Abdominal bloatingBloating- Meteorism

Abdominal bloating is a condition in which the abdomen (belly) feels full and tight. The abdomen may be visibly swollen (distended).

Common Causes

Common causes include:

Air swallowing (a nervous habit)


Gastroesophageal reflux

Irritable bowel syndrome

Lactose intolerance and other food intolerances


Small bowel bacterial overgrowth

Weight gain

The diabetes medication acarbose, as well as any medicine containing lactulose or sorbitol, may cause bloating.

More serious disorders that may cause bloating are:

Ascites and tumors

Celiac disease

Dumping syndrome

Ovarian cancer

When the pancreas is not able to produce enzymes to help digestion (pancreatic insufficiency)

Home Care

You may take the following steps:

Avoid chewing gum or carbonated drinks, especially those with high levels of fructose or sorbitol

Avoid foods such as Brussels sprouts, turnips, cabbage, beans, and lentils

Do not eat too quickly

Stop smoking

If you have constipation, it should be treated. However, fiber supplements such as psyllium can make your symptoms worse.

You may try simethicone and other medicines you buy at the drugstore to help with gas, but these medications are often not helpful.

See: Lactose intolerance for more on how to treat this problem.

Call your health care provider if

Call your health care provider if you have:

Abdominal pain

Blood in the stools or dark, tarry looking stools


Heartburn that is getting worse


Weight loss