Distended belly, commonly referred to as abdominal obesity is an uncomfortable feeling, wherein the stomach size appears abnormally large. This is one of the most common distended belly symptoms, occurring in obese people. Going to the office with a distended abdomen, is quite embarrassing and can become a hot topic of discussion.
Distended belly, also known as pot belly, can occur due to a number of reasons, the most common being lack of exercise. The causes are given below:
Irregular bowel movement can also contribute to belly distention. People experiencing frequent episodes of constipation, have distended abdomen. Decreased bowel movement, often gives rise to swelling in the upper abdominal area. This distended midsection is often the result of build up of feces in the intestine.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Abdominal distention can also be a warning sign of irritable bowel syndrome. Many people diagnosed with IBS, experience bloating and have pot belly. Having an inflated stomach is regarded as onset of IBS. It is basically a gastrointestinal disorder, in which the large intestine does not function properly, thus causing abdominal cramping, diarrhea and constipation.
Undigested food produces gas in the intestine, which triggers an uncomfortable feeling in the form of pot belly. Studies reiterate the fact that excess gas built up in the stomach is the most common reason behind big tummy.
Lack of Physical Activity
A lifestyle that does not encourage exercise, is chiefly responsible for causing digestion problems, which often leads to distended belly. A pot belly can indicate excess belly fat, which is normal for people who stay away from exercise.
Intake of Gas Formation Foods
Those suffering from pot belly, due to excessive intestinal gas, need to modify their diet. There are certain foods that can worsen this problem, as they are notorious for producing gas in the stomach. Exclusion of these gassy foods from the diet, can surely provide relief from excess gas build up. Some of the gas-producing foods that need to be avoided are cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli.
Beer drinkers can expect a change in their posture that will only attract negative attention. This is because, people who get drink beer on a regular basis, eventually develop abdominal obesity. Also, referred to as beer belly, this large stomach phenomenon is common in people who are addicted to beer. The stomach is bound to swell up due to frequent beer drinking. No wonder, beer lovers that cannot do without several pints of beer show distended stomach. Occasionally drinking such as once a week is not a concern but binging on beer can eventually make the stomach distended.
Partial intestinal blockage occurring in the small intestine can also lead to stomach distention. This happens because the stomach faces difficulty in emptying its contents. As we all know, the ingested food entering the stomach is passed down to the small intestine for digestion. However, due to intestinal obstruction, only a small amount of food from the stomach reaches the intestine, while the rest keeps rotting in the stomach. This accumulation of food causes the stomach to swell up. Discomfort near the belly button, vomiting, constipation (complete blockage) and diarrhea (partial blockage) are some of the common symptoms of intestinal obstruction.
Obesity in children is on the rise, mainly due to lack of proper eating habits. The habit of having two large-sized meals and skipping breakfast and evening snacks, can negatively affect the health and lead to protruding tummy. On the other hand, if one prefers to include 5-6 meals in his daily routine, then the person is unlikely to suffer from pot belly.
With certain lifestyle modifications, one can surely get rid of stomach distention. An exercise routine along with a diet that promotes normal bowel movement (high fiber diet and plenty of water), is the key to eliminate pot belly. Use of intestinal cleansers to flush off unwanted waste, can also be a solution to ease the discomfort associated with abdominal obesity. In case, gastrointestinal disorders are the