Bloating – Symptoms, causes and other risk factors


Bloating is a condition when you have increase in diameter of the abdominal area or you have any abnormal general swelling. When patients are suffering from bloating, then they are feeling tight and full abdomen. When they are feeling these symptoms, then they can have abdominal pain which can result with increased stomach growling or in some cases it can have difficult symptoms. In the most cases this condition is caused when the gas in your body is not passing through the flatulence or belching which is resulting in gas build up in your stomach. Then, you can have a condition which is known as bloating. When you are suffering from bloating, then you can have pain as symptom. In many cases this pain is not the same. In some cases you can mild pain while in other cases you can feel intense pain. [1]

Symptoms of bloating

When people are suffering from bloating, then the most common symptom in these situations is the feeling of distended or full abdomen. Even the pain is rare factor when you have bloating, this chance is not excluded. Also there are some situations when this condition has resulted with shortness of breath. When you have pain in your stomach will make it cramp. In this case you can have pain in every part of your body but also you should know that this pain can change its location in quick way. In this case, the pain which you are feeling is a lot painful. When you are feeling lot of pain in your body and the location is changed quickly, then in some cases you can think that this is heart pain especially if you are feeling pain on the left side of your chest. While when you have pain on the right side, then you can make confusion with problems such as gallbladder and appendix. Hiccup is a gas which is normally associated with bloating. You should not be worried about this gas because it is harmless. They are going by their own. They are also having another important role and that is to release the gas in the digestive tract before the gas goes to intestines and causes bloating. Also there are some causes when you are having bloating which is caused by the tumors and ascites. The symptoms of this condition are resolving on its own. When you have noticed that your symptoms are not improved, then you should visit your doctor. Maybe, you have other underlying condition and your doctor will give you the right medical treatment for the bloating.

BloatingCauses of bloating

There are many causes for this condition such as Crohn’s disease, reflux, diet, irritable bowel syndrome, bowel obstruction and constipation. When you have a gas in your body, then you should know that the food which you are consuming is not digested correctly by your body. Also if you are not drinking lot of water, then you can have bloating. You should drink lot of water because in this way you will help to your body to function properly and it will support all the daily functions which you need to have through the day. Also when you are using dairy products, then you can have increased chances to get bloating. Patients who cannot stand the lactose products are having the biggest risk of getting bloating. Bloating will fade when the food is digested. If you have buildup of fat cells in your body, then your body cannot empty your stomach normally. Here are the most common causes of bloating:

  • Food allergy [2]
  • Overeating
  • Celiac disease [3]
  • When you are consuming lot of fatty foods, then your body cannot empty the stomach properly and you will have a feeling that you are full, but in uncomfortable way
  • When you are eating gassy foods or when you are drinking carbonated beverages
  • Smoking [4]
  • Anxiety or stress [5]
  • When you are sucking on candies, eating too quickly, chewing a gum, drinking through a straw then this is resulting with swallow air
  • Visceral fat
  • Gastric distension [6]
  • Certain medications such as phentermine
  • Ovarian cancer [7]
  • Fructose intolerance, lactose intolerance and other food intolerances
  • Partial bowel obstruction
  • Diverticulosis [8]
  • Occurs in some due to salivary hyper secretion and dehydration

Aerophagia which is a condition when you have a nervous habit or you have air swallowing resulting in bloating.


[1] Seo AY, Kim N, Oh DH. Abdominal bloating: Pathophysiology and treatment. Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility. 2013;19(4):433–53.

[2] Choung RS, Talley NJ. Food allergy and intolerance in IBS. Gastroenterology & Hepatology. 2006;2(10):756–60.

[3] Masoodi M, Mokhtare M, Agah S, et al. Frequency of celiac disease in patients with increased intestinal gas (flatulence). Global Journal of Health Science. 2016;8(6):147–53.

[4] Berkowitz L, Schultz BM, Salazar GA, et al. Impact of cigarette smoking on the gastrointestinal tract inflammation: Opposing effects in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Frontiers in Immunology. 2018;9:74.

[5] Qin HY, Cheng CW, Tang XD, Bian ZX. Impact of psychological stress on irritable bowel syndrome. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2014;20(39):14126–31.

[6] Mari A, Backer FA, Mahamid M, et al. Bloating and abdominal distension: Clinical approach and management. Advances in Therapy. 2019;36:1075-84.

[7] Bankhead CR, Collins C, Stokes-Lampard H, et al. Identifying symptoms of ovarian cancer: a qualitative and quantitative study. BJOG. 2008;115(8):1008–14.

[8] Sopeña F, Lanas A. Management of colonic diverticular disease with poorly absorbed antibiotics and other therapies. Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology. 2011;4(6):365–74.



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