Healthline states that indigestion, gas and flatulence, and lactose intolerance are the most common reasons for bloating. Bloating is often an signal of an underlying issue that can be nonthreatening or serious.
Healthline states that indigestion is caused by unhealthy eating habits, such as overeating, and eating spicy foods, overindulging in alcohol, smoking and anti-inflammatory drugs often cause indigestion. Although indigestion frequently causes bloating, medical care is needed if bloating is accompanied by black stools, severe vomiting and trouble swallowing. Over-the-counter antacids, such as Maalox, Mylanta, Zantac and Pepcid, are commonly used to treat indigestion.
Swallowing air while eating and drinking is the primary cause of gas collecting in the digestive system, explains Healthline, and gas also then accumulates while the food is digested. Flatulence and bloating occurs during these processes; reducing consumption of foods with a high fructose or sorbitol content remedies it.
Lactose intolerance is a condition that occurs when the small intestine stops making enough enzymes to break down the lactose found in dairy products, states Healthline. When the undigested natural sugar moves into the large intestine, the bacteria in the large intestine interacts with the lactose and causes bloating. Lactose intolerance can occur naturally or can be brought on by an illness or injury. The main treatment for lactose intolerance is to abstain from foods that contain lactose, such as dairy products, frozen waffles, dry breakfast cereals and many instant soups.