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Food & diet

Does Sugar Cause Bloating?

Do you suffer from gas and bloating? You’re not alone. The feeling of gas and bloating is uncomfortable for most people. Learn if sugar causes gas and bloating and what you can do to prevent and alleviate these symptoms.

Does Sugar Cause Gas?

Sugar can cause gas and bloating. This is because your small intestines don’t have the enzymes needed to break down and absorb the sugars in some foods. The undigested food travels to the large intestine where bacteria break down the food. This causes hydrogen and carbon dioxide gases to form.

Do Artificial Sweeteners Cause Bloating?

Artificial sweeteners are also known as sugar substitutes. They have little to no calories. Artificial sweeteners can be found in things like soft drinks and candy. These artificial sweeteners can cause gas and bloating:2

  • Artificial sweeteners with sugar alcohol
  • Stevia
  • Monk fruit

Sugary Foods to Avoid

You can reduce the consumption of sugary foods or avoid eating them entirely if gas and bloating are reoccurring issues for you. The sugary foods that can cause gas and bloating include:1

  • Fructose: This sugar is found in pears and onions. It is also present in artichokes and wheat. Fructose is often used to sweeten fruit drinks and soft drinks.
  • Raffinose: This complex sugar is found in vegetables like cabbage and broccoli. Raffinose is also found in whole grains.
  • Lactose: This natural sugar is found in milk and dairy products like ice cream and cheese. You can also find lactose in processed foods like bread and cereal.
  • Sorbitol: This gas-causing sugar is naturally found in fruits like apples and pears. Sorbitol may also be used as a sugar substitute or artificial sweetener in gum or sugar-free candy.

It’s important to check the nutrition label before you consume any food or beverage. Sugars can be hard to spot since they have many different names. Look out for these ingredients:3

  • Ingredients with “syrup” in them (like corn syrup or cane syrup)
  • Ingredients that end with “ose” (like sucrose or fructose)
  • Ingredients that contain “sugar” in them (like raw sugar or brown sugar)

Preventing Gas and Bloating

Reducing your sugar intake isn’t the only way to prevent gas and bloating. Other ways to prevent gas and bloating include:4

  • Relaxing and eating more slowly. Taking your time to eat a meal can help prevent gas. Be sure to chew your food thoroughly.
  • Going for a walk. Walking for 10 to 15 minutes after eating can help prevent gas.
  • Avoid chewing gum. Gum often contains indigestible sugars that your stomach can’t break down.
  • Avoid carbonated beverages. Carbonated beverages are a common gas culprit.

How Long Does Bloating Last?

Bloating should disappear after a few hours or days.5 You can take control of your gas and bloating with some at-home remedies. Contact your doctor if your bloating persists or gets worse.

How to Relieve Gas and Bloating from Sugar

It’s difficult to completely avoid sugary foods altogether. Even healthy foods, like fruit, naturally contain sugar. Here’s what you can do to relieve gas and bloating from sugary foods and beverages:5

  • Try an over-the-counter medicine like Gas-X. Gas-X contains simethicone. This ingredient breaks down gas bubbles in the stomach.
  • Drink an herbal tea. Herbal teas like peppermint can help with digestion.
  • Consider probiotics. Probiotics may help absorb excess gas in your stomach. They can also balance the bacteria in your gut.

Learn more about Gas-X products to help you find fast relief from bloating and gas.

Source Citations:

  1. Gas in the Digestive Tract. Cedars-Sinai. Accessed on 5/18/2023.
  2. Artificial Sweeteners and other sugar substitutes. Mayo Clinic. Accessed on 5/19/2023.
  3. Finding the Hidden Sugar in the Foods You Eat. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Accessed on 5/18/23.
  4. Gas - flatulence Information. Mount Sinai. Accessed on 5/18/2023.
  5. Bloated Stomach. Cleveland Clinic. Accessed on 5/18/2023.