Abdominal bloating. An unpleasant, full, sometimes even painful feeling in the stomach makes you want to take a nap until the feeling goes away. Even with bloating, the stomach may be bloated or full. Although women usually experience abdominal bloating a few days or weeks before menstruation, abdominal bloating can happen to anyone from time to time.

What causes a feeling of bloating? Abdominal bloating usually occurs when gas temporarily builds up in the stomach or intestines. When you have abdominal bloating, you may find that you often have gas coming out, and getting air out brings you some relief. Bloating also occurs when your digestive system slows down and you are unable to empty your bowels regularly.

Bad eating habits = bloating
Not surprisingly, bad eating habits contribute to a bloated stomach. Overeating or eating too fast can cause you to feel stagnant because your digestive system slows down and tries to process large or fast foods. When you talk, drink through a straw, or chew gum while eating, you are swallowing air, which can enter your digestive tract and cause your stomach to bloat.

Processed foods, such as hot dogs and chips, can also cause bloating. Many processed foods contain a lot of sodium, which retains water in the body and causes bloating. Sugary foods and snacks break down in the body and can cause gas.

Even what you drink can cause indigestion. Carbonated drinks such as beer and soda contain carbon dioxide bubbles that get into your stomach.

Proper eating habits = bloating
Stomach bloating can be caused by more than just unhealthy foods. Some healthy foods, such as broccoli or beans, can cause a bloated stomach. If you have food allergies or intolerances, you may experience these symptoms after eating foods containing wheat, lactose, fructose or eggs.

Find the culprit
If you have frequent bloating, more than once a month, it’s worth finding out the cause of your symptoms. Try for a few days to keep a food diary and write down everything you eat and drink. Be sure to list the ingredients in your meals in case one of them becomes a real problem. (Maybe chicken parmin is not the culprit, but wheat croutons might be!) Two people make a healthy salad of lettuce, bell peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes.

As you make this journal entry, notice how you feel 30 minutes after eating. Wonderful? Overwhelmed? Tired? Gasping for air? You may see some patterns that will help you figure out if you have food allergies or intolerances.

Get rid of bloating in your stomach.
The most obvious way to reduce abdominal bloating is to avoid foods that cause gas.

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