A distended stomach is swelling or expanding of the stomach or abdominal area, that is caused by the pressure within it.
It is apparently not usually painful, but most people report feeling uncomfortably full, with a need to pass gas. However, in some cases, a person can experience cramps or nausea.
With this problem, pain can be experienced after consuming food, when sitting down or even when doing nothing. Pain may be experienced from the stomach to the chest and back of the body.
Possible reasons for a distension can include:
- Excessive air swallowing
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Lactose intollerance
- Bowel obstruction
- Ovarian Cancer
- Kidney stones
- Excessive fibre consumption
- Instestinal inflammation
Note that these are just some potential examples.
What to do if you have a distended stomach:
If your tummy is bloated or distended occasionally, there is not usually overly-cause for concern. Home remedies and over-the- counter medications usually help to soothe the condition.
Even a switch to eating simple, bland foods can help to keep stomach bloating to a minimum. However, if symptoms persist consult your family doctor.
How to help prevent stomach distension
To reduce pain and or bloating, some of the suggestions below may help:
- Include exercise in your daily lifestyle.
- Give your body time to digest food after a heavy meal, then go for a walk.
- If you are lactose intolerant, obviously avoid eating dairy products.
- Eat enough foods with fibre to help with bowel-movement regularity - but not too much.
- Avoid gluten (it is known to cause a lot of gas).
- Reduce salty or fatty foods.
- Drink lots of water. (If you tend to overeat, drink water before a meal to help you feel fuller)
- Eat more slowly and chew your food (...hmmm, I think I remember this one being told to me when I was a kid!)
If your symptoms don't go away, or the 'discomfort' becomes quite painful, go and see your doctor.
For related information, see:
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