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Bloated Stomach After Eating

Bloated Stomach After Eating
One of the common health complaints, bloated stomach can be caused by different reasons, including underlying medical conditions.
Sonia Nair
Last Updated: May 31, 2018
Bloating after eating is very common and there are many, who suffer from this condition. While it is occasional for many, for some people, bloated stomach after eating is a frequent occurrence, which interferes with their day-to-day life. Some of them may experience pain and cramping in the abdomen, along with bloating and flatulence, as excess gas gets accumulated in the stomach or the intestines. This condition may subside within a few hours or a few days, according to the underlying cause. In case of frequent episodes of bloating after eating, it is very important to find out the underlying cause and treat it immediately, to avoid complications.
Symptoms
Bloating could be due to various causes and the symptoms may vary from one person to another. In some cases, bloating can be a symptom of some underlying condition, whereas for others, it could be the main problem. The condition may or may not be accompanied with some additional symptoms. Some of the common signs of bloated stomach after eating are excessive gas in the abdomen, distended stomach, a feeling of discomfort in the abdomen, burping, hiccups, abdominal pain and cramps (not common), nausea (occasional) and bad breath. The additional symptoms may vary according to the underlying cause. In some cases, abdominal pain due to bloating, may radiate to other parts like the chest. In some people, the abdomen may swell and increase in size.
Causes for Bloated Stomach After Eating

Medical Conditions
  • Food intolerance (mainly lactose and gluten)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome, Gastric insufficiency
  • Intestinal parasites, Reduced gut mobility
  • Diverticulosis, Hiatal hernia
  • Gastric dumping syndrome
  • Partial bowel obstruction
  • Low stomach acids and digestive enzymes
  • Gallstones, Constipation
  • Helicobacter pylori infection/Giardiasis
  • Dysbiosis (microbial imbalance)
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Hormonal changes (specially in women)
  • Stress and/or anxiety
  • Gastric or ovarian cancer
  • Cystic fibrosis, Fibromyalgia
  • Peritonitis, Colitis, Ascites

Lifestyle Factors
  • Consumption of gas-producing foods
  • Eating food in large amounts
  • Eating food without chewing
  • Fast consumption of food
  • Eating while moving
  • Having a fiber-rich/protein-rich diet
  • Intake of too hot or too cold food
  • Drinking carbonated beverages
  • Use of chewing gums
  • Eating re-heated foods (starchy ones)
  • Drinking water/fluids in large amounts
  • Excess intake of salt
  • Use of artificial sweeteners
  • Excessive use of certain drugs (like antibiotics)
  • Long-term consumption of junk food
  • Use of tight-fitting clothes

Gas-Producing Foods

• Asparagus
• Peas
• Cucumber
• Brussels sprouts
• Celery
• Cabbage
• Cauliflower
• Broccoli
• Artichokes
• Leeks
• Potatoes
• Citrus fruits
• Carrots
• Parsnips
• Cucumber
• Corn
• Apples
• Pear
• Apricot
• Dried fruits
• Peaches
• Banana
• Oat bran
• Wheat
• Flaxseed
• Pasta
• Barley
• Carbonated drinks
• Milk
• Bread
• Milk products
• Cereal
Bloated Stomach - Remedies

In most cases, bloating is found to be relieved by passing out the excessive gas in the abdomen. However, if the condition is persistent and/or severe, immediate medical attention must be sought. The same applies to those with additional symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting and blood in stools and/or vomit. Treating the underlying cause can bring relief to bloating after eating. So it is very important to rule out the possibility of any underlying medical condition, which is causing the symptoms. Otherwise, you may adopt the following guidelines for relieving and/or preventing bloating.
  • If you develop bloated stomach after eating a particular food item, then avoid such foods to prevent this condition.
  • Some food items produce low to medium level of gas in the stomach, but, there are certain foods that produce gas in large amounts. However, the tolerance level to these foods may vary from one individual to another and from one food item to another. The above listed are some of the common gas-producing foods.
  • If bloating is accompanied with constipation, then you have to consume more dietary fiber and water. Some people may experience bloating due to sudden intake of excessive dietary fiber. This is common among those, who are on a dieting spree. You can avoid this condition by starting with small amounts of fiber and gradually increasing the quantity.
  • If you are suffering from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), then avoid those foods, which trigger the symptoms of bloating after eating. You must also adopt some measures to reduce stress.
  • People, who are on a high protein diet may also experience bloating and they have to reduce protein intake for relief from bloated stomach after eating.
  • Avoid frequent smoking, chewing gum, consumption of candies, excess intake of carbonated drinks and sipping drinks with straw, as these activities may result in ingestion of excess gas in the stomach.
  • Chew the foods thoroughly before swallowing and avoid eating, when you are on the move. Eating while upset is also found to cause bloating.
  • Avoid heavy meals with high levels of fat. Try to have four to six small meals, instead of three heavy ones. It is said that certain food items are beneficial for reducing bloating. This include herbal teas, yogurt, peppermint and papaya.
  • Some people develop bloating due to water retention. So, reducing intake of salt may prevent this condition.
  • Regular exercises can also prove beneficial in improving the condition of people, who experience bloating after eating. You can adopt a suitable exercise regimen along with other dietary changes.
Over-the-counter medicines may be beneficial for those, who develop this condition occasionally. Others have to seek medical attention, if there is no relief from the condition, even after adopting a healthy lifestyle. In most cases, mild to moderate bloating can be remedied with the above said preventive measures. If the condition is severe, persistent and/or accompanied with additional symptoms, then, you have to consult your doctor, to rule out the possibility of underlying causes.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice. Visiting your physician is the safest way to diagnose and treat any health condition.