Top 10 Unexpected Causes of Bloating
Bloating is a symptom that is associated with many different gastrological processes and disorders. Sometimes it occurs simply following a large meal or accompanies infrequent bouts of indigestion. It can be associated with numerous health conditions like diverticulitis and celiac disease. Bloating is also frequently attributed to menstruation. However, there are some less well known causes of bloating that can be contributing to uncomfortable symptoms secretly. We have compiled a list of the top ten of them that might be more than surprising.
1. Chewing Gum: Chewing gum helps to prevent bad breath and can help clean the teeth following a meal. However, it can also greatly contribute to the formation of abdominal gas for numerous reasons. When gum is chewed, it promotes the swallowing of excess air that can increase the amount of excessive stomach gas built up in the digestive tract. Couple this with the abundant use of artificial sweeteners in the products, and a perfect storm for bloat producing abdominal gas can result.
2. Dehydration: Interestingly enough, one of the perhaps lesser known bloating causes is simply dehydration. While the consumption of liquids can curb this dangerous bloating cause, use caution when selecting a beverage to quench the parched body with. Soft drinks are one of the most well known causes of bloating, and while they may help somewhat to curb dehydration, they can quickly lead to an even more pronounced and painful bloat.
3. Medications and Supplements: Phentermine is an example of one medication that can contribute to bloating; however there are many others like aspirin, antacids and narcotics that can produce the same symptom. Multivitamins and combination supplements contain some vitamins that cause bloating as well, so it is important to consider what type of supplements and medications are being used to see if they may be contributing to bloating.
4. Constipation: Constipation can be one of the more common causes of bloating; however chronic constipation can be even more problematic because it means that bloating can be more frequent. When digestion and bowel movements are slowed, it means that stomach gas can build up as a result of the slowed digestive processes, thereby creating unpleasant symptoms. In the case of chronic constipation from conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, bloating can become a regular occurrence.
5. Hidden Sodium: Water retention symptoms can sneak up on people, and a lot of times they can come about due to hidden sodium in the diet. Many people do not realize that a large majority of processed and refined foods contain high amounts of sodium, which can contribute to bloat producing water retention. Beverages like soda, for instance, are a double bloat whammy because they can bring about water retention symptoms from their high sodium content as well as create bloating due to their carbonation as well.
6. Food Allergies: There are many everyday foods that cause bloating, but those that also cause an allergy are even bigger culprits. Sometimes, when food allergies are not incredibly severe, mild symptoms such as bloating may be the only indicator that something is amiss. While most people avoid these lesser known causes of bloating, if a food allergy has not been identified yet, it is possible that it may be a hidden source of the symptom.
7. Fructose Intolerance: A genetic related condition that prevents the digestion of the sugar fructose can be responsible for many digestive symptoms including excessive flatulence. This is due to the abundance of gas the body can produce while trying to break down the fructose. It is for this reason that intolerance to fructose is considered one of the lesser known yet common causes of bloating.
8. Sugar Substitutes: One of the biggest hidden sources of bloating is artificial sweeteners. Their zero calorie claims are made possible by the fact that that body simply can not digest them. As with anything else that the body tries to work extremely hard to digest, an abundance of gas can result, which can in turn lead to bloating if it becomes built up. Artificial sweeteners are found in many sugar free foods as well as many kinds of chewing gum.
9. Aerophagia: Aerophagia is a condition characterized by swallowing large amounts of air. It can be chronic, such as the case in people who swallow air continuously in response to nervous conditions, or acute, for a variety of reasons. Some examples of acute air swallowing include blowing up balloons, wearing loose dentures for long periods of time, and sucking on hard candies, all hidden causes of bloating.
10. Intestinal Parasites: Likely the least known (and disgusting) hidden cause of bloat is intestinal parasites. Whether acquired from the family pet or drinking contaminated water, intestinal parasites can come with a wide range of symptoms. One of these is bloating, which may unfortunately be the least severe of symptoms.