What Is Bloating?

Bloating is a common experience. 53% of adults the UK have experienced bloating in the past.1

It is this feeling of fullness, or pressure in your abdomen that’s called bloating. It is a common symptom of multiple digestive complaints, including constipation. In fact, constipation and bloating go hand in hand. 

Keep reading to learn more about bloating, gas, and constipation, including the causes, and when it might be time to contact a doctor.

Causes of Bloating

Bloating isn’t always visible to the naked eye. In cases when bloating is accompanied by visible swelling, this is known as distension. The symptoms can last for a short period, or they can be persistent, making them an ongoing concern.2

Here are the 5 most common causes of bloating.

Constipation and Bloating

Why is bloating so common in constipation? There are multiple reasons, but simply, and first off, when you are constipated, stool takes longer to pass through your colon and leave your body through the rectum. This means that bacteria have more time available to ferment food and produce gas. This of course means more gas in your colon. It’s as simple as that.10

How to Treat Bloating Caused by Constipation

Constipation is never fun and has the potential to affect many aspects of our lives. According to research, 12% of constipated individuals miss work or school, and 60% have impaired ability to work.17

Several factors can cause constipation, including your diet, medical conditions, and lifestyle. The good news is that many people with constipation find relief from painful bloating when they manage their constipation. So, how can you get rid of constipation and bloating? To start, let's look to science for help.13

Over-the-counter medications

Over-the-counter medications are valuable allies. Dulcolax, for example, is an option for people experiencing constipation. A full range of products are available, including tablets, liquid and suppositories.

Avoid chewing gum

Even at times it may feel like ‘Gum would be perfection,’ gum also has the power to make your trousers feel a lot tighter than usual. Chewing gum causes you to swallow air, which can get trapped in your digestive system and cause your stomach to expand.16

Dietary changes

Certain foods, like a class of carbohydrates called FODMAPs (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols), can cause bloating, abdominal pain, and discomfort. This is because they’re not digested well and produce gas. Some foods that are high in FODMAPs include dairy milk, beans and lentils, eggs, and wheat products.18
Research shows that a low-FODMAP diet can relieve bloating and abdominal pain. Additionally, carbonated beverages can cause gas, which may worsen your bloating.6,15 

Observe how you feel after eating certain foods, to try and understand which foods are causing your bloating. Talk to a pharmacist or doctor before making any major changes to your diet.

Get more active

Exercise can be an effective bloating remedy as well. Movement contracts your abdominal muscles, stimulating your digestive tract, and helping to eliminate gas. Break a sweat to keep your digestion in check.17

When to See a Doctor or Pharmacist

There is no cure-all solution for bloating that works for everyone. Talking to a doctor or pharmacist is the best action if you regularly feel that uncomfortable fullness in your abdomen.  

With the help of expert guidance, you can identify the root cause of the problem and find the best solution for you, to help you enjoy all the wonders of life without that tummy full of unwanted gas.

MAT-XU-2304708 (v1.0) November 2023

The Dulco Range

A full range of Dulcolax products is available here, including tablets and suppositories.

Learn more about constipation

Here, you'll find answers to some of the most common questions about constipation. We offer guidance on how to get rid of constipation and how to stay regular.