Why Is the Left Side of My Stomach Bloated?

Reviewed on 11/18/2022
Woman with stomach cramps grabbing her belly
Bloating on the left side of the abdomen can be caused by eating certain foods, taking fiber supplements, constipation, digestive conditions, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastroparesis, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and certain gynecological conditions.

Bloating of the stomach and abdomen is usually a result of excess gas buildup in the large intestine (colon) that causes a distended abdomen.

The colon bends a lot, and when air (gas) gets trapped in the bends, it may cause bloating, cramps, or sharp pains. 

10 Causes

Causes of bloating of the left side of the stomach and abdomen include: 

What Are Symptoms of Bloating of the Left Side of the Stomach?

The main symptoms of bloating of the left side of the stomach and abdomen include:

  • Abdominal distention 
  • Feeling of fullness or heaviness in the stomach
  • Gas (flatulence)
  • Belching

See a doctor if the following symptoms accompany bloating: 

How Is Bloating of the Left Side of the Stomach Diagnosed?

The cause of bloating of the left side of the stomach and abdomen starts with a patient history and physical examination. Tests to help diagnose the cause of bloating of the left side of the stomach and abdomen may include: 

How Do I Get Rid of Side Bloat?

Treatment for bloating of the left side of the stomach and abdomen depends on the cause and may include:

  • Dietary changes 
    • Avoiding foods that cause gas and bloating
    • A low FODMAP (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols) diet may reduce symptoms of gas and IBS
    • Eating more slowly 
    • Starting with a small amount of fiber supplement and gradually adding more so the body gets used to the extra fiber
  • Lactase supplements to aid with digestion of dairy products such as Lactaid
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines for bloating
  • Digestive enzymes such as amylase, lipase, protease, or HCL to help relieve bloating 
  • Peppermint oil or peppermint tea may also help relieve bloating
  • Prescription medications
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is treated with: 
    • Changes in diet and lifestyle
    • Medications
    • Probiotics
    • Therapy

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Reviewed on 11/18/2022

Image source: iStock Images