Bloating is another symptom that is associated with some food intolerances. The typical symptoms of bloating include a feeling that gas (wind) is ‘trapped’ in the stomach and a tight, distended, painful stomach (abdomen) after eating. Bloating is often caused by intestinal gases building up to an excessive degree, resulting in discomfort and sometimes embarrassment. Bacteria produce these gases in the digestive tract from food that hasn’t been adequately digested or absorbed. It could, also, be caused by a lack of enzymes. Enzymes are specialized proteins that work on specific foods to help break them down. In some people, there is a lack of specific enzymes needed to break down certain foods. If the body cannot properly break down certain foods, the result might be bloating and gas.
One of the more common intolerances to produce bloating is lactose intolerance. This intolerance occurs in people who are deficient in the enzyme lactase. Lactase is required to break down the sugars (lactose, a disaccharide) found in milk. When someone with lactose intolerance consumes milk or a product that includes milk as one of its ingredients, they are likely to feel bloated and uncomfortably gassy.