What Causes Bloating and Excessive Gas?

Filed Under: Digestive Health, Gas and Bloating
Last Reviewed 09/24/2015

man holding stomach talking to doctor

Determine the reason for your stomach bloat and gas problems

To avoid the uncomfortable and often embarrassing symptoms of excessive gas and stomach bloat, it is important to discover what is causing the production of the extra gas in the first place. Here are four common factors that can contribute to stomach bloat and excessive gas problems:

Incomplete Protein Digestion

Excessive intestinal gas is most often due to inadequate protein digestion. Protein requires a lot of stomach acid to be broken down properly. If your intestinal tract is too alkaline, protein won’t be broken down completely. It will then ferment and putrefy, causing stomach bloat and excessive gas after eating, fullness, heartburn, and sometimes vomiting. Luckily there are some easy, all-natural ways to assist with protein digestion.

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Inability to Break Down Sugars

Another main reason particular foods cause intestinal gas is your body’s inability to digest certain complex sugar compounds. (Humans don’t produce the alpha glactosidase enzymes necessary to digest the complex sugars called oligosaccharides.) When these undigested compounds reach the intestines, they begin to ferment and release gas. 

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Gut Bacteria Imbalance

Every day, there is a constant battle going on in your bowels as healthy and unhealthy bacteria compete to establish dominance. Your gastrointestinal tract is vulnerable to a massive number of undesirable bacteria that can enter your body through food and water. And if these bacteria are left to multiply unchecked, they can create a bacterial imbalance that can lead to belching, stomach bloat, and excessive gas. That's why I believe it is imperative to include certain foods in your diet that can help encourage the growth of "good" probiotic bacteria in the bowels and to help reduce gas and bloating problems.

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Bad Gallbladder

Your gallbladder is like a small sack that stores and regulates bile. Bile is a fluid made in the liver that is essential to the digestion of fat. As fat from your food passes into the small intestine, the gallbladder dumps in the proper amount of bile to aid in fat digestion. But if the gallbladder becomes clogged with stones or the bile becomes thick and sluggish, you may experience extremely uncomfortable bloating 5 to 20 minutes after eating, along with other symptoms of a bad gallbladder.

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Read More About Bloating, Gas, and Digestive Health

How to Relieve Gas Naturally
Dr. David Williams discusses three strategies for getting rid of gas and bloating without medication. Read more
How to Choose the Best Probiotic Supplement
Learn the four criteria that Dr. Williams uses to decide whether a probiotic supplement is worth purchasing. Read more
The Importance of Digestive Enzymes to Gut Health
Learn about the difference between digestive enzymes and probiotics, and what you can do to improve your digestive enzymes. Read more
Gut Health and the Benefits of Traditional Fermented Foods
Learn four ways that the probiotic bacteria in naturally fermented foods support digestive health. Read more


DISCLAIMER: The content of DrDavidWilliams.com is offered on an informational basis only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health provider before making any adjustment to a medication or treatment you are currently using, and/or starting any new medication or treatment. All recommendations are "generally informational" and not specifically applicable to any individual's medical problems, concerns and/or needs.

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