Does altitude make you bloated?

As if jet lag wasn’t enough, flying can cause a myriad of other unpleasant side effects. One common issue is bloating which can make you feel uncomfortable and irritable during your trip. In today’s article, we’ll discuss what causes this condition and how you can prevent it from happening.

What Is Bloating?

Bloating is an abnormal swelling of the abdomen caused by gas or fluid retention in the body. When our digestive system struggles to break down certain foods or gases inside our stomach create pressure making us feel as though we’ve swallowed a balloon! It’s not uncommon for people to experience this discomfort at high altitudes; but before we understand its relation to altitude-sickness let’s get into why bloating happens in general!

Stomach Acid Production

Stress, emotional tension, poor food choices, eating too quickly and consuming carbonated beverages all stimulate the production of gastric juice (HCL) in the stomach.This acid helps digest our meals such that nutrients are assimilated correctly while bacteria/parasites present within ingested foods are killed off (on occasion). If adequate enzymes aren’t available nutrients aren’t absorbed efficiently leading to inflammation because there isn’t any proper breakdown also resultirritability/fatigue often occur from insufficient nutrient intake.

Antacids & PPIs

Persistent heartburn may require prescription medication for relief whereas short-term antacids achieve temporary remedies better than proton pump inhibitors (PPI’s) until internal acidity levels return normalcy. Unfortunately these frequently used medications diminish ability with long term use after all antacid manufacturers don’t benefit when their products are no longer needed!
Furthermore ‘rebound reflux’ – underproduction of acid due regular usage – can induce digestive symptoms like bloating/gas worse then before taking them again.
Therein lies rationale moderation with symptom resolution perhaps more effective than immediate removal excessive stomach acid.

Salt Intake

Excessive sodium(comprised of two ions one Sodium ‘Na’ and the other Chloride ‘Cl’, NaCI ) intake, often found in highly processed food items or when consuming an oversized bag of potato chips/salted peanuts for instance, can cause water retention making you feel bloated. To quote science “A high-salt diet typically increases water retention”. Therefore it is advisable to limit your salt intake during flights at high altitudes so that you don’t face this issue.

How Does Altitude Affect Our Body?

The idea behind a pressurized cabin at high altitude is to increase airflow inside the cabin allowing people to breathe easier. Changes occur in our body and everything happens rapidly as there’s less oxygen makes way from heart to brain through blood veins often causing fatigue; slower digestion due decreased pressure decreases leading bloat/gas formation too!

Hypoxia: Oxygen Deprivation At High Altitudes

Hypoxia occurs when tissues are not supplied with enough oxygen, especially prominent upon flying commercial airlines cruising 70k feet above sea level (half upper atmosphere). This shortage can lead bodily reactions like headaches,fatigue/nausea which also enlarge existing breathing difficulties creating respiratory failure- clearly avoidable by wearing masks supplementing available O2 supply especially lengthy flights international/domestic alike.

Circulation Problems

Another side-effect from flying at higher elevations is increased capillary resistance caused by constriction – this impedes proper blood supply throughout muscle pools indirectly affecting bowel movement normalcy.It’s important stay hydrated before/during/after each flight minimizing dehydration issues occurring lower humidity levels/moving air stores within cabins/heaviest alcoholic beverages temporary inhalers welcome hydrating throat/lungs.These situations may lead gas/bloating, uncomfortable.

Why Does Bloating Happen At High Altitudes?

Now that we have established what bloating is and why it happens let’s take a closer look at the relationship between bloating and altitude sickness. As previously mentioned air-pressure inside the body decreases with elevation leading to gas expansion, even our stomachs expand to a point they cannot release gases within its time frame- creating pressure upon surrounding organs. This situation creates abdominal fullness/bloating; often resolved by belches or passing flatulence occasionally resolvable by taking digestive aids (probiotics/zyme enzymes) regularly.

How To Prevent Bloating At High Altitudes?

Now that we know what causes bloating in general and how altitude can exacerbate it, let’s talk about some ways to prevent it.


Proper hydration is crucial when flying as dehydration stimulates inflamed responses not absorbed therefore aren’t excreted as waste but causing further intestinal issues. staying hydrated can help keep your gut moving along properly preventing build-up of unwanted gas making you feel better? It all starts with drinking water! Herbal teas are another great way reduce tension in intestines if irritated so try for chamomile tea one hour before flight – seats permitting bring lose leaf varieties infuse fresh herbs abundance evoking pleasant aroma instead stale cabin smells!

Avoiding Carbonated Beverages And Foods That Cause Gas

Soda/Cold Beer contain lots carbon-dioxide bubble formation producing burps inevitable resulting strained intestines which unless ejected soon persist adding discomfort throughout entire duration.Mushroom based meals create plenty man-made organic indigestible bio-residues worsening further waste elimination without any useful nutrition imparted off-camera.Quality meats/fish preferable containing necessary amino-acids building blocks amino protein DNA strands avoiding troublesome combinations despite their intrinsic appeal give themselves present liver disease cancer amphetamine production decreasing energy levels over long periods ingestion(but depending meat consumption may vary.)

Probiotics & Zyme Enzymes

Complimentary dietary additions such as probiotics contain living microbes/yeasts reducing digestive inflammation with their metabolites while zyme enzymes assist breakdown proteins/carbohydrates thereby creating three outcomes – absorption, reduction waste accumulation and energy gain.

With a long list of potential causes for bloating it’s no surprise that so many people suffer from the condition. By following some simple steps like staying hydrated, avoiding carbonated beverages and seeking out complementary dietary addition such as probiotics and zyme enzyme supplements those unwelcomed effects can be avoided altogether.


In conclusion, we have discussed what bloating is, its potential causes/causes at high altitudes . We have also highlighted ways to prevent them from happening such as hydration, avoiding gas producing foods/beverages or even complementing diets future absorb/nutritionally enrich larger meals. Next time you fly don’t forget these useful tips… they may just make all the difference! Stay relaxed consume your snacks hopefully without salt unless bare minimum keep trying till positive results are aimed directly at inducing healthy lifestyles now watch belly fat give way flat comfy tummies.

Happy Flying Everyone!

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