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How common is bloating?

Lawrence S. Friedman, MD
Gastroenterology
Bloating (a feeling of fullness and tightness in the abdomen) affects 10% to 30% of the general population, with women twice as likely to experience it as men. Functional bloating is an independent diagnosis, but it is also frequently associated with other functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. For example, 75% of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients complain of bloating; in fact, IBS patients often rank bloating as their most bothersome symptom. Bloating is also often accompanied by excessive flatulence and frequent belching.

Bloating is a fairly common condition of excess gas in the body. About 11 percent of all people experience bloating. It is usually caused by a person's inability to digest certain foods, especially legumes, vegetables, and dairy products.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.