Symptoms, conditions and causes

What are the causes for abdominal distention?

Abdominal distention is when your abdominal area feels swollen, stuffed, stretched or uncomfortable—often shortly after a meal. There are several potential causes for this condition.

Cause #1: Microbial fermentation

Fermentation is a chemical breakdown of nutrients by specific microbes (enzymes). When your digestive system is overloaded, it will fill out your intestines with gases (methane, hydrogen etc.) The key to avoiding excessive microbial fermentation is lowering the overload of carbohydrates as well as removing any excess fiber from your diet. This will help in reducing the load on your digestive system.


• Lower carbs and fiber, specifically:

• garlic
• onions
• fruit
• asparagus • milk
• yogurt
• beans

• Improve the ability to digest by taking these before your meals:

• apple cider vinegar (1 to 2 teaspoons stirred into about a cup of water)betaine hydrochloride

  • Decrease pressure in the abdominal area by taking:

    • ginger

    • fennel seeds (avoid during pregnancy)

    • anise

    • peppermint

  • Consume cooked vegetables

  • Take probiotics

Cause #2: Food sensitivities and intolerances

Some people can develop inflammation and gas because of a food sensitivity or intolerance that causes bloating and abdominal distention.

  • Sometimes there might be intolerance to certain vegetables that don’t digest well. They are called FODMAPs (fermentable oligo-,di-, monosaccharides and polyols).

  • Some people have a sensitivity to lectins. Lectins are proteins that plants use as natural insecticides. They can cause inflammation in the gut when these plants are consumed in large amounts.

  • Foods you are allergic to can cause digestive issues. 


1. Intolerance of FODMAPs

Avoid the following:

  • Fructose: fruits, table sugar, and sweetened foods

  • Lactose: milk, cream, cream cheese, whey, and other dairy products

  • Fructans: wheat, barley, rye, and spelt

  • Galactans: legumes

  • Polyols: certain sugar alcohols, including xylitol, maltitol, mannitol, and sorbitol

  • Certain vegetables: cauliflower, asparagus, mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, artichokes, snow peas, and leeks

Substitute with low-FODMAP foods:

  • Low-lactose dairy: hard cheeses, butter, and kefir

  • Dairy-free milk: almond milk and coconut milk (unsweetened)

  • Vegetables: bean sprouts, green beans, bok choy, bell pepper, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, zucchini, eggplant, radish, and squash

  • Nuts and seeds: almonds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and pecans

  • Organic chicken, beef, fish, and eggs

2. Intolerance of high lectin

Avoid high-lectin foods:

  • Cucumbers

  • Peas

  • Green beans

  • Chickpeas

  • Soy

  • Tofu

  • Zucchini

  • Nightshades (peppers, eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes)

  • Dairy

  • Casein

3. In case you are allergic to certain foods:

  • Lower allergic reactions by taking apple cider vinegar (1 to 2 teaspoons stirred into a cup of water)

  • Avoid foods you are allergic to

4. Avoid other foods that cause you to bloat

  • This can take some experimentation, so keep a food diary

Cause #3: Gluten and grains consumption

One of the most common sources of bloating is gluten and grain consumption. If you want to reduce bloating you should avoid eating grains and foods with gluten.


Avoid the following foods:

  • Gluten foods

  • Breads

  • Pasta

  • Cereal

  • Crackers

  • Biscuits

  • Waffles

  • Pancakes

  • Soda

  • Juice

  • Alcohols

  • Sugars.

    Other causes:

  • Lack of bile

  • Liver damage

  • Too much fiber

  • Eating a big meal all at once

  • SIBO (remedy in Cause #2)

  • Frequent eating

  • Intolerance of lectins

  • Can’t tolerate too much fat

  • Adrenal fatigue

  • Too much protein.

    Other natural remedies:

  • Acupressure (See last video in this chapter.)

Last updated: Jul 03, 2023 14:00 PM