Why Am I Always Bloated?

Bloating is a common digestive complaint, which most of us have the misfortune of experiencing at some point.

It can leave us feeling uncomfortable, frustrated, and at times a little confused as to what has caused it.

Although a little bloating can be perfectly normal, if it becomes persistent or painful, we look to seek answers. Read on for common causes and tips on how to help beat the bloat.

Why Am I Bloated in The Morning/at Night?

Digestive health can be incredibly complex and daunting to navigate and treat.

At times it feels as though there is no rhyme or reason for bloating, and it can occur at any time of the day including when you wake in the morning or late at night.

Bloat upon waking can stem from eating trigger foods the night before, eating too late, or dehydration. Bloat at night may be caused by foods you’re ingesting that evening, irregular mealtimes, and can be seen particularly in those with IBS.1

Why Am I Bloated After Eating?

Gases are produced when digesting a meal to help break it down, which can lead to temporary post-meal bloating.2 This is a normal reaction whilst the gut digests a meal.

Another cause for post-meal bloating is eating too much during the meal. Large quantities of food entering the digestive tract can overwhelm it and slow down digestion.3

Food intolerance could also be the culprit; read on to find out why and find out what the common causes of bloating are to help find relief from symptoms.

What Causes Bloating?

Food Intolerances

The gluten from grains and lactose from dairy products are the two most common food allergens and bloating along with cramping, loss of appetite, fatigue, and diarrhoea can also be experienced if you have an intolerance.4

The Foods Standards Agency lists the common 14 food allergens here. This may be a good place to start if you suspect a food intolerance. It may be best to keep track of when you are consuming these foods and note any digestive symptoms experienced.

Stress

Recent evidence supports a clear link between our gut microbiome and our mental health, with constant communication between the two through what we now know as the gut-brain axis.5

Many of our hormones and neurotransmitters are produced in the gut including serotonin (our happy hormone) which also affects gut motility.6

If motility is impaired, food may not move as efficiently through the GI tract and cause a build-up of fermentation and gas which, you guessed it, leads to bloating.

Dehydration

It is important to consider and rule out the basics when it comes to digestive health.

Inadequate water intake can lead to poor bile flow which helps break down our food. This leads to constipation and a build-up of gases in the GI tract.

Aim for 6-8 glasses of water per day or 1.5 liters of water to help reduce bloating.

Swallowing Too Much Air

Smoking and sipping drinks through straws cause more air to enter than is normal.

The act of sucking in causes us to take in large gulps of air which may cause a build-up of air in the gut, leading to bloating and distention.7

IBS

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is an umbrella term for a range of undiagnosed digestive complaints; therefore, treatment can be hard to pinpoint.

An imbalanced microbiome, food sensitivities, inflammation, or digestive infection can all be drivers of IBS.8

If a previous diagnosis of IBS has been given and you are experiencing bloating and distention as a result, it may be beneficial to identify and tackle the underlying causes.

Not Chewing Food Properly

Taking the time to chew food properly into small chunks before swallowing is more important than it seems when it comes to digestive health.

Larger chunks of food entering the digestive tract requires more work from the body to break down, which leads to poor protein digestion and fermentation of undigested food.

Simply chewing your food 10-15 times per bite may significantly help with bloating.

Skipping Meals

Skipping a meal causes your blood sugar to drop, which stimulates our hunger hormones and causes us to overeat during our next meal.
Eating a large meal puts a strain on our gut and can lead to bloating, cramps, and unpleasant symptoms.

A Low Fibre Diet

Roughage from fiber moves food through the tract and reduces constipation, therefore helping to reduce gas build-up and bloating.9
Aim for a mix of soluble and insoluble fiber food sources for good gut health.

How to Get Rid of Bloating

Avoiding the use of straws when drinking, chewing food thoroughly and adequate hydration can all be easy ways to help reduce bloating.

Peppermint oil has been shown to be a great digestive aid and particularly beneficial for bloating in IBS sufferers. Be warned, however, it may increase the severity of symptoms in those prone to acid reflux!10

Bitter foods are beneficial as they stimulate digestion and reduce the fermentation of any stagnant food in the gut.11 Aim for a daily serving of bitter foods like rocket, dandelion, artichoke, and ginger to boost digestion and reduce bloating.

If you find the cause of bloating particularly difficult to pinpoint, keeping a food diary along with tracking stress, sleep, and mood and how your gut reacts may help you to investigate and unearth potential triggers.

