General Practice 2022

What could be the swollen stomach (and what to do)

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What could be the swollen stomach (and what to do)
What could be the swollen stomach (and what to do)

The feeling of a bloated stomach can be related to several factors, but mainly with poor digestion, intolerance to some foods and excess gas. However, stomach swelling can also be indicative of infections by parasites or bacteria, such as H. pylori, for example, which should be treated as directed by the gastroenterologist.

Thus, if the feeling of a full and bloated stomach is persistent or is accompanied by other symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting or weight loss with no apparent cause, for example, it is important that the doctor is consulted.

A bloated stomach does not usually represent serious he alth problems, but it is important that the cause is identified so that eating habits can be changed or treatment with medication, for example, as it can be quite uncomfortable.

Swollen stomach can happen due to several situations, the main ones being:

1. Excessive gases

Excessive gas can result in abdominal discomfort and distension, general malaise and even a bloated stomach feeling. The increase in gas production is usually related to people's habits, such as not practicing physical activities, consuming a lot of carbonated drinks and foods that are difficult to digest, such as cabbage, broccoli, beans and potatoes, for example. Check out some habits that increase gas production.

What to do: The best way to combat excessive gas production and thus relieve symptoms is to adopt he althier habits, such as regular physical activity and having a lighter food. Here are some natural and effective ways to eliminate intestinal gas.

2. Food intolerance

Some people may have an intolerance to some type of food, which results in the body's difficulty in digesting that food and leading to symptoms such as excess gas, abdominal pain, nausea and a feeling of heaviness in the stomach, for example. See what are the symptoms of food intolerance.

What to do: If symptoms appear after consumption of certain foods, it is important to go to the gastroenterologist to confirm the intolerance, in addition to being recommended to avoid the consumption of foods that trigger the symptoms.

3. Infections

Some infections can lead to gastrointestinal symptoms, such as parasite infections. Some parasites can cause gastrointestinal symptoms, resulting in diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and a bloated stomach, for example. See what the symptoms of worms are.

In addition to worm infection, yeast and bacterial infections can also result in the feeling of a bloated stomach.An example is infection with the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, which can be present in the stomach and lead to ulcer formation, constant heartburn, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, and excessive intestinal gas. Know the symptoms of H. pylori in the stomach.

What to do: It is important to go to the gastroenterologist so that tests are carried out to verify the cause of the infection and, thus, establish the best form of treatment. In case of infection by parasites, the use of Albendazole or Mebendazole may be recommended, and should be used according to the doctor's advice.

In the case of H. pylori infection, the doctor may recommend the use of antibiotics associated with gastric protective drugs, in addition to indicating a visit to a nutritionist so that the person can follow an adequate diet. Find out how the treatment for H. pylori is done.

4. Dyspepsia

Dyspepsia corresponds to the slow and difficult digestion of food that can be related to the consumption of irritating foods, such as coffee, soft drinks, spicy or spicy foods, emotional situations, such as stress, anxiety or depression, and the use of some medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, ibuprofen, corticosteroids or antibiotics.Dyspepsia can also be related to the presence of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori.

What to do: The treatment for dyspepsia is done with the aim of relieving symptoms, being recommended to change eating habits, and the person should eat lighter and nutritious foods, such as fruits, vegetables and lean meats, for example.

In case it is caused by Helicobacter pylori, the gastroenterologist will establish the most appropriate treatment to eliminate the bacteria.

5. Eating too fast

Eating too fast and chewing too little prevents the stomach from sending signals to the brain that it is full, which causes the person to eat more, resulting not only in weight gain, but also in the feeling of a full stomach full and bloated, poor digestion and heartburn.

In addition, lack of chewing prevents food from being properly digested in the stomach, causing intestinal transit to slow down, causing constipation, belching and gas, for example.

What to do: If the bloated stomach is related to eating too quickly, it is important that the person pays attention to what he is eating, eating in a calm and without noise, chew the food 20 to 30 times and stop between each bite, preferably leaving the cutlery on the plate, so that you can see if you are satisfied or not.

6. Stomach cancer

Stomach cancer is a type of cancer that can affect any part of the stomach and causes symptoms such as constant heartburn, nausea, vomiting, weakness, weight loss for no apparent reason, decreased appetite, and a feeling of fullness and swollen, especially after meals, and swelling of the left supraclavicular ganglion, also called Virchow's ganglion, which is very suggestive of gastric cancer. Know the symptoms of stomach cancer.

What to do: Treatment for stomach cancer is either chemotherapy or radiation therapy and, depending on the severity, size and location of the tumor in the stomach, it may be necessary surgical removal of part or all of the organ.In addition, it is important to adopt he althy lifestyle habits, such as a balanced diet and regular exercise to prevent the progression of the disease.

7. Bezoar

Bezoar is an accumulation of undigested material that accumulates in the stomach and can cause inflammation, swelling, ulcer formation and digestive bleeding. Although bezoar is not very common, it can happen more easily in people with eating disorders, with abnormal gastric emptying and in a post-surgical situation. Compounds accumulated in the stomach can be hair, fiber from undigested food, seeds, some medications or milk protein compounds, for example.

What to do: It is recommended that the gastroenterologist be consulted for the diagnosis and the best treatment to be determined, which may involve the elimination of the bezoar through chemical dissolution, endoscopic extraction or surgery.

When to go to the doctor

Although it is not serious most of the time, it is important to go to the gastroenterologist so that the cause of the stomach swelling can be verified and, thus, the best treatment can be defined. In addition, it is essential to go to the doctor if:

  • Swelling is persistent;
  • Other symptoms occur, such as diarrhea, vomiting, or bleeding;
  • There is weight loss for no apparent reason;
  • Symptoms do not subside after treatment prescribed by the doctor.

In case the feeling of a bloated stomach is related to problems related to food, the gastroenterologist may recommend going to a nutritionist so that the person has guidance on their eating habits.

In case it is related to infections, the doctor may recommend the use of antiparasitic drugs or antibiotics according to the identified infectious agent, in addition to the use of gastric protective drugs, such as Omeprazole or Pantoprazole, for example.

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