Nutrition for IBS, Reflux and Bloated Stomach Relief

Does Bread Make You Bloated?

August 29th, 2013 by

‘Bread makes me very bloated – is that normal?’ As a nutritionist, this is possibly the most common question that I am asked. The answer is that there are many causes of bloating, cramps, flatulence (wind, farting, gas) or burping, and not all bloating is caused by food.

If you experience bloating only after eating bread, then it may be that you are reacting to some of the ingredients used in modern day processing of bread. The list is long and includes oxidant chemicals such as azodicarbonamide to bleach the flour and strengthen the gluten, fractionated fats/emulsifiers (mono- and di-glycerides), preservatives such as calcium propionate, and enzymes derived from fungus. It is not a legal requirement to list all of these ingredients on the labels, so it is hard to always know what is in some shop-bought bread.

Go to a local baker (I’m afraid this doesn’t include the supermarket bakery) and ask for breads made using traditional methods, such as sourdough bread. The dough must be fermented in yeast over a 24 hour period.

If bread, pasta, couscous, baked goods and beer cause severe bloating which often takes a number of days to deflate and may be accompanied by foul-smelling wind and diarrhoea, it is advisable to discuss diagnostic testing for coeliac disease or gluten intolerance with a healthcare professional.

If your symptoms are severe, sudden-onset, especially if they are accompanied by blood in your stool, vomiting or painful stomach cramps, see your doctor to rule out a medical condition.