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General Practice 2023

Swollen belly: 7 common causes (and what to do)

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Swollen belly: 7 common causes (and what to do)
Swollen belly: 7 common causes (and what to do)
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Swollen belly is a relatively common symptom that is usually associated with the presence of excessive intestinal gas, especially in people who suffer from constipation.

However, if other symptoms are associated, such as anal bleeding, appearance of hemorrhoids or yellow skin, for example, it is important to consult a gastroenterologist to assess the situation and initiate the best treatment.

Another common situation of bloating in the belly is poor digestion, so if you think this could be the problem, watch the video by nutritionist Tatiana Zanin to learn about the causes of poor digestion and how to solve it:

The main causes of bloated belly include:

1. Excessive gases

They are the most common cause and usually occur due to situations such as a high-fat diet, fried foods or sweets. The consumption of very spicy foods, with excessive seasonings are also some of the frequent causes of a swollen belly, as they stimulate the formation of intestinal gas, which tends to dilate the lower abdominal region.

What to do: eating slowly, not swallowing air when eating and drinking fennel tea are some natural and simple options to calm gas production, relieving symptoms quickly. You can also make use of medications, such as Luftal. See other natural ways to fight intestinal gas.

2. Constipation

Constipation can be related to low fiber consumption, little physical activity and little water intake, and can affect people of all ages, although it is more common in sedentary and bedridden people.

In addition to belly swelling, constipation is also accompanied by difficulty defecating and a feeling of gas trapped in the belly, for example.

What to do: consume foods rich in fiber, as they favor the formation of fecal cake, reducing constipation and the gases associated with it. Good examples are oatmeal, muesli, wheat bran, whole foods, fruits and vegetables raw or cooked in s alted water.

In addition, you can also have a glass of natural yogurt mixed with 1/2 papaya papaya daily. This recipe has no contraindications and can be used by people of all ages. See other natural ways to fight constipation.

3. Overweight

Sometimes, the belly is not only swollen, there is accumulation of fat in this region and in this case it is necessary to make changes in lifestyle and thus lose weight and burn fat in the abdominal region to solve the problem.

What to do: exercise daily and eat less foods high in fat and sugar, in addition to nutritional and medical follow-up to reduce weight. If you need help adjusting your diet, watch the video below:

4. Menstruation

It is very common for women to complain of having a swollen belly during the period of PMS and menstruation. This is due to the accumulation of fluid in the abdominal area at this stage, which tends to disappear naturally with the end of menstruation.

What to do: to reduce a swollen belly during menstruation, what you can do is drink a diuretic tea, such as green tea or eat a few slices of melon, for example.

5. Pregnancy

When your belly starts to get more swollen from the belly button down and your period is late for a few days, this can be a sign of pregnancy. It is normal for the belly to start to become more prominent below the belly button in the 1st trimester of pregnancy and, over time, it will grow more uniformly until it gets close to the breasts.

If you think you might be pregnant take the following test:

Find out if you are pregnant

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During pregnancy, women tend to accumulate a lot of fluid, making them look swollen, especially in the ankles, hands and nose. In this regard, what you can do is reduce the consumption of s alt and sodium and drink plenty of water. It is not recommended to drink any tea without the doctor's knowledge, as many can cause premature birth.

6. Ascites

Ascites is a medical condition where fluid accumulates in the abdominal area, mainly due to liver problems such as cirrhosis of the liver, for example. The belly is swollen not only because of the accumulation of fluids, but also because organs such as the liver and spleen have their functions altered.

What to do: If ascites is suspected, it is recommended to consult a gastroenterologist to assess the cause of the problem and initiate the most appropriate treatment. Learn more about ascites and how it is treated.

7. Intestinal obstruction

Intestinal obstruction is an emergency situation that occurs when stool cannot pass through the intestine due to interference in its path, causing symptoms such as difficulty in evacuating or eliminating gas, belly swelling, nausea or abdominal pain.

What to do: Treatment for intestinal obstruction varies according to the location and severity of symptoms, and should always be done in the hospital, as surgery may be necessary. Understand better when obstruction occurs and how it is treated.

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