If you do suffer from IBS or a diagnosed digestive complaint, tackling the underlying drivers such as a poor microbiome can significantly reduce bloating. A licensed health practitioner will be able to help you navigate causes and drivers.

If your symptoms continue or are particularly pervasive and get in the way of everyday life, it may be best to consider seeking the help of a qualified and trained health practitioner.

Prev Article

Trapped Wind

Gas production in the gut is, for the most part, a perfectly normal occurrence and has been reported as the most common digestive complaint.1 Our bodies produce gas when breaking down and digesting food and a little post-meal bloating can be expected. It is when trapped wind and bloating become...

Next Article

What Is the Gut-Brain Axis?

The gut-brain axis is typically described as the ongoing and rather complex two-way communication that occurs between our central nervous system (CNS) and our digestive tract (GI tract). The NHS states that around 4 in 10 people experience at least one digestive symptom at any one time, and chronic gastrointestinal...

Related Articles…

A Guide to the Gut-Skin Axis

The Gut-Skin Axis can sound complicated, but when you break it down it's quite simple to understand. Essentially, it’s the link between the health of our gut and the appearance of our skin. Great skin starts from within is a motto...

What is IBS?

What Is The Definition of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a collection of digestive-system issues. It's a frequent but unpleasant gastrointestinal condition. Although there is no specific treatment for IBS, addressing dietary and lifestyle modifications can...

Mushrooms: A Feast For The Mind, Body and Gut

You may have seen in recent times that mushrooms have had a lot of press in the health and wellbeing community. There has been more research funded on certain types of mushrooms referred to as being magical, however, we won’t...

Psoriasis and Gut Health: Is there a Link?

What is Psoriasis?Psoriasis is a chronic illness caused by a dysfunction in the immune system. It is referred to as an immune-mediated disease, which in simple terms means a disease with an unclear cause that involves inflammation caused by the...

Gluten and Gut Health

Gluten is a well-discussed topic within the health and nutrition discourse, and it seems like there hasn’t been a firm conclusion as to where and if gluten fits into a healthy diet.Gluten has had a tough time over the years,...

Being Mindful of What You Consume

Here at The Gut Co, we are all about health. Unfortunately, in this modern world, it seems that more than ever a majority of the focus on “health” is only equated to weight loss and being skinny."Health” doesn’t have to...

What is Bowel Cancer?

What is Cancer?Cancer is a disease that occurs when some of the body’s cells grow uncontrollably and spread to other parts of the body.1 The process where cells in your body normally divide and grow is controlled in a functioning...

What is Crohn's Disease?

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD); a lifelong condition where parts of the digestive system have inflammation.1 It was coined Crohn’s disease due to Dr Burrill B. Crohn, who first described the disease in 1932 along...

Introduction to Gut Health and Sleep

Our gut health and the quality of our sleep are far more connected than you may think. This is due to the gut-brain axis; the complex relationship between the two.There is two-way communication that occurs between our central nervous system...

Introduction to the Gut-Brain Connection

Common Mental Health IssuesMental health issues are increasingly common worldwide. Mental health issues can range from mild to moderate or severe and can be debilitating for some. A diagnosis isn’t necessarily lifelong, and diagnosis’ can change throughout your lifetime, too.1 There...

Heartburn Relief: Simple Tips and Natural Remedies

Heartburn can be a pain, but it doesn’t have to be something you live with at all. New research has suggested that there are ways to fix heartburn in the long term. As well as this, there are ways to...

Eczema and Gut health: Is there a Link?

What Is Eczema?Eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that affects people of all ages and is very common.1 It is often caused by the body's immune system overreacting to small irritants or allergens.This overreaction causes the skin to become...

Is Sugar Bad For You?

 Diet culture in the UK tells us sugar is bad for us…avoid, avoid, avoid. Sugar makes you fat, sugar is unhealthy. What diet culture doesn’t share is that sugar is actually in most foods.Cutting out cakes and biscuits doesn’t mean...

Eczema Vs Psoriasis - What's The Difference?

Eczema and Psoriasis often present similarly…the symptoms can make it hard to tell which one you are suffering from to the untrained eye. Neither are contagious or deadly but can be extremely irritating to have.1 There are some key differences that...

How Much Fibre Do We Need To Eat Per Day?

