Health & Wellness Articles

8 Things You Need to Know About Belly Bloat

Get the 411 on Abdominal Bloating

4. Exercise regularly. A consistent exercise routine keeps your bowel habits regular, too, which can prevent constipation, itself a potential contributor to bloating woes.

5. Track your food. Keep a food journal (try's free food tracker), noting what you ate and whether or not you have bloating or other discomfort afterward. Then, look for foods that tend to cause bloating for you and experiment with limiting or avoiding them to see if you find relief. Although this may seem an impossible puzzle at first, many people are able to identify certain triggers over time.

6. Avoid foods that commonly trigger bloating. If you're keeping a food journal, you may find that some of these foods don't cause problems for you, but for immediate relief, avoid ingesting large portions of beans, cabbage, carrots, onion, apricots, prunes, bananas, bagels and wheat germ. This doesn't mean you should swear off these foods, but rather that you may want to consume them in small amounts until you've pinpointed the cause of your bloating.

7. Drink plenty of water. Getting enough fluids in your diet will help prevent constipation by encouraging regular bowel movements.

8. Read labels carefully. Many prepared foods, especially diet foods, use sugar alcohols to replace caloric sweeteners and inulin to provided added fiber. However, both of these very common ingredients can cause gas and bloating.

Try these tips and talk to your physician if nothing seems to help. In addition, be careful with bloating symptoms that occur alongside other symptoms, as they can be a signal that something more serious is at the root of your belly pain.

This article has been reviewed and approved by Becky Hand, M.Ed., Licensed and Registered Dietitian.
Eastern Carolina University, "Do You Suffer from Excess Gas and Bloating?", accessed on December 6, 2013.
International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, "Bloating,", accessed on December 6, 2013.
International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, "Understanding Bloating and Distension,", accessed on December 6, 2013.
Luscombe GM, Markham R, Judio M, Grigoriu A, Fraser IS. "Abdominal bloating: an under-recognized endometriosis symptom." Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada. 2009 Dec;31(12):1159-71.
UNC Center for Functional GI & Motility Disorders, "Abdominal Bloating: A Mysterious Symptom,", accessed on December 6, 2013. 
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About The Author

Robin Donovan Robin Donovan
Robin Donovan is a Cincinnati-based freelance writer and magazine journalist with experience covering health, medicine, science, business, technology and design.

Member Comments

  • Gluten sensitivity is also a contributor to bloating. - 11/24/2015 10:29:13 AM
  • ...and stop holding in your farts.
    This is why guys never complain about feeling bloated. - 7/14/2015 1:44:27 PM
  • Very informative!! Thanks so much for sharing!! - 5/14/2015 7:44:23 PM
  • Good article! - 5/14/2015 6:23:01 PM
  • I can't believe that bananas cause bloat. I'm going to check that one out. Beans,cabbage,oni
    ons are a given. - 5/14/2015 3:28:26 PM
  • Eat slowly, eat slowly, my Mum used to say that to me, now my dietitian also recommends the same thing, but I can't help. I always eat everything in a few seconds. No use complaining for my bloating belly, then... - 3/10/2015 12:45:26 PM
  • Belly bloat is often caused by FODMAPs which are sugars that the small intestine doesn't digest and absorb. When these sugars reach the large intestine, they are used by bacteria for food. This causes the release of gas in the large intestine. Some people have an overgrowth of bacteria in their small intestine too. Read IBS: Free at Last! by Patsy Catsos, RD.

    Often the foods on the "healthy list" are the worst offenders when it comes to FODMAPs and IBS! - 2/11/2014 8:05:20 AM
  • There's a lot more to it than what's stated here. Read the book "GAPS. gut and Psychology Syndrome" by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD. If you follow the suggested info listed in your article you may be making matters worse. I know. I have a client suffering from this and it was diagnosed as everything BUT her severe issue of leaky gut. Doctors told her that ther was "no such thing" or wouldn't even look at her blood analysis results! - 2/11/2014 4:15:46 AM
    Yikes! Now, "Jumpin' Jack Flash, it's a gas-gas-gas!" is going to play in my head for the rest of the evening! - 1/11/2014 9:50:59 PM
  • I eat the smaller meals and drink lots of water so I am on the right track - 1/11/2014 9:16:51 AM
  • 03191952
    Articles are very informative & inspiring! - 1/10/2014 5:39:23 PM
  • If I eat to much salad and go along period without eating and chewing gum. - 1/10/2014 4:22:46 PM
  • The times when I have had the most gastrointestinal discomfort and pain, I've noticed are after I've gone through long periods of time between meals (point #2 -if I've been chewing gum during that period, it is definitely worse) and after eating large quantities of fresh garlic.

    I've had a sensitivity to garlic ever since my first pregnancy. I couldn't even stand the smell of garlic when I was pregnant. I love it again now, but have to be careful with how much I eat. - 1/10/2014 11:01:41 AM
  • I'm part of the "gotta eat healthier" group the article mentions in the beginning and am definitely experiencing some bloat and general gasiness! It's not too uncomfortable, but I'm hoping it goes away soon! - 1/10/2014 9:15:16 AM

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