7 Common Causes of Swollen Belly and What to Do


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A swollen belly is a common symptom that is usually associated with excessive intestinal gas, especially in people who suffer from constipation.

However, if there are other symptoms such as anal bleeding, appearance of haemorrhoids or yellowish skin, its is important to consult a gastroenterologists who will assess the situation and recommend the best treatment.

The main causes of swollen belly include:

1. Excess gases

This is the most common cause and it is usually due to consuming foods rich in fat, fried foods or foods with high sugar content. Eating spicy foods with too much seasonings also cause a swollen belly as they stimulate the formation of intestinal gases, which dilate the abdominal region.

What to do: Eat your food slowly and do not swallow any air. Take fennel tea as this is among the simple remedies that can be used to prevent production of these gases, hence relieving the symptoms quickly. You can also take medicines such as luftal.

2. Constipation

Constipation is a condition that is caused by low consumption of fibre, low physical activity and low water intake. It can affect people of all ages but it is more common in people who live a sedentary lifestyle and those who are bedridden.

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Aside from swelling of the belly, constipation can also be accompanied by difficulty when defecating and a feeling of gases trapped in the belly.

What to do: Consume lots of foods rich in fibre as they favour the formation of faeces and this will reduce constipation and the formation of gases associated with it. Examples of such food are oats, muesli, what bran, whole foods, raw fruits and vegetables which are either cooked in water or with salt.

Moreover, one can also take a glass of natural yogurt daily that is mixed with 1/2 papaya. This recipe has no side effects and it cane be taken buy people of all ages.

3. Overweight

The belly may also be swollen due to accumulation of fat in the abdominal region and in this case, it is necessary to make changes in the lifestyle. This includes losing weight and burning the fat through exercise so as to solve this problem.

What to do: Engage in exercise activities on a daily basis and reduce the consumption of foods rich in fat and sugar. Moreover, you can also do nutrition and medical examinations to monitor the weight reduction.

4. Menstruation

Women may also complain often about having a swollen belly during their PMS and menstruation period. This is usually due to the accumulation of fluids in the abdominal area during these phases, and it normally disappears at the end of menstruation.

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What to do: Do reduce the swollen belly during menstruation, one can take diuretic tea, such as green tea or eat a few slices of melon.

5. Pregnancy

A swollen belly may also be a sign of pregnancy when the belly begins to swell from the navel downwards and menstruation is delayed for a few days. It is common that the belly will become prominent below the navel during the first trimester of pregnancy and with time, it will grow with a more uniform shape until it reaches close t the breasts.

During pregnancy, women tend to accumulate a lot of fluids and for this reason they become more puffy, especially in the regions of the ankle, hands and nose. In such cases, it is advisable to reduce the consumption of salt and sodium then drink plenty of water. It is not recommended to take any tea without the knowledge of the doctor as this may cause premature delivery.

6. Ascites

This is a medical condition in which there is fluid build-up in the abdominal region. This may be due to conditions such as liver cirrhosis. The belly will not only be swollen because of the accumulation of fluids but because the functions organs such as the liver and spleen have been altered.

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What to do: If there is suspicion of ascites, it recommended that you consult the gastroenterologist so that the problem is assessed and the appropriate treatment is prescribed.

7. Intestinal obstruction

This is an emergency situation that occurs when the stool cannot pass through the intestine due to an interference in its path. It brings about symptoms such as difficulty defecating and eliminating gas, swelling of the belly, nausea and abdominal pain.

What to do: Treatment if intestinal obstruction varies depending on the location and severity of the symptoms and it should only be done in the hospital. This is because it may be necessary to perform surgery.


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