ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Why Are You Bloated in the Afternoon?

Updated on October 9, 2013

You used to have an iron stomach and then one day...

One day your stomach began to blow up like a balloon. But so what, it was just something you ate that day, right? Right? Except then it happened the next day and the next. Before you knew it, you were buying pants with stretchy waist bands, loose tops that hid your bloated belly and had bottles of Gas-X rolling around your purse. What is this? What is happening?

As the founder of The SAD Stomach, and the author of "Beat the Bloat - Saying Goodbye to Stomach Bloating Forever, I hear from people all the time that are experiencing this uncomfortable condition.

WebMD says:

"One in 10 Americans say they suffer from bloating regularly, even when they haven’t eaten a large meal. In some cases, bloating can become severe enough that it causes distention, or a perceptible swelling of the abdomen. Bloating and gas are usually tied to what and how you eat, so a few simple changes may help."

WebMD and I agree that bloating is tied to what you eat. However, we disagree on what that means. Many doctors attribute stomach bloating to three factors - overeating, eating rich and fatty food and eating too fast. These factors can cause bloating. We've all eaten too much at a holiday meal and then regretted it. We've all eaten a rich meal and found it did not exactly agree with us. We've all eaten on the run and bloated. But the premise here is shaky, because many of us are not doing those things everyday, but we are bloating everyday.

Okay, so it doesn't look that bad - it just feels that bad.
Okay, so it doesn't look that bad - it just feels that bad.

First things first

If you are experiencing sudden and unexplained bloating, run (don't walk) to your doctor. You must rule out serious diseases, particularly ovarian cancer. Do not scare yourself silly over this (as I did, once upon a time) just get it done and put your mind at rest.

Bloating may also be a symptom of a food sensitivity. Many people are lactose intolerant or have an immune response to gluten. Severe response to gluten is called Celiac's disease, however, it is speculated that many people have a low-grade immune response to gluten. If you believe your stomach bloating may be linked to a particular type of food, cut it from your diet for a few weeks and see if you experience improvement.

Now that You Have Ruled Out Serious Causes...

Once you have ruled out serious causes, you can begin to unravel what is going on. Each person is unique, yet the digestive system has some overarching patterns it needs to follow for good health.

1. Food must be properly broken down by digestive enzymes.

There are many reasons why digestive enzymes are not doing their job properly. Some as simple as not thoroughly chewing food to get the enzymes in the mouth going, and some more serious such as pancreatic insufficiency.

2. Food must travel through the digestive system at the correct rate of speed, neither too fast or too slow.

Many people, and it seems women especially, have a digestion that runs in fits and starts. They may feel that they primarily suffer from diarrhea, but it is often the case that what they really suffer from is a pattern of constipation, diarrhea, constipation. They hardly notice the constipation because they feel a day without diarrhea is a good day.

3. Food must encounter friendly bacteria and it must travel through a digestive tract with a healthy lining.

Friendly bacteria (probiotics) must have the upper-hand in the digestive tract. They help break down food, protect the lining of the tract and fight off damaging invaders. Think of this as soldiers defending your borders - it is an ongoing battle and, unfortunately, there are many reasons, like antibiotics, stress, lifestyle and diet that can overhwelm your soldiers.

If the above series of events and/or states becomes disrupted or compromised, bloating after eating is often the result.

So Now What?

You've ruled out serious disease, you either don't have a food sensitivity or you have removed the offender from your diet, and you are still bloating every day. Now what can you do?

Fix the fundamentals.

1. Check in with your digestive enzymes. Testing whether digestive enzymes are doing their job is easy to do - Try taking a high quality digestive enzyme supplement. If you are lacking in enzymes, you will notice an immediate difference in how you feel.

2. Regulate the transit time of your digestion. While ginger* is well-known for soothing upset stomach, it is also a powerful regulator and anti-inflammatory. Ginger capsules can be purchased in any grocery store. If your digestion seems sluggish, try a magnesium supplement. Magnesium will draw water into the colon, moving waste through at a speedier pace. Many Americans are deficient in this mineral, so when purchasing magnesium, keep in mind that the cheapest supplements are often comprised solely of magnesium oxide, which is not particularly bio-available. Look for a high quality product with a blend of magnesium types. I prefer Vital Nutrients brand Triple Mag 250.

3. Ensure that friendly bacteria is guarding your borders. This is an ongoing process. You should be taking in probiotics every day. For those who do not wish to consume additional lactose, kefir is a good choice and it 99% lactose free.

Stomach bloating can be frustrating. It is important to remember you are not alone. A quick stroll down the pharmacy aisle will confirm that this condition is chronic and widespread. But, you can take these simple steps to begin to heal your digestion.

May you go forward, not spending any of your precious life wondering what your stomach is doing.

*Always talk to your health provider before adding herbs and supplements. Some herbs and supplements are contraindicated for certain diseases, conditions and medications. Ginger has blood thinning properties and should not be taken in conjunction with medications that thin the blood. Only your doctor can assess if ginger or any other supplement, is right for you.

© 2013 Deb Maselli


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      3 years ago

      My daughter has bloating and they did all the testing cealic, etc and came negative, she also get bad period pains they have done scans ultra sounds and even barium but nothing showed up except patchy liver calcification she did an ultrasound 2010 nothing showed up 2012 it showed up nothing changed there as she did a couple of more later on, but she noticed that if she ate dairy too much fried food it can cause it, Dr gave her colofax she does not take it regularly but when bloated she takes this she does not worry too much about diet but when bloated takes colofax I am not sure if she should be doing this, they also said she has slight gastritis after a gastroscopy no colonoscopy done, I feel her issues started after having her braces as well as stress after paternal grandma dies unexpectedly in 2011, and burps quite a bit took nexium 30 mg for a while now takes it only when needed, drinks peppermint tea, get asthma when have a flue or hayfever. She has started probiotics and says she feels the difference. You are what you eat and that is for sure

      God Bless you for your article

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      4 years ago from Beautiful South

      I had this bloating, even as a child. It went away when I gave up gluten. I gave up dairy 20 years ago, because of a dairy allergy but the bloating didn't improve. Dairy brings on asthma attacks for me. Going gluten free gave me a flat stomach, but then I was prescribed Lyrica for a fibromyalgia- type condition and some of the bloating started again. Not as much as it had been though. I lost 14 lbs and haven't gained it back. Good information here, Deb.



    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)