Being bloated is so uncomfortable. A whopping 74 percent of Americans have suffered from GI discomfort, which encompasses a range of symptoms including bloating. Although many people experience bloating in their lifetime, over half of them don't discuss it with their doctor — even though they might not be able to identify what's causing their bloating. Because bloating is so common, a lot of people don’t think it’s a serious problem to discuss with a medical professional, but that’s not always the case.
“Although a lot of people who suffer persistent bloating don’t usually take it seriously, it may actually be a symptom of a serious medical condition,” Clinton Bakasa, a dietician based in South Africa, tells Bustle. Bakasa also shares that certain foods can trigger bloating and because a lot of bloat-inducing foods have nutritional value, it’s best to “consult with a dietitian or nutritionist on other food replacement options.”
Listening to your body is key, and an important component of listening to your body is noticing patterns. Keeping note of how your body feels after eating certain foods or after different activities can reveal what may be causing you to feel bloated. Ahead, you’ll find common causes of bloating and how to deal with them — whether that's taking your symptoms to your doctor, or simply avoiding certain foods.