Home Digestive systemAbdominal pain Hard and swollen belly: Causes

Hard and swollen belly: Causes

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Having a swollen gut is more common than it seems. The clinical term is abdominal distention and in most cases it is caused by an accumulation of gases in the abdomen area. This is precisely why the gut swells and when it tenses and expands it becomes hard. Most cases of abdominal distention are not due to serious causes, however, the rest of the symptoms must be taken into account to determine if it is some other condition.

In any case, you have to go to the doctor, especially if you have strong or incessant pain. It is also very likely to happen in women with PMS. This is due to the change in hormones since the organs of the female reproductive system work during ovulation and it is normal for them to produce swelling and even pain and cramps in the abdomen. In this FastlyHealarticle we answer the question why do I have a hard and swollen belly ?

What is abdominal distention

Abdominal distention is the clinical name for a swollen belly. It can occur in all types of people, whether they are more or less thin, men and women and at any age. However, it is more common among women , but this is because in this case it may be due to the menstrual period. It is also much more noticeable in people with an organism within healthy measures.

Having a swollen and hard gut is not only aesthetically annoying but it is also uncomfortable for the person who suffers from it and can change their mood and feel irritated. Normally it is due to an accumulation of gases or some problem of food intolerance, however there can be many causes , and even some more serious. It could be a symptom of a digestive pathology or disorder.

When it comes to food or digestive problems, most of the time the solution is to eat a healthy and balanced diet. However, we are going to see the possible causes that can cause abdominal distention and how they are treated. If you want, in the following article you can learn about the best home remedies for bloating .

Main causes of a swollen belly

If you were wondering “Why is my belly hard and swollen?”, Here is a list of the most common causes of swelling in the belly :

  • Gases.
  • Food intolerances.
  • Digestive problems and diseases.
  • Ascitis.
  • The menstruation.
  • Organ problems housed in the abdomen.

Next, we will detail each of the most frequent reasons for this health problem.

Belly swollen with gas

Dyspepsia is the accumulation of gases in the abdomen. It usually occurs when digestion is slow and gastric emptying takes longer. That is why there are more fermentations and air or gas bubbles are produced in the intestine.

This usually happens after certain meals . There are substances, such as oligosaccharides, that are more difficult to digest.

Some foods that can cause increased gas are:

  • The beans
  • The eggs
  • Milk
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Garlic
  • Cauliflower
  • The cereals
  • Wheat bran
  • The lentils
  • The cabbage
  • Carbonated drinks

The treatment for a swollen belly , when it is due to poor digestion, involves not eating meals that are very copious as they cause slow digestion. That is why it is better to eat several light meals a day. Fats delay the emptying of the stomach, so a good way to improve is by avoiding taking too much. You can also try herbal teas such as chamomile, mint or fennel. In the following article we will talk about home remedies for indigestion .

Swollen belly after eating due to food intolerances

Food intolerances occur when the intestine cannot digest a component well. The most common are lactose and gluten, but there are many more.

In the case of celiac disease, it is an immune disease that causes discomfort when gluten is taken, a protein found in many cereals that we normally consume. It causes stomach pain and bloating, as well as cramping and a bloated feeling.

The lactose intolerance is very common cause bloating and belly swollen and hard. Lactose is a sugar found in dairy products and can cause diarrhea, colic, and flatulence when ingesting these foods.

Other intolerances are fructose , which is found in dried fruits, honey or onions, or sorbitol, a sugar substitute found in many sweets and gum. In the following article we will talk about the symptoms of fructose intolerance so that you can detect if this is your case.

In this case, the treatment is to avoid those foods that are causing the intolerance.

Swollen gut from digestive diseases

Some intestinal diseases such as Crohn’s disease or irritated bowel syndrome can cause alterations in the intestinal rhythm, which causes stool stops and that they do not move and incomplete digestions with fermentations in the colon . In addition, the intestinal flora also causes gas, so this would increase the swollen belly.

Irritable bowel syndrome also causes bloating and abdominal pain. In this case there is a problem in its operation but not in the structure due to any damage or injury. It produces gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, a feeling of a bloated belly, pain, colic, malaise, nausea and even fatigue. It can cause a feeling of bloating in the belly but also real bloating caused by the enlargement of the colon due to excess gas.

It is important to determine as soon as possible that it is any of these diseases in order to establish a treatment.

Hard, swollen belly from ascites

Ascites, also known as water belly , is an accumulation of fluid in the abdominal area. It is not in itself a disease but rather a symptom of more serious pathologies such as cirrhosis . That is why you have to know how to determine if it is an ascites in order to treat it as soon as possible.

Ascites causes abdominal swelling that, if very strong, could put pressure on the stomach and cause poor appetite or tighten the lungs, causing breathing problems. When it is mild it may not cause symptoms but when it exceeds the liters it can cause excessive swelling and a very hard belly . If you have liver problems or fluid retention it could be this disease. Always go to the doctor as soon as possible to make a more adequate diagnosis.

Organ problems near the abdomen

When any organ in the area suffers a problem, swells or enlarges due to some pathology, it is normal for the gut to look swollen or even hardened. In this area there are many organs that could cause an increase in the belly if they swell. If you don’t have a stomach ache but you do notice considerable swelling, or you have other pains that have nothing to do with the abdomen, it could be from some other cause. Some conditions that can cause a swollen gut are:

  • The fatty liver , typical of patients with schistosomiasis
  • Large fibroids, such as uterine fibroids
  • Polycystic kidneys
  • Polycystic tumors
  • Tumors in some other organ located in the abdominal cavity
  • Bladder obstruction, for example, due to an enlarged prostate.

Belly swollen from the rule

During menstruation and, especially, before this with PMS , women may notice symptoms of bloating or a swollen belly. In addition, gas, a feeling of heaviness or even colic is likely to increase.

If you want to end or, at the very least, alleviate some of the most annoying symptoms of this period, we recommend that you read the following article about home remedies for PMS .

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why do I have a hard and swollen belly , we recommend that you enter our Digestive System category .

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