Bloating 101

Updated: Sep 21, 2020

Bloating occurs when the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is filled with air or gas. When you are bloated, your stomach feels tight and full as if you’ve eaten a big meal.



Bloating

IBS affects one in seven people and is often accompanied by gas, bloating, pain, constipation, or diarrhea. Many people are uncomfortable talking about their digestive challenges, but this is a very important conversation to have with your dietitian.

So, let’s dive into some pointers to help you manage bloating.


What is Bloating?


Abdominal distention or "feeling bloated" is a very common symptom most people have experienced at some point in their lives.

Bloating occurs when the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is filled with air or gas. When you are bloated, your stomach feels tight and full as if you’ve eaten a big meal.

Symptoms


Common symptoms of bloating include excessive gas, discomfort, and even pain, in your stomach. You may also experience burping and flatulence frequently or have intestinal rumbling and gurgling.

Causes


The most common triggers are often associated with food and eating, and can include indigestion, constipation, or excess gas building up in the stomach and intestines. Food intolerances or allergies, eating too fast, overeating, excessive alcohol consumption, and nutrient deficiencies can also cause bloating.

Other common causes of bloating include smoking, pregnancy, menstruation and/or PMS (premenstrual syndrome), and drugs that aggravate the stomach such as ibuprofen.

The following health conditions may also cause bloating:


  • SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)

  • GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)