When gas builds up within the body, it leaves us feeling bloated and blah. Everyone’s familiar with the experience, but what are the causes? What does it mean? When we’re bloated, we feel tight and full. It might be gas, but it could be something else too.

Diet is a very common cause of bloating, due to how the body processes and digests some foods. When the food can’t be properly digested, waste gasses are often produced. Gastroenterologists point to cruciferous vegetables as a primary cause of gas when eaten. Dairy and lactose rich foods are another culprit, as are certain sugars. Even some sugar substitutes can be a cause.

Swallowing air while eating can cause bloating. Eating or drinking quickly can ingest air along with the solids or liquids, and that gas has to be dealt with. Some foods and liquids even have air incorporated into them on purpose, such as carbonated beverages. Some of this air will be expelled via a burp, through the throat and mouth. The rest will eventually make its way through the digestive tract and out the anus as flatulence.

To prevent or minimize bloating, focus on diet and how you eat. Eating and drinking slower, and structuring what you do eat to reduce ingestion of foods that create waste gasses are key.

Key Points:

  • 1Bloating happens when air ends up in the gastrointestinal tract; either by swallowing it during eating, or produced from the foods consumed.
  • 2Fibrous, lactose, and sugar intensive foods are common sources of gastrointestinal bloating.
  • 3Focusing on diet and lifestyle is the easiest and simplest way to keep bloating from affecting you.


As a general rule of thumb, try avoiding the aforementioned common food triggers and try out a diet low in what’s known as FODMAPs (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols).

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