How to Stop Abdominal Bloating

Feeling Bloated.
Print icon

Many patients complain of postprandial (after eating food) bloating. The symptoms are uncomfortable and can significantly interfere with the person’s quality of life.

People with this condition have difficulty fitting into their clothes, tend to feel heavier and experience discomfort throughout their abdomen. The good news is that bloating does not last for very long and it is usually self-limiting. Here are some useful tips on how to avoid postprandial bloating:

  • Don’t drink a lot of water with your food. Water dilutes the gastric fluids and slows down the digestive process. Ideally, drink water before your meal or 1 hour after.
  • Chew your food slowly and chew your food well. People who eat fast tend to swallow large amounts of air that causes bloating. It is important to chew the food well to make it easier to digest.
  • Restrict salt. Salt causes water retention in the body at the cellular level and in the stomach. Use spices and fresh lemon instead, to enhance the taste of your food and minimize the use of salt.
  • Avoid carbonated beverages. They contain carbon dioxide some of which will be expelled by burping, but some will be trapped in the digestive system and cause bloating. Coffee and black tea may also cause indigestion. Avoid drinking using a straw to minimize the amount of air you swallow.
  • Be aware of fiber. Fiber is part of a balanced healthy diet but if can cause bloating. If you are not used in consuming fiber, it is best to introduce it in your diet slowly.
  • Be aware of legume. Like fiber, legumes are a vital component of a hearty diet. They contain sugars and fibers that our body cannot break down easily to absorb. Legumes may be difficult to digest and are known to produce gas. Here are some tips to help you tolerate legumes better: soak them for at least 48 hours and change the water several hours. Cook them long and slow. Serve them with quinoa and add spices like coriander, cumin or turmeric.
  • Cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, cabbage, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts etc.) are extremely healthy but also part of the usual suspects for bloating. Steam vegetables to soften their fiber and make them easier to digest.  You can also blend them into a soup.
  • Eat papaya or pineapple. They both have natural digestive enzymes that help the breakdown of fibers in our digestive system. They have a powerful antioxidant effect and contain essential vitamins.
  • Exercise regularly. Exercise improves the health and function of our digestive system and decreases postprandial bloating.
  • If you develop postprandial bloating, get up and go for a walk. You can also try sipping on chamomile, lemon juice, ginger tea or chew ginger. Simethicone is an over-the-counter medication that may provide symptomatic relief.

Patients following weight loss surgery or anti-reflux surgery (fundoplication) may develop gas bloat symptoms. It is important to follow the dietary instructions that the surgeon provides to minimize gas and bloating in the postoperative period.

There are diseases of the digestive system that are associated with post-prandial bloating. If your symptoms do not respond to the strategies we discussed, obtain a medical evaluation by your primary care physician or a gastroenterologist. Stay positive, enjoy some of the healthiest foods and try to minimize postprandial bloating.

Dr. Pavlos K. Papasavas is the Director of Surgical Research and Co-Director of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery at Hartford Hospital.

For information on the surgical and medical weight loss options offered by Hartford HealthCare — and to find a free community education class near you — visit whatwillyougain.org, or call 1.855.792.6258.


What's New


Pre-Diabetes: What are the Risk Factors?

It’s like a wake-up call for your body but, unfortunately, most people who have pre-diabetes don’t hear it because there are no telling symptoms. The statistics from the Centers for Disease Control are alarming, revealing that more than 84 million American adults, or 33.9 percent of the adult population, have...


Backus Earns Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers

Backus Hospital recently earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers, both of which represent symbols of quality. “We are thrilled that the Backus stroke team is being recognized with this advanced certification for...


Prostate Cancer: What You Need to Know

According to the American Cancer Society, in 2018 there will be about 164,690 new cases of prostate cancer in the U.S., and it will take the lives of approximately 29,430 men. Dr. Stuart Kesler is a urologist with the Hartford HealthCare Tallwood Urology and Kidney Institute.  Q: There has been a fair...

Chicken Pot Pie

Save Time and Eat Well Recipe: Chicken Pot Pie

Cooking for yourself can be a chore, but when you are elderly or disabled living on your own, it be can even more difficult to maintain a healthy diet, which can lead to serious health problems.  Hartford HealthCare Independence at Home offers a number of nutritious freezer meal recipes that...

Lasagna recipe.

Save Time and Eat Well: Lasagna for One Recipe

Cooking for yourself can be a chore, but when you are elderly or disabled living on your own, it be can even more difficult to maintain a healthy diet, which can lead to serious health problems. Hartford HealthCare Independence at Home offers a number of nutritious freezer meal recipes that...

Skip & Jane Stamms

Cedar Mountain Commons becomes home for couple in the town they built

Ever dreamed of visiting Thailand, Russia, Australia or other exotic points on the map? Clifford and Jane Stamm have likely been there. Even before globetrotting, they kept a non-stop pace of life with Mr. Stamm often working seven days a week. Now they have slowed down, enjoying retirement at Cedar...

Aortic Stenosis

Hartford Hospital Chosen for Nationwide TAVR Study for Low-Risk Patients

The Heart & Vascular Institute at Hartford Hospital has been selected as one of 35 hospitals nationwide participating in a study that allows low-risk patients with severe aortic stenosis to receive a replacement aortic valve in a minimally invasive procedure using catheters instead of conventional open-heart surgery. Since the Food...