6 Common Causes of Belly Bloating

Most people experience belly bloating. Some folks even mistake a bloated belly for excess belly fat. Thatís right! Your stomach may be sticking out because of bloating, not belly fat.

Now, Iím not talking about expansion of the belly after a meal. Iím talking about an expanded belly even when youíre hungryóand sometimes itís accompanied by abdominal pain.

Knowing what triggers belly bloating will help you reduce chances of occurrence and make it easier to eliminate it. Here are 6 common causes of belly bloating you should know.

1. Digestive problems

This is the biggest trigger of belly bloating. Gastrointestinal disorders like celiac disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) cause bloating due to bowel and gas build-up in the stomach.

Women with IBS can actually gain a dress size overnight. And doctors say that the symptoms tend to worsen in the evening.

Research shows that reducing intake of processed grains can reduce bloating and other symptoms of IBS. Increasing intake of probiotic-rich foods can also help.

2. Water retention

Your belly can be bloated when the body holds excess fluids. Water retention can be caused by high sodium intake, dehydration, menstruation or inactivity.

Exercising, staying hydrated and increasing potassium intake can help reduce water retention. Here more tips on how to fight water retention.

3. Food allergies

Do you get bloated after eating certain foods? Some people are so allergic to certain foods they look pregnant after eating them. Foods commonly linked to belly bloating include corn, wheat, gluten, soy, eggs, sugar and dairy.

Keep a food journal to identify foods that trigger bloating. Avoiding such foods can prevent bloating and digestive disorders.

4. Menstrual cycle

Menstruation is known to cause water retention and constipation. Additionally, menstrual cycles put your hormones out of whack, and this worsens bloating.

It is common for women to be bloated before, during and after the menstrual cycle. Unfortunately, you canít prevent bloating in this case. Just make sure you stay hydrated and avoid high sodium intake.

5. Stress

Being stressed can hinder function of the digestive system and trigger belly bloating. And bloating can be worse if you are stressed during mealtime.

Practicing mindful eating will reduce stress when eating. Avoid distractions like TV, distracting conversations and phones. Here are techniques that can help you reduce stress.

6. Eating too fast

Did you know that we swallow gas-producing air when we eat too fast? This air triggers bloating when itís trapped in the stomach.

Itís also worth noting that food isnít broken down properly when we eat fast. This means itíll stay in the stomach longer before itís digested. Eating slowly will prevent bloating and overeating.

Does your belly get bloated frequently? What do you do to eliminate bloating?


Jerome S
Jerome Sabout a year ago


Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for sharing.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth Wabout a year ago

Thanks for the info and tips.

Amanda M
Amanda Mabout a year ago

Well, I've got a ton of stress I can't do much about (especially with Twitler and the Religious Reich in charge being a definite contributing factor), I'm perimenopausal, and I was recently diagnosed with a touch of IBS (partly due to the stress I've been under the past few years-long story). Talk about a triple threat. And yes, being 30 pounds overweight isn't helping. I guess I should take up Tae-Bo or something since we STILL don't have an aquatic center in town where I could swim despite the town's having it in the works for YEARS as part of the new park expansion project (they're not wasting any time putting in at least two fast-food chains in the new developments, however!). I HATE "the forties!"

Leo C
Leo Cabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing!

heather g
heather gabout a year ago

I'd never heard of belly bloating until Dr Oz regularly featured ladies experiencing this problem

Chen Boon Fook
Chen Boon Fookabout a year ago


Nellie K A
Nellie K Adabaabout a year ago

Yes, that's me

Leanne K
Leanne Kabout a year ago

I find pizza and chinese / japanese takeaway makes me sooo thirsty, then watch as i visibly bloat. I just try to resist the temptation

Mariana L
Mariana Labout a year ago

Thank you