Why Is My Stomach Swollen And Bloated All The Time?

Frustrating, isn’t it?

You’ve changed your diet, you’re drinking more water, you’re even exercising — but that puffy, bloated feeling just won’t go away.

There are many possible explanations for why your stomach is swollen and bloated all the time.

It could be a simple case of indigestion or something more serious like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

It’s important to speak to your doctor to rule out any underlying health conditions.

But in the meantime, if you want to learn more about the possible causes of your bloated stomach, read on.

Why Is My Stomach Swollen And Bloated All The Time?

What is bloating?

Bloating is a common digestive problem.

It happens when your stomach feels full and tight like it’s stuffed with food or gas.

You may also have belching and flatulence (passing gas).

Put simply, bloating is uncomfortable and can make your belly look visibly larger than normal.

Symptoms of bloating

The main symptom of bloating is a sensation of fullness or tightness in your stomach.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Burping and flatulence
  • Feeling uncomfortably full after eating
  • Stomach cramps or pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Heartburn

For example, patients with bloating often report that their stomach feels full even after eating very little.

They may also feel the need to belch or pass gas more frequently than usual. (1)

Why is my stomach swollen and bloated all the time?

There are many possible explanations for why your stomach is swollen and bloated all the time.

Here are some of the most common causes:

Indigestion

Indigestion, also known as dyspepsia, is a general term for pain or discomfort felt after meals in the stomach region.

It can be caused by eating too much, consuming fatty or greasy foods, drinking alcohol, or smoking.

Indigestion is often accompanied by other symptoms such as belching, bloating, flatulence, and nausea.

Learn more: 7 Ways to Get Rid of Indigestion Quickly

Gas and air in the stomach

Gas and air in the stomach are usually the results of eating too fast, drinking through a straw, chewing gum, or smoking.

Swallowing air can also be caused by anxiety or stress.

The air accumulates in the stomach and intestines and is eventually expelled through belching or flatulence.

Overeating

Overeating is one of the most common causes of bloating.

When you eat more than your stomach can comfortably hold, it becomes distended and bloated.

This is often accompanied by a feeling of fullness, indigestion, and heartburn.

Eating too fast

Eating too fast is another common cause of bloating.

When you eat quickly, you tend to swallow a lot of air along with your food.

This air accumulates in your stomach and intestines and is eventually expelled through belching or flatulence.

Constipation

Constipation is a condition in which you have difficulty passing stools, or your stools are hard and dry.

It can cause bloating, pain, and cramping in the abdomen.

Constipation is often the result of not eating enough fiber, not drinking enough fluids, or leading a sedentary lifestyle.

Learn more: 9 Foods that Relieve Constipation Quickly

Food intolerance

Food intolerance is the inability to properly digest certain foods.

It can cause bloating, gas, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Common food intolerances include lactose intolerance (inability to digest milk sugar) and gluten intolerance (inability to digest gluten).

Certain foods

Here’s the truth:

A lot of the time, bloating is caused by the food we eat.

Certain foods are more likely to cause gas and bloating than others.

These include:

  • Beans and legumes
  • Dairy products
  • Wheat and other grains
  • Onions and garlic
  • Cabbage and broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Fried foods
  • Fatty and greasy foods
  • Processed foods

As you can see, many of the foods that are common causes of bloating are also healthy, nutritious foods. (2, 3)

So if you’re experiencing bloating after eating these kinds of foods, don’t automatically assume that you have to cut them out of your diet.

Instead, try to eat smaller portions, and be sure to chew your food thoroughly before swallowing.

You may also want to avoid eating these foods late at night so that you have time to digest them before going to bed.

Weight gain

One reason your belly may be swollen and bloated all the time is weight gain.

But wait…

What does this have to do with bloating?

Well, extra weight around the abdomen can put pressure on the stomach and intestines, which can lead to bloating and other digestive problems.

So if you’ve been noticing a gradual increase in your waistline, this could be the cause of your bloated belly.

Learn more: 8 Best Exercises To Lose Weight At Home

Dehydration

On average, 8 out of 10 people are chronically dehydrated.

This means that they don’t drink enough fluids throughout the day to stay properly hydrated.

Dehydration can cause many problems, including bloating.

When you’re dehydrated, your body retains fluid to compensate for the lack of water.

This can lead to bloating and a swollen abdomen.

Pregnancy

During pregnancy, the growing fetus puts pressure on the stomach and intestines.

This can cause indigestion, constipation, and gas.

It can also lead to a feeling of fullness and bloating.

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a condition that affects women the week or two before their period.

Symptoms include bloating, cramps, mood swings, and breast tenderness.

PMS is thought to be caused by hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle.

Medical causes

There are a number of medical conditions that can cause bloating.

These include:

If you have any of these conditions, be sure to talk to your doctor about the best way to manage your symptoms. (4)

How to get rid of a bloated stomach

There are a few things you can do to get rid of a bloated stomach.

These include:

  • Eating smaller meals more frequently
  • Chewing your food thoroughly
  • Avoiding trigger foods
  • Drinking plenty of fluids
  • Exercising regularly
  • Staying hydrated
  • Taking probiotics
  • Increasing your fiber intake
  • Lose weight

If you’re still feeling bloated after trying these home remedies, talk to your doctor.

They may be able to recommend other treatments or medications that can help.

When to see a doctor

In most cases, bloating is nothing to worry about and will go away on its own.

However, there are a few cases where you should see a doctor.

If you have any of the following symptoms, be sure to make an appointment with your doctor:

  • Severe pain in the abdomen
  • Blood in your stool
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Trouble swallowing

These could be signs of a more serious condition, such as cancer.

Your doctor will be able to run tests to rule out any serious problems.

Conclusion

Bloating is a common problem that can be caused by a variety of factors, including food choices, weight gain, dehydration, excess intestinal gas, and medical conditions.

The truth is that with lifestyle and diet changes, most people can get rid of their bloated stomachs.

However, if your bloating is severe or accompanied by other symptoms, be sure to see your doctor.