How to stop bloating from IBS

June 3, 2024

Written by Maeve Ginsberg

Medically reviewed by Rita Faycurry, RD

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gut healthgut health

Key Points

  • Bloating can be caused by numerous sources.
  • Changing your diet may help reduce bloating.
  • There are other lifestyle changes you can make to stop bloating.  

A tight feeling in your stomach. Constant gurgling. Feeling full no matter when you've eaten.

Bloating can be an uncomfortable side effect of IBS alongside constipation, diarrhea, and other intestinal issues. You might feel like no matter what you eat, the sense of fullness never goes away, and you feel lost and confused as to how to stop it.

Bloating is a complicated and often misunderstood digestive issue, but not to worry – there are steps you can take to stop bloating from IBS.

Let's talk about bloat, what it is, and how to resolve it.

What is bloating?

Bloat is excess gas in the digestive system. Bloating is usually characterized by a sense of discomfort or fullness, digestive unease, tightness, and/or distension.

Some people experience bloating from certain foods or eating at certain times. Others may have bloat all the time.

It's important to know that bloating is still not fully understood. There are a vast number of causes of bloating, so what may resolve one person's bloat might not work for you. That's why it's important to work with a professional who can help properly diagnose and test different options to see what brings you the most relief.

Work with a trusted, board-certified IBS dietitian here.

Causes of bloating

Bloating is a common side effect of irritable bowel syndrome, as well as constipation, SIBO, gastroparesis, and other digestive disorders. While gas and bloating can be caused by many different factors, common sources include:

  • Bacterial changes in the small intestine
  • Food residue in your colon
  • Poor absorption of carbohydrates
  • Constipation
  • Digestive condition like celiac disease or a food intolerance like lactose or fructose
  • Stress and other lifestyle factors
  • Certain foods like excess fiber or gas-producing foods high in FODMAPS
  • Antibiotics

How IBS causes bloating

Irritable bowel syndrome can take many forms, but regardless of symptoms, the intestinal barrier is typically compromised. This means that toxic elements can enter the bloodstream more easily and cause issues not just in the gut, but throughout the body at large. Symptoms of IBS include pain, cramping, and diarrhea – all of which can contribute to gas and bloating.

In fact, as many as 60% of IBS patients suffer from bloating.

An imbalanced gut microbiome can lead to food sensitivities or intolerances, which are often characterized by bloating.

How to stop bloat from IBS

Bloat can come from many different causes. It's important to get the root of it rather than just treating the symptom. While anti-gas medications may help, true relief comes from eradicating the original source, which could be from eating habits or certain foods. Here are some tips to reduce bloating that you can try:

  • Avoid carbonated drinks and beer. They contain carbon dioxide gas which is then released into your stomach and can cause bloating.
  • Eat and drink slowly. While you eat and drink, you naturally swallow air. Consuming your meals more slowly can help reduce this. Chewing your food slowly into a find consistency can also help.
  • Try probiotics. Probiotics can help rebalance your gut bacteria, which could help reduce symptoms.
  • Limit salt and artificial sweeteners. Salt causes you to retain water which can contribute to bloating. Artificial sweeteners, on the other hand, pass through the digestive system undigested but still come into contact with gut microbes and disrupt the bacterial makeup.
  • Ditch the gum and hard candy. Chewing gum and sucking on hard candy often causes you to swallow more, which can mean more swallowed air.
  • Try peppermint. This herb has been found to be an effective IBS and bloating treatment, with some trial participants reporting reduced pain and sense of pressure or fullness.
  • Get moving. Taking a short walk after eating can help with digestion.
  • Use heat. Placing a heating pad on the stomach may help ease symptoms.

Because there are so many different causes of bloating, it's important to work with a professional who can guide you to help find the root cause of your symptoms. Resolving abdominal bloating and intestinal gas can take some time and a lot of different approaches. You want someone qualified and competent as well as educational and compassionate by your side as you find solutions to your IBS.

Find a qualified IBS dietitian covered by your health insurance with Fay.

Do any diets reduce bloating and IBS symptoms?

The low FODMAP diet is the most frequently prescribed diet for irritable bowel syndrome. This diet focuses on certain carbohydrates which ferment in the stomach and produce gas. Cutting out these foods can help reduce bloating and discover which foods are causing the excess gas in the first place.

It is an elimination diet, which means you initially cut out all high FODMAP foods, then slowly reintroduce each subcategory to see which cause the most irritation. High FODMAP foods include:

  • Garlic and onion
  • Milk, yogurt, and other lactose dairy products
  • Cashews, black beans, chickpeas, and lentils
  • Agave, honey, and molasses
  • Wheat, barley, and rye (gluten)
  • Apples, mangoes, blackberries, and peaches
  • Mushrooms, artichokes, and cauliflower

Learn more about the low FODMAP diet and what to expect here.

This is a restrictive diet that should only be administered under the guidance of a professional. Find a qualified IBS dietitian easily with Fay.

Find a dietitian for IBS and bloating

As you can tell, resolving bloat is a complicated endeavor. But with the guidance of a trusted provider, you can find ways to improve your IBS symptoms and reduce bloating.

Dietitians are most qualified nutrition providers out there. With an RD by your side, you can get the diagnosis, tests, and treatment you need to start improving your IBS, find your causes of bloating, and live a freer life.

With Fay, finding a board-certified dietitian is easy. You can search by specialty and match with a provider who is covered by your insurance. That means you can meet with an RD for as little as $0 per session!

Get started with Fay today.

The views expressed by authors and contributors of such content are not endorsed or approved by Fay and are intended for informational purposes only. The content is reviewed by Fay only to confirm educational value and audience interest. You are encouraged to discuss any questions that you may have about your health with a healthcare provider.

  • Cleveland Clinic - Bloated Stomach
  • Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics - Review article: The physiologic effects and safety of Peppermint Oil and its efficacy in irritable bowel syndrome and other functional disorders
  • Gastroenterology and Hepatology from Bed to Bench - Bloating in irritable bowel syndrome

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Maeve Ginsberg

Written by Maeve Ginsberg

Maeve Ginsberg is a health and wellness writer with a personal passion for fitness. As an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and former powerlifter, she loves combining her interests in health with her writing. Maeve has a Bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University. 

Rita Faycurry, RD

Medically Reviewed by Rita Faycurry, RD

Rita Faycurry, RD is a board-certified Registered Dietitian Nutritionist specializing in clinical nutrition for chronic conditions. Her approach to health is centered around the idea that the mind and body are intimately connected, and that true healing requires an evidence-based and integrative approach that addresses the root cause of disease. In her books and articles, Rita offers practical tips and insights on how to care for your body, mind, and spirit to achieve optimal health and wellness.