People often complain that they feel “nine months pregnant” after eating, says Michelle Pearlman, M.D., a board-certified gastroenterologist and obesity medicine specialist with the University of Miami Health System.
“My primary goal is to figure out if the symptoms are related to intestinal gas, fluid, or fat. All three can lead to similar symptoms of bloating and abdominal distension,” she says.
If gas is indeed the culprit for your belly bloat, Dr. Pearlman recommends that people:
Avoid swallowing excess gas
Reduce your body’s gas production with dietary choices
Expel excess gas by moving your body more
If you consistently experience belly bloat, especially if accompanied by other persistent symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, nausea, or abdominal/flank pain, visit a gastroenterologist.
Your doctor can help diagnose and treat problems including an overgrowth of bad gut bacteria, an autoimmune reaction like Celiac Disease or Crohn’s Disease, a food intolerance or allergy, or a gastrointestinal condition like IBS — all of which can cause belly bloat.
Dana Kantrowitz is a contributing writer for UMiami Health News.