What Causes a Bloated Stomach?
There are dozens of different sneaky reasons you might develop a bloated stomach — allergies, hormonal imbalances, thyroid dysfunction, gut troubles and more.
Bloating itself is usually a problem with digestion. Making it more confusing, many different things can affect gut health, the ability to metabolize food properly and our body’s way of naturally eliminating waste. (3) Because so many different factors can contribute to stomach bloating — including some that seem totally unrelated, like sleep or stress — it’s possible to become bloated any time of the day or month.
Contrary to what most people think, bloating is not the same as carrying around extra fat mass or even “water weight.”
10 Possible Causes of a Bloated Stomach:
1. Digestive Disorders
Most people dealing with various functional gastrointestinal disorders like IBS, ulcerative colitis and celiac disease have bloating, gas, distension and other symptoms.
2. Fluid Retention (Called Edema or Ascites)
Sometimes bodily fluids can be stored around the body, including near the abdomen or pelvis area, which causes excess bloating and temporary weight gain.
The more water you drink (or consume in water-heavy foods) and better you stay hydrated, the less bloating you’re likely to deal with.
Constipation can cause stool to remain in the intestines, leaving you with a hard-feeling stomach, pain, discomfort and gas.
5. Food Allergies or Sensitivities
Often, food allergies, sensitives or intolerances (like lactose intolerance) are common reasons for gas and bloating.
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is caused by high levels of abnormal bacteria living in the digestive tract, usually in the bowel (dysbacteriosis).
You can become bloated and swollen if you’re dealing with an infection because this triggers inflammation levels to rise.
8. Bowel obstruction
Sometimes a severely bloated stomach — along with constipation, nausea and vomiting — is due to a bowel obstruction, which is caused by scar tissue or a tumor.
9. Hormonal changes
PMS is known to cause a bloated stomach and digestive issues, since it makes you prone to constipation and fluid retention.
While it’s not the cause of most people’s bloating, one sign of cancer in the colon or uterine is bloating.