What Causes Belly Bloat and How to Prevent It

Bloat is the one visitor we’re all hoping would not present up on Thanksgiving this yr. I imply, we get all excited and fancied as much as have fun this special occasion with our family members, after which proper after dinner, that over-inflated balloon feeling hits and takes hours, even days to lastly go away. Talk a few vacation weekend buzzkill.

The key to conserving stomach bloat from ruining your Thanksgiving is to know all of the totally different food-related causes bloat occurs, so you may keep away from each—or shortly ease any bloating that does slip in and strike throughout your feast. Here are eight stomach bloat causes nutritionists need you to concentrate on.


Two phrases: meals child. We’ve all been there. When we eat greater than we normally do, our stomachs stretch out to accommodate the quantity of meals, Gina Sam, MD, gastroenterologist in New York City, tells Health. “The muscle stretches out, and that in itself can cause bloating,” Dr. Sam explains. Luckily, if consuming that a lot is a one-off, it will not take lengthy on your abdomen will snap again to regular.

Preventing overeating won’t be so simple as it sounds. If you go too lengthy with no meal and don’t eat till you are ravenous, it’s straightforward to let your eyes be larger than your abdomen and dive right into a monstrous plate of all the pieces you will get your arms on. Dr. Sam suggests consuming small, frequent meals to maintain your starvation in test main as much as dinner and consuming loads of water all through the day.

Gas-producing meals

Some of our favourite greens, like kale, broccoli, and cabbage, fall into the cruciferous vegetable class. This means they comprise a sugar referred to as raffinose, which sits in your intestine till micro organism ferment it. That produces gasoline, which then makes you bloat, Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, Health contributing vitamin editor, stated beforehand. Legumes, apples, and something tremendous salty may trigger your abdomen to swell.

So gradual your roll, however that doesn’t imply that you must completely minimize these items from the vacation menu—or out of your food regimen completely. “Consistently eating nutrient-rich, high-fiber foods leads to having a stronger, healthier digestive system that’s less prone to bloating,” Sass stated. Basically, the extra you eat raffinose-heavy greens, the much less they’ll trouble you. Plus, there are methods to make these meals simpler to digest, like steaming veggies to melt the fiber.

Swallowing air

This may sound apparent, however once you’re chewing and swallowing your meal, you’re additionally swallowing air. Your intestines can deal with a specific amount of air, however if you happen to’re in a rush and gulp down two slices of pumpkin pie in underneath three minutes, you’ll seemingly swallow extra air than common, inflicting your stomach to inflate, Dr. Sam says.

To forestall your self from taking in an excessive amount of air, Dr. Sam suggests consuming slowly, avoiding carbonated drinks, and steering away from straws. When you do really feel bloated from trapped air, you will expel it by burping, passing gasoline, or going to the toilet. Ah, the physique’s pure cures.

Lactose intolerance

If you wash down your vacation feast with a glass of milk or load up on dairy-infused desserts and all of the sudden really feel your abdomen roll excessive of your pants, you possibly can be lactose illiberal. That means your physique lacks the enzyme lactase, which breaks down lactose, the sugar present in dairy merchandise, Michael Nusbaum, MD, bariatric surgeon and founding father of Healthy Weight Loss Centers, tells Health.

Luckily, there are many equally scrumptious dairy-free milk choices today, together with almond milk and soy milk. The American Gastroenterological Association additionally suggests taking lactase tablets like Lactaid, which will help you digest meals that comprise lactose.

Sugar intolerance

Sugar is one other meals many individuals develop an intolerance to. A standard kind of intolerance is a sensitivity to carbs like fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols, that are a part of a gaggle referred to as FODMAPs, Brooke Alpert, RD, founding father of New York City vitamin apply B Nutritious, beforehand instructed Health.

To make issues much more complicated, FODMAPs aren’t simply present in sweets; they’re additionally in veggies like cabbage, broccoli, and asparagus. If you may have a FODMAP intolerance, your abdomen will really feel achy, bloated, and gassy after consuming meals with these sugars. Avoiding set off meals is the most effective therapy, so go straightforward on the veggie casseroles if you happen to suspect you might need this sort of meals sensitivity.

Celiac illness

For individuals with celiac illness, gluten-free isn’t a development, it’s a reality of life. Celiac isn’t an allergy or a sensitivity; it’s an autoimmune illness triggered by the ingestion of gluten, Dr. Nusbaum says. That means once you soak up gluten, your physique really assaults itself, inflicting injury to the small gut.

Celiac can manifest in quite a few methods, however among the many signs embody belly bloating and ache, vomiting, weight-loss, fatigue, joint ache, and sores contained in the mouth. If you devour meals with gluten on the Thanksgiving desk, the bloat can come on quickly after. It might be exhausting to identify celiac as a result of these signs are frequent for a lot of different situations as effectively. The solely solution to actually know when you have this autoimmune illness is to be screened by a health care provider.

Food allergy symptoms

Why do some individuals love issues like peanuts and shellfish and others might be hospitalized from consuming them? “With a meals allergy, the physique’s immune system, which usually fights infections, sees a meals as an invader,” Sass stated beforehand. “This leads to an immune response in which chemicals like histamine are released, triggering symptoms such as breathing problems, throat tightness and swelling, hoarseness, coughing, and hives.” Another symptom: belly bloat, which might hit if you happen to devour one thing on T-day you might be allergic to.


The typical Thanksgiving feast is full of meals containing entire grains and greens. But if you happen to keep away from these as you feast after which really feel bloated hours later, your bloat could possibly be constipation. “It causes bloating because when all of the stool has built up in your colon and things aren’t moving, your small bowel and stomach, which are above your colon, will become extended with trapped air and gas,” Dr. Sam says.

One solution to forestall constipation is at all times ensuring to drink at the very least eight glasses of water a day, Dr. Sam provides. You also needs to soak up 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day—that equals 4 to 5 servings of vegatables and fruits (which you’ll be able to rating from celery stuffing, roasted candy potatoes, and different T-day staples).

Exercise is one other factor that may assist. Working your muscle tissue might give your colon the push it must preserve issues shifting. If you are feeling bloated from constipation after dinner, think about it an amazing excuse to prepare a late afternoon turkey trot enjoyable run for you and your fellow dinner visitors.

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