The so-called "inflated belly" is a condition in which the stomach acquires enlarged in comparison with normal dimensions. Bloating can occur for a variety of reasons. Although it causes considerable inconvenience and discomfort, you do not have to worry too much about your health: this phenomenon is very common.
When you need a specialist consultation
If you find yourself in an inflated stomach, the causes of discomfort can be easily established, remembering what you used to eat during the day and how your daily activities differed from normal activities. Nevertheless, there are a number of indicators that can be used to judge the potential dangers of this condition. Call the doctor and make an appointment if the stomach continues to increase in size over time or if the disorder is accompanied by additional symptoms, such as fever or nausea. It is urgent to seek medical help in case of severe diarrhea or blood traces in the stool. Be sure to tell your doctor if you can not drink and eat without discomfort for eight or more hours.
Inflamed stomach: causes
The stomach is able to spread out in breadth for many reasons: from overeating and until pregnancy. In most cases, only the doctor can make an accurate diagnosis and determine the unambiguous cause of the swelling.
The most common culprits of this discomfort are overeating and the accumulation of gases. To increased gas production leads as a nervous habit to swallow air with food, and eating foods rich in fiber. If the gases do not find an outlet from the abdominal cavity, they can inflate it to an impressive size. There are also light pathological conditions leading to increased gas production. This is irritable bowel syndrome and lactose intolerance.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
If the abdomen is puffy and hard, and the patient constantly suffers with pain in the form of colic, it may be irritable bowel syndrome. It also causes bloating and gas formation. According to the US National Institutes of Health, every sixth American suffers from the symptoms of this disorder.
Individual lactose intolerance is diagnosed if it is impossible to adequately assimilate lactose (sugar contained in dairy products) by the patient's body. Symptoms of this condition include gas formation and bloating. The causes and treatment of such bloating are based, of course, on taking into account this feature of the organism and excluding natural dairy products from the diet. According to studies conducted at the National Center for Biotechnology in the United States, lactose intolerance is quite rare in representatives of the European race. Natives of Asian, African and Latin American countries are at risk.
Ascites, or abdominal dropsy, is a condition in which excessive fluid accumulates inside the abdominal cavity, forming an inflated stomach. Most often this occurs with liver diseases, such as cirrhosis (a disease in which connective tissue accumulates in the liver). As a rule, at the first stage of ascites development, symptoms and signs of pathology are completely absent. As the fluid accumulates, the stomach begins to increase in size. Pain syndrome is not typical for abdominal dropsy, but it can cause considerable inconvenience to the patient.
Less common causes
A strongly inflated abdomen can be a consequence of other, less common diseases and conditions. These include:
- stones in the gallbladder;
- congestion in the intestine;
- cyst in the ovary;
- increase in body weight.
Depending on the root cause of discomfort, bloating can be treated as medically, under the supervision of a doctor, and independently, at home. If the unpleasant condition is caused by overeating, you just have to wait until all the absorbed food is digested in the stomach. To prevent the occurrence of this problem in the future, you should slightly limit the amount of products consumed at a time. In addition, experts recommend chewing food as slowly as possible, so that it is easier to digest and absorbed by the body.
If the inflated belly bothers you due to increased gas production, try to avoid eating foods that contribute to this undesirable process. Among them - beans and cruciferous vegetables (for example, broccoli). Refuse carbonated drinks and drink through a straw. Slow chewing food also helps prevent ingestion of air - this is a good measure to combat gas generation.
A number of medications dispensed from a pharmacy without a doctor's prescription can also be used for bloating. The medicine, the main active ingredient of which is simethicone, will be the most effective. It should be remembered, however, that simethicone is effective only with the accumulation of gases in the stomach and is absolutely powerless against intestinal colic.
If swelling is caused by an individual intolerance to lactose, dairy products should be avoided. In irritable bowel syndrome, try to increase your own stress resistance, as well as the total amount of food rich in fiber. If you have ascites (abdominal edema), if possible, observe bed rest and try to reduce the amount of water consumed. These measures will allow the body to get rid of excess fluid.
If rest and decrease of water volume in the diet does not contribute to the disappearance of symptoms, the doctor will most likely recommend taking diuretics (Torasemide, Furosemide, Piretanide). Drugs in this group help the kidneys to remove more fluid causing bloating. In rare cases, the infection accumulates in the fluid accumulated in the abdominal cavity - to treat this complication, doctors prescribe antibiotics depending on the type of pathogen that caused the disease.
If the inflated stomach is a consequence of irritable bowel syndrome or lactose intolerance, follow the recommendations listed above. These conditions can not be treated with medicines.