We’ve All Heard of Fibre and Know That We Need It…But Do We Know Why? Dietary fibre is a carbohydrate that our body can’t digest. Now, hearing “indigestible” sounds like a bad thing, right? Not in this case. Fibre is an...

Do Probiotics Help Weight Loss?

Well, unfortunately, the answer to this one isn’t clear cut. Probiotics can aid in a healthy gut which in turn can aid weight loss. Weight loss and diet culture are a huge part of our lives. We all associate healthy...

Can Probiotics Help with IBS?

You may have heard the word probiotics mentioned when talking about a healthy lifestyle. Firstly, let’s get into what probiotics are. What Are Probiotics?Probiotics are live microorganisms that help to balance our gut microbiome. They add good bacteria to our gastrointestinal...

How to Reset Your Gut: Top 6 Strategies

So, we know that gut health is important for a whole host of reasons - from your skin, digestive wellbeing, and energy, to the function of the immune system. The only problem is, how do we know if it’s healthy?Having...

Gut Health Hacks: 7 Ways to Boost Your Overall Health

What Is The Gut?The gut is a collection of organs that process what we eat and drink - not just the stomach. It runs all the way from the mouth to the anus, and is made up of what are...

Does Alcohol Affect Gut Bacteria?

Understanding the gut is a complex phenomenon and even with all our advancements in science, we are still learning about the best way to care for it. Alcohol is known to be detrimental to our health and wellbeing.6 It is a...

Non-Weight Focussed Diet Tips

Before we get started it's best to mention that this is simply advice, and it is best to get in touch with your doctor or a medical professional regarding diet change.There are a plethora of resources on losing weight through...

Thyroid and Gut Health Connection

What is the Thyroid?The thyroid is a gland located in the neck, just in front of the windpipe. It is shaped like a small butterfly and produces the hormones that affect things like our heart rate and body temperature.1The two...

The Gut Microbiome: All You Need to Know

What Is The Gut Microbiome?The gut microbiome is a collection of trillions of microorganisms of thousands of different species. These microorganisms can also be referred to as microbiota or microbes; when we mention any of these words, we are talking...

Can Probiotics Help With Your Immunity?

The answer is yes! But how?Let’s start with the basics...What Are Probiotics?Probiotics are live microorganisms found in certain foods that offer a variety of health benefits to our gut - our gastrointestinal tract.Our gastrointestinal tract is home to trillions of...

The Gut Co’s Multilayer Tablet Technology

The gut microbiota is a crucial factor in human health. It is often said that when we take care of our gut bacteria, our gut bacteria take care of us. This is why it’s so important to eat healthily, including...

The Gut-Skin Axis

Skin conditions are a common complaint amongst the population, with 85% of people experiencing some form of acne between the ages of 12-24 1 and 1 in 10 people developing atopic dermatitis during their lifetime.2With skin complaints on the rise...

18 Probiotic Foods for Gut Health

Gut health is a trending topic these days with the gut microbiome taking the spotlight.The human body contains trillions of species of bacteria, fungi, and other viruses; outnumbering human cells by an impressive 10 to 1.1The gut microbiome is the...

High Fibre Foods You Should Eat

We have all been told that a fiber-rich diet with a variety of whole foods is good for us. But do you know exactly why a high fiber diet is great for health and just how you can increase your...

What Are Prebiotics?

Prebiotics have increased in popularity over recent years for their positive effects on the gut microbiome.Prebiotics can be described as non-digestible food ingredients that cannot be broken down by human enzymes in the GI tract. Prebiotics are then fermented and...

Probiotics Vs Prebiotics

In recent years, our microbiome has been in the scientific spotlight with ever-increasing evidence supporting the role our gut plays in health and disease.The more the gut is researched, the stronger the message that maintaining a healthy gut could be...

What Are Probiotics?

Many people consider all bacteria as ‘germs’; unpleasant and harmful organisms.Although some bacteria can be problematic, other forms can in fact induce many health benefits in the body if the ‘right’ strains are present.Probiotics are live microorganisms derived from cultured...

20 Prebiotic Foods for Gut Health

Prebiotics are fiber-rich food sources that cannot be broken down by human enzymes in the digestive tract.1Prebiotics are instead used as food for our microbiome and are fermented by the bacteria in our large intestine to help strengthen the digestive...

The 15 Best Probiotic Vegan Foods

Our gut is a complex and interesting ecosystem, in which trillions of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms reside.Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms that help increase populations of good bacteria in the gut and have been shown to help with:Improving digestive function1Managing...