in your mouth through saliva, and continues in your stomach and then ends in your intestines. So any problem in any of these steps can cause bloating.
Not having enough stomach acid is a common reason for bloating; this bloating is associated with other symptoms of burping a lot. The simple solution for it is you can either try to take Betaine HCL tablets and see if that helps, but be cautious as if you have too much acid it can cause ulcers. Age-old methods of using apple cider vinegar can also help in this situation.
Another common reason is improper digestion in the small intestine and that’s where digestive enzymes can be useful. So if you see undigested food in your stools or greasy stools you might need to try some Digestive Enzymes to see if they help with digestion and also reduce bloating.
Related Read: Prebiotic for Gut Health
SIBO ( Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth)
Small bacterial overgrowth is a common reason for bloating. This condition causes an overgrowth of bacteria and the most common symptoms is bloating.
This is a difficult condition to treat but with a comprehensive approach, it is possible. To get rid of this condition you need a specific SIBO diet to reduce the bloating and also this diet helps not to feed the bad bacteria. Along with the diet you also need natural products to kill off some of this excess bacteria and improve the immunity of your gut.
Poor Gut Motility
This is a very common condition that I see in my patients. Poor Gut Motility is often overlooked as a reason for bloating. Some people already come with a diagnosis of gastroparesis but others have normal results but their symptoms are very much consistent with it being a slow gut.
The typical symptoms are bloating, constipation, feeling food sits for a long time in their gut, gets full very easily.
There are various ways to improve gut motility to improve bloating unease like — using ginger, artichokes, bitters, fiber-rich foods. You can also use supplements to help with it like Motility Activator or Iberogast.
Constipation is a huge issue that can cause bloating. The majority of my patients with constipation will have bloating as one of their symptoms.
Now constipation itself can be just another symptom and can have several underlying causes to it. But I wanted to give some tips to help with constipation to see if simple things can help reduce it and help with bloating.
Related : GERD Diet Plan
From a diet standpoint, increasing your fiber intake, drinking lots of water, daily exercise and reducing stress are important key factors that will help reduce constipation for the majority of patients. It is very important for people to work on reducing stress as I see so many of my patients getting better once they start a self-care practice like deep breathing, meditation or yoga. If this doesn’t help then you can add Magnesium Citrate to help with constipation or Psyllium Husk for it.
Summary for Reason for bloating
A Constantly bloated stomach is a huge issue and most people will feel sick, tired with it. Feeling bloated all the time, or bloating after meals have several underlying reasons for it. If you follow the checklist above and based on your symptoms figure out what is your underlying cause then you can easily do things to improve your discomfort. You don’t have to suffer miserably because you have been told that bloating is normal and that there is nothing you can do to help with bloating.