Why am I so bloated? - Lakeside Natural Medicine

Natural Health and Wellness for the Whole Family

Why am I so bloated?

ByJoanne Aponte, ND September 30, 2022

Are you struggling with a bloated belly? Perhaps your belly is distended, you can’t fit into your pants, or maybe you look pregnant towards the end of the day. This bloating can get so bad that your abdomen is hard. You might be in so much discomfort and pain from all the gas in your belly that it affects your mood, ability to get through your day or even sleep. There are reasons why you are bloated that can be fixed and you don’t have to suffer.  It takes some detective work, but relief from bloating is possible!

Here are the top causes of abdominal bloating:

  • Improper digestion of food
    • Eating too fast – improper digestion of food  could be  from eating too fast and not chewing enough. Slow down while you eat and chew your food until it’s mushy and  more of a liquid  consistency. To slow yourself down put your fork down between bites or eat with chopsticks.
    • Low digestive enzymes – this could be either low stomach acid (HCL), low bile from the liver or gallbladder or low pancreatic enzymes.
    • Stress – When we are in stress mode our bodies do not produce enough digestive enzymes. So when eating, take it slow and be intentional about chewing and eating in a relaxed manner. You’d be amazed at how much chewing and eating in a relaxed manner can decrease your bloating!!
  • Swallowing air – if you are eating too fast and wallowing air, this can cause bloating. Try slowing down when you eat and breath and chew with a closed mouth.  
  • Drinking carbonated beverages can cause bloating. The solution here is to avoid carbonation. If you  are someone who can’t tolerate carbonated things, it does not mean there is something underlying that is wrong , it might just simply mean you can’t tolerate carbonation.
  • Low abdominal muscle tone – if your belly always seems to stick out you could have low tone in your abdominal muscles. Sit ups, planks and Pilates are the solution!
  • Eating too many cruciferous veggies or raw veggies  some people have a hard time digesting raw vegetables and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale and Brussel sprouts. By nature these veggies are gas forming and will cause some bloating even in perfectly healthy persons. However if your bloating and digestive distress is more than minor there could be an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.
  • Food intolerances – a food intolerance is when you have trouble digesting a certain food or that food might be contributing to inflammation in your body. Dairy and gluten are most common but soy, corn and eggs are also common culprits.
  • Hormone imbalance –  hormone imbalances can also cause a lot of abdominal bloating. When this is the cause, your level of bloating typically changes with your menstrual cycle – bloating will usually be worse from mid-cycle (after you ovulate) until you get your period. Then during or soon after your period, your bloating might be gone or much better. Both high estrogen and low progesterone can cause this kind of bloating.
  • Endometriosis  if you have endometriosis this often leads to persistent abdominal fullness and bloating. If you have severe menstrual cramps or are having trouble conceiving, endometriosis might be the issue.
  • Dysbiosis and overgrowth of bacteria or yeast in the intestines. If this is the issue, your bloating is more likely to be severe and you would likely have other digestive symptoms such as acid reflux, indigestion, nausea, gas, belching and irregular bowels (either constipation, diarrhea or a mixture of both). If you have digestive symptoms such as these, the cause of bloating could be caused by an imbalance of the microorganisms living in your gut or overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine (AKA SIBO).  

Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.

Sign up for our newsletter: