Top causes of bloating


Top causes of bloating and when you should consult a doctor

1 Jun , 2016  

Bloating is also known as water retention or edema. There are few things which trigger our body to retain water in its tissues, organs, and circulatory system. Our body is made up of 70% of water but during water retention, the percentage increases. 

Here I am about to discuss why water retention or bloating occurs in various regions of our body and how to tackle it.

What causes water retention or bloating?

Different parts of our body suffer water retention for different reasons. Knowing the reasons help us to understand whether we need to change the diet/lifestyle or go straight to the doctor!


If the pressure changes on the blood carrying capillaries it can make the capillaries rupture. This calls for repairing of capillaries. Water may get stored there to facilitate white blood cells. Also, if the capillaries become too leaky then water leaks into the spaces between tissues resulting in a swelled area.


Capillary structure

Capillary structure


The lymphatic system

The lymphatic system drains fluid out of tissue into blood vessels. If a lot of liquid is released in one go and lymph is not able to drain it out fast enough water stores into tissue spaces. Sometimes due to congestion same thing happens resulting in water retention.

The heart

The heart pumps blood throughout the body at a particular pressure. If due to some heart failures it is not able to pump blood away from body parts, water stores there. Legs, feet or ankle will swell up. Fluid can build up in lungs as well which can result in a cough for a long time. A doctor should be consulted right away.


Bloating in heart - pulmonary edema

Pulmonary edema – Congestive heart failure due to water retention in heart


Increased histamine production in body

In the case of any inflammation, histamine is produced by the body to fill tissue gaps. This eases the action of white blood cells in injured tissues. Prolonged inflammations result in bloating.


The increase in weight of uterus increases pressure on veins in pelvic region which causes swelling. It goes away after pregnancy and there is nothing to be afraid of.

Physical inactivity

Lack of exercise reduces the strength with which heart pumps blood. It also affects the fluid flow into the blood by the lymphatic system. Inactivity hence increases water retention in legs or feet as the veins store lot of fluid in them. The pressure of the fluid can cause veins to rupture and form varicose veins.


Physical inactivity may result in bloating

Physical inactivity may result in bloating


The kidneys

Due to blood pressure problem or heart failure if blood supply to kidneys get altered then the filters in it fail to drain waste water out. This can lead to severe bloating around the organ and can result in kidney failure. Any discomfort in passing urine should be reported to the doctor immediately.

Reduced protein intake

Serious bloating can occur if your body becomes protein deficient. Lack of tissue formation is replaced by water which results in increased abdomen area.


Estrogen-containing drugs like birth control pills, anti-inflammatory pills (like aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen) and beta blockers used by heart patients cause serious water retention.

Premenstrual bloating

This is majorly caused by hormonal imbalance. This can be counteracted by a good nutrition.


Premenstrual bloating

Premenstrual bloating



Salt rich diet and diet lacking vitamin B1, B5, B6 causes bloating. Low levels of albumin cause this too.


Certain food or insects induce allergens in our body which cause inflammation and in turn increases water retention. Anti-allergic treatment or avoiding food which causes allergy should be adopted.

Thyroid Diseases

People suffering thyroid gland dysfunction suffer water retention all the time. Thyroid checkup should be done every 6 months by everyone.

This scientific insight to bloating will help you to understand your body deeply and take action at the right time. In my next article, I will suggest diet and tips which can seriously tackle this widespread problem.

Photo credits: 1, 2, 3, 4

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I am a self-practising naturotherapist with a primal diet. Primal diet has helped me maintain my weight and internal health. Herbal lifestyle has helped to rejuvenate my skin and body. Hence, combining the diet and herbal lifestyle creates harmony between my mind, body and skin.

8 Responses

  1. Mariyam says:

    Now I know the reason ehy I bloat so much! Will take care by following these tips :)

  2. Sonali says:

    Nice post Ankita :)

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