What Are the Causes of a Bloated Stomach?

A bloated stomach commonly occurs as a result of air swallowing, increase in body weight, constipation, excessive eating and irritable bowel syndrome, according to MedlinePlus. Serious medical conditions such as ovarian cancer, celiac disease, dumping syndrome, ascites and pancreatic insufficiency may also result in a bloated stomach. Eating foods that are rich in fructose is also a possible cause of a bloated stomach.

A bloated stomach, or abdominal bloating, is a feeling of fullness and tightness in the belly, which may also be characterized by a distended stomach, notes MedlinePlus. To relieve abdominal bloating, certain lifestyle changes are applicable: avoiding gas-producing foods including beans, lentils, cabbage and Brussels sprouts; quitting smoking; avoiding foods that are rich in sorbitol or fructose; and reducing eating speed. Eating in small meals five to six times daily rather than having big meals fewer times a day also prevent bloating, which usually occurs after the latter, as WebMD claims. In this case, however, the amount of calories and food should meet the body requirements.

Gas can also build in the stomach due to the inability of the gastrointestinal tract to move swallowed air and air produced by the bacteria in the gut through it. A person can swallow air through chewing gum, drinking through a straw, sucking on hard candy and guzzling carbonated beverages. Changes in bowel function and the inability of the intestines to digest and absorb some food components can also cause a bloated stomach, explains Mayo Clinic.

Patients of abdominal bloating with constipation should seek treatment, states MedlinePlus. Additionally, patients of abdominal bloating should seek medical attention if symptoms such as weight loss, worsening heartburn, diarrhea, vomiting and bloody stools accompany abdominal bloating. A feeling of pain in the abdomen also necessitates medical attention.