Bloating is when your belly feels swollen after eating. It is usually caused by excess gas production or disturbances in the movement of the muscles of the digestive system.Bloating can often cause pain, discomfort and a “stuffed” feeling. It can also make your stomach look bigger
“Bloating” is not the same as water retention, but the two terms are often used interchangeably. Put simply, bloating involves excessive amounts of solids, liquids or gas in your digestive system.
When you feel bloated, drinking water sounds as if it would only make matters worse, but it can often help, says James Lee, MD, gastroenterologist with St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif. If you’re on a high-fiber diet, for instance, then your body needs more water to work more efficiently, says Dr. Lee. “Water mixes with water soluble fiber and makes it into a gel like substance. This affects the motility of the gut and reduces the symptom of bloating.” Drinking more water also relieves bloating caused by dehydration. When you’re dehydrated, your body clings to the water your body does have, causing you to puff up.