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Why Do I Feel So Bloated? The Main Reasons Explained

Jul. 1 2024, Published 3:59 p.m. ET

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That uncomfortable feeling of fullness in the belly often comes with two perfectly normal but embarrassing side effects — gas and belching!

Overeating is the most common cause of bloating, followed by enjoying rich and fatty food and eating too quickly.

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why am i so bloated

The condition occurs when the good bacteria in your belly can’t break down the sugars contained in certain foods, including beans and lentils, artificial and some natural sweeteners like fructose, and fruits and vegetables like brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, prunes and apricots.

Fortunately, eating-related bloating is not harmful, eventually goes away on its own and can easily be avoided by not stuffing yourself, watching what you consume and slowing down at mealtime. You can also try activated charcoal products, antacids and food enzymes like Beano for relief.

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why am i so bloated

Bloating can also be triggered if you have certain food allergies. You could be lactose intolerant or have a problem processing whole grains. But what if you feel bloated without food-related causes? That can be a sign of a serious problem, doctors warn. A bowel blockage from scar tissue or a tumor can cause severe pain and gas.

Bloating can also be a symptom of several types of cancer — namely colon, ovarian, uterine and pancreatic. Liver disease also results in bloating, as does diverticulitis, which is an infection or inflammation of the colon that occurs most commonly in people who are 50 and older.

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why am i so bloated

The discomfort is also one of the earliest signs of Crohn’s disease, an autoimmune disorder affecting the gastrointestinal tract. Some people have a bloated stomach for a long period of time due to gastritis, a gastric ulcer, a parasitic infection or other system disorders, such as diabetes or thyroid, which can contribute to stomach bloating and require detailed examinations by medical professionals.

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why am i so bloated

Whenever you have non-food related bloating that goes on for longer than two weeks after taking medications, you should see your doctor to find the cause.

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