The Main Causes of Abdominal Bloating and What to do about it

We have all suffered the discomfort of abdominal bloating at some point. This uncomfortable feeling often occurs following a good meal is commonly associated with digestion problems. It can be both painful and embarrassing. Did you know, that there are many other potential causes that you really should be aware of?

Most people would describe abdominal bloating as the feeling of being swollen or that their tummy is constricted or tight. This kind of bloating is caused as the gastrointestinal track begins to fill with air or gas. Often you will hear people say they feel really bloated or, they are experiencing terrible wind. In more extreme cases, the stomach can feel distended and can be quite painful.


Common symptoms of abdominal bloating:

  • A rumbling or gurgling sound
  • Flatulence
  • Painful tummy
  • The need to belch or burp
  • Swollen stomach or tightness.


Gas naturally builds up in the digestive tract when we eat or drink as undigested food begins to be broken down, but we also contribute to the gassiness by swallowing air and this largely goes unnoticed even though we all do it. Some people are more prone to this problem than others and it can be caused by eating too quickly. You may even have noticed this yourself at some point. Other ways in which we swallow air without noticing are when chewing gum and it can even occur due to ill-fitting dentures. If you smoke, then you are consistently swallowing air.


Other more serious abdominal bloating causes you should be aware of include:

  • An inflammatory disease of the bowels i.e. colitis or Crohn’s disease
  • An intolerance to certain foods
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Eating disorders
  • Hormonal imbalances


Other contributory factors include weight gain or even taking certain medications.

What can I do about embarrassing abdominal bloating?

There’s no doubt that a bloated stomach is uncomfortable, and it can be highly embarrassing. To alleviate it, you may need to make a few lifestyle changes. Drink less carbonated drinks and resist chewing gum can help. Certain foods can also trigger bloating, and these include dried beans and lentils which often cause extra gas.

Drinking through a straw and eating too quickly is also main culprits. Some people are also lactose intolerant, and this too can cause uncomfortable bloating. If a person is overweight, then losing some of that weight has been proven to be beneficial.

If you are a sufferer of this condition, then, for the most part, you should not give yourself any extra stress or anxiety by worrying about it. Usually, the cause is ‘after meal’ gas, but common sense should prevail if the symptoms are prolonged and extra painful or, accompanied by other more unusual symptoms like blood in the stools. If you are suffering from abdominal bloating know that you are not alone, it’s a painful, embarrassing condition but one that is shared by so many others. The main thing is to understand how it affects you and to amend those aspects which may trigger a reaction.