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Learn about your stomach bloating, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your stomach bloating from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Stomach Bloating Checker

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Your Stomach Bloating May Also be Known as:
Abdominal distension
Abdominal puffiness
Abdominal swelling
Belly swelling
Bloated
Distended abdomen
Distended belly
Distended gut
Distended stomach

Top 9 Stomach Bloating Causes

  1. 1.Indigestion (Dyspepsia)

    Indigestion, also known as dyspepsia, is a condition that causes pain or discomfort in the stomach after eating. In some cases, indigestion also causes heartburn, burping, and nausea. Indigestion or dyspepsia is a very common complaint. Every year, about 1 in every 4 people will experience an episode of dyspepsia, of which most cases do not have a serious underlying cause.

    You can treat this at home with antacids. Many people find simple dietary changes to be beneficial such as avoiding spicy or fatty foods and drinking less tea or coffee.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    nausea, stomach bloating, bloating after meals, vomiting, pain below the ribs
    Symptoms that always occur with indigestion (dyspepsia):
    hidden: dyspeptic symptoms
    Symptoms that never occur with indigestion (dyspepsia):
    hidden: signs of upper gi bleeding, rectal bleeding, bloody diarrhea, fever
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  2. 2.Premenstrual Syndrome

    Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a very common condition. PMS has a variety of symptoms including cramping, mood swings, food cravings, fatigue, irritability, breast tenderness & depression.

    You may recognize this diagnosis on your own due to the of the timing of your symptoms. Treatment can involve decreasing caffeine, salt and/or refined sugar, increasing exercise, and reducing stress. If symptoms become more severe, a doctor may prescribe an oral birth control pill or an anti-depressant.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    stomach bloating, anxiety, constipation, breast pain, depressed mood
    Symptoms that never occur with premenstrual syndrome:
    constant sadness, severe sadness
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  3. 3.Functional Dyspepsia / Indigestion

    Indigestion, also known as dyspepsia, is a condition that causes pain or discomfort in the stomach after eating. In some cases, indigestion also causes heartburn, burping, and nausea. Indigestion or dyspepsia is a very common complaint and in most cases there is no serious underlying cause. This is when doctors call it 'functional'.

    Discuss your symptoms with your primary care physician. He/she will decide whether further testing is needed, although it is very likely that no structural or serious cause will be found.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    nausea, stomach bloating, bloating after meals, heartburn, regurgitation
    Symptoms that always occur with functional dyspepsia/indigestion:
    hidden: dyspeptic symptoms
    Symptoms that never occur with functional dyspepsia/indigestion:
    hidden: signs of upper gi bleeding, rectal bleeding, bloody diarrhea, fever
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.Traveler's Diarrhea

    Traveler's diarrhea is a digestive tract disorder that commonly causes loose stools and abdominal cramps. It's caused by eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water.

    You can safely treat this condition by drinking lots of fluids to avoid dehydration. Taking an antidiarrheal medication such as loperamide (Imodium) may help as well.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain (stomach ache), stomach bloating, fever
    Symptoms that always occur with traveler's diarrhea:
    diarrhea
    Symptoms that never occur with traveler's diarrhea:
    anxiety
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment

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  5. 5.Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

    Premenstrual dysmorphic disorder is a condition that occurs 5-11 days before menstruation that causes depression-like symptoms, where you have depression-like symptoms, irritability, and tension.

    You may recognize this diagnosis on your own due to the of the timing of your symptoms. Treatment can involve decreasing caffeine, salt and/or refined sugar, increasing exercise, and reducing stress. A doctor may also prescribe an oral birth control pill or an anti-depressant.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, stomach bloating, anxiety, abdominal cramps (stomach cramps), depressed mood
    Symptoms that always occur with premenstrual dysphoric disorder:
    impaired social or occupational functioning, hidden: affective symptoms pmdd
    Symptoms that never occur with premenstrual dysphoric disorder:
    constant sadness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  6. 6.Viral (Norovirus) Infection

    Noroviruses are a group of related viruses that leads to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps. These viruses cause gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the stomach and intestines. When the diarrhea and/or vomiting is severe, dehydration can occur. Symptoms of dehydration include a dry mouth, dizziness, urinating less frequently and dark urine.

    You can safely treat this condition at home. Make sure you drink plenty of water and fluids (Gatorade, Pediatlyte) to replace what is lost with diarrhea. If symptoms of dehydration occur or you are unable to keep down any liquids, seek care at your primary care physician or an urgent care.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea, headache, stomach bloating
    Symptoms that always occur with viral (norovirus) infection:
    hidden: gastroenteritis symptoms
    Symptoms that never occur with viral (norovirus) infection:
    severe abdominal pain, throbbing headache, severe headache, tarry stool
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  7. 7.Chronic Constipation

    Constipation is a very common condition affecting the large intestine. It is characterized by difficulty passing stool, or passing stool less often. Commonly it is linked to not eating enough dietary fiber, not drinking enough fluids, or not getting enough exercise. Some medications can cause constipation as well.

    Given how long your symptoms have lasted, you should go see your doctor to consider treatment for constipation. Typically, dietary changes like drinking more water and eating more fiber is good enough; however, over-the-counter and/or prescription medications to bulk up the stool or increase the movement of the bowels can also help when dietary changes aren't working.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    stomach bloating, constipation, abdominal cramps (stomach cramps), pain when passing stools, rectal bleeding
    Symptoms that always occur with chronic constipation:
    constipation
    Symptoms that never occur with chronic constipation:
    unintentional weight loss
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  8. 8.Normal Variation of Constipation

    Constipation is a very common condition affecting the large intestine. It is characterized by difficulty passing stool, or passing stool less often. Commonly it is linked to not eating enough dietary fiber, not drinking enough fluids, or not getting enough exercise. Some medications can cause constipation as well.

    For the short term, an over-the-counter laxative can help with your constipation. You can try to make changes at home to help prevent these symptoms. Dietary changes are typically effective: drink more fluids and eat more fiber (found in bran, root vegetables, nuts, and whole-grain flour). There are also over-the-counter fiber tablets that can help increase your dietary fiber.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea, stomach bloating, constipation, abdominal cramps (stomach cramps)
    Symptoms that always occur with normal variation of constipation:
    constipation
    Symptoms that never occur with normal variation of constipation:
    vomiting
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  9. 9.Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (Copd)

    COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a chronic condition of the lungs and the airways in the lungs. Damage has occured due to long-term exposure to substances that irritate and damage the lungs, such as cigarette smoke or air pollution. This damage can cause symptoms like shortness of breath, decreased exercise tolerance and cough. A common cold or other types of infection can cause symptoms to worden acutely, this is called an exacerbation.

    Though there is no medication for COPD that has demonstrated the ability to reverse the decreasing long-term lung function associated with the disease, your doctor will be able to provide you with next steps for managing the disease. Some possible next steps include cessation of smoking, pulmonary rehabilitation and inhalation medication.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, cough, shortness of breath, trouble sleeping, anxiety
    Symptoms that always occur with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (copd):
    hidden: any cardinal symptom copd
    Symptoms that never occur with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (copd):
    rectal bleeding
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

FAQs About Stomach Bloating

Here are some frequently asked questions about stomach bloating.

Why do I have a bloated stomach after eating?

You may have abdominal bloating after eating if you have consumed a particularly gas-inducing foods. These include meats and cheeses and anything more difficult to digest that will leave a significant amount for bacteria in the gut to digest. Beans may also produce bloating as they contain compounds that are much easier for bacteria in the gut to digest and produce H2 gas from.

What foods are good to reduce stomach bloating?

Insoluble fibers like rice, carrots, certain types of beans and legumes, tomatoes, and live cultures like yogurt and kefir can reduce gas by slowing down digestion, helping establish a more preferential balance of bacteria in the gut and diluting out gas-causing compounds.

Why does my stomach bloat before my period?

Bloating of the stomach or abdomen is often attributed to both the swelling of the uterus before menstruation as well as the retention of fluids during the premenstrual phase due to changes in the relative amounts of progesterone and estrogen. Usually the excess water that builds up dissipates during the term of the menses.

Why does my stomach bloat without eating?

Bloating can occur without eating for individuals that drink substances that increase bloating like alcohol, carbonated beverages, or sugary beverages. It can also be significantly increased in individuals with slow small gut motility (the speed at which substances travel through the small intestine).

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Stomach Bloating

  • Q.How has the intensity of your bloating changed over time?
  • Q.Is your bloating constant or come-and-go?
  • Q.How long have you been bloated?
  • Q.How severe is your bloating?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our stomach bloating symptom checker.

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Stomach Bloating Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced stomach bloating have also experienced:

    • 8% Abdominal Pain (Stomach Ache)
    • 8% Bloody Vaginal Discharge
    • 6% Nausea
  • People who have experienced stomach bloating had symptoms persist for:

    • 33% Less Than a Week
    • 23% Less Than a Day
    • 20% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced stomach bloating were most often matched with:

    • 15% Indigestion (Dyspepsia)
    • 8% Premenstrual Syndrome
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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Stomach Bloating Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having stomach bloating.

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