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Why Am I Always Bloated? – Doctor Advice

Why Am I Always Bloated

Most everyone has experienced an episode of bloating—that uncomfortable feeling like a balloon is filling up inside your abdomen. Maybe you also have gas and some pain. You probably also know exactly what causes it, such as eating too much or too fast. If it happens every once in a while, it’s not a big deal.

But, if you’ve asked yourself, “Why am I always bloated?” then it’s time to seek help from a doctor. Frequent or painful bloating may be a sign of something more serious.

Why Am I Always Bloated?

Dietary Habits

Dietary habits are often the most common and simple causes of bloating. If you struggle with bloating, here are some diet habits you may consider changing.

  • Overeating: Eating large meals can cause the stomach to stretch and fill beyond its capacity, leading to a feeling of fullness and bloating.
  • Eating Too Quickly: Eating too fast can cause you to swallow air with your food. Increased amounts of air in the stomach can contribute to bloating.
  • High-Fiber Foods: Although fiber benefits gut health, consuming a large quantity of high-fiber foods too quickly can cause gas to build up in the stomach and GI tract, worsening bloating.
  • Carbonated Beverages: Carbonated beverages like soda and sparkling water contain carbon dioxide, which can create gas in the stomach, stretch the stomach, and cause bloating.
  • Certain Foods: Beans, lentils, broccoli, cabbage, onions, and garlic are known to be more difficult to digest due to the amount of gas they produce as they break down in the stomach. The increased gas production can cause bothersome bloating.

Food Sensitivities and Intolerances

Food sensitivities and intolerances are very common causes of bloating and gas. Here are the most common intolerances to look out for if you are experiencing constant bloating.

  • Lactose Intolerance: Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest lactose found in dairy products. When people with this intolerance eat dairy products, they typically experience gas, bloating, and even diarrhea.
  • Gluten Sensitivity or Celiac Disease: Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. People with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease react poorly to these foods, which results in bloating.

Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions can increase bloating and abdominal discomfort. The most common medical conditions that may cause bloating include

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): IBS is a common condition that affects the large intestine. People with IBS tend to experience constipation, diarrhea or both, bloating, gas, and abdominal pain.
  • Constipation: Bloating is common with constipation as the stool builds up within the colon and causes it to stretch.
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): GERD is a condition that causes heartburn, indigestion, and bloating.

Lifestyle Factors

Lifestyle factors can play a significant role in bloating and abdominal discomfort.

  1. Sedentary Lifestyle: People who live a sedentary lifestyle with little physical exercise tend to have slow digestion, which can contribute significantly to bloating.
  2. Stress and Anxiety: Stress and anxiety can cause physical effects when experienced over time. Many people with high stress and anxiety can have trouble with digestion and bloating.
  3. Chewing Gum: Chewing gum can cause you to swallow air, worsening bloating.

Tips for Reducing Bloat

If you struggle with bothersome bloating, you may find some relief by following these helpful tips:

  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals to avoid stretching the stomach
  • Eat slowly and chew your food well.
  • Avoid carbonated drinks and avoid excess amounts of high-fiber foods.
  • Identify and avoid food triggers that cause your bloating.
  • Stay active and remain hydrated.
  • Manage stress and anxiety by practicing relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation.

When to See a Doctor

If bothersome bloating impacts your quality of life, especially if you’ve tried simple lifestyle changes, it’s time to partner with a gastroenterologist to get to the bottom of your tummy troubles.

Don’t continue to wonder, “Why am I always bloated?” – schedule an appointment today!

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