What Causes Bloating of the Stomach?

Reviewed on 1/19/2022
A man holding his large belly
Causes of bloating of the stomach include certain foods (beans, some fruits and vegetables, dairy products, wheat, and carbonated beverages), swallowing air, conditions that harm the digestive system, constipation, gastroparesis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), certain gynecological conditions, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Bloating of the stomach and abdomen is usually a result of excess gas buildup in the large intestine (colon) that causes a distended abdomen. The colon bends a lot, and when air (gas) gets trapped in the bends, it may cause bloating, cramps, or sharp pains. 

Causes of bloating of the stomach and abdomen include: 

What Are Symptoms of Bloating of the Stomach?

The main symptoms of bloating of the stomach and abdomen include:

  • Abdominal distention 
  • Feeling of fullness in the belly
  • Gas (flatulence)
  • Belching

See a doctor if the following symptoms accompany bloating: 

How Is Bloating of the Stomach Diagnosed?

Bloating of the stomach and abdomen is a symptom of another underlying condition. To diagnose the cause of bloating, tests may include: 

What Is the Treatment for Bloating of the Stomach?

Treatment for bloating of the stomach and abdomen depends on the cause and may include:

  • Dietary changes 
    • Avoiding foods that cause gas and bloating
    • A low FODMAP (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols) diet may reduce symptoms of gas and IBS
    • Eating more slowly 
  • Lactase supplements to help digest dairy products such as Lactaid
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines 
  • Digestive enzymes such as amylase, lipase, protease, or HCL to help relieve bloating 
  • Prescription medications


Digestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions See Slideshow

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Reviewed on 1/19/2022
Image Source: iStock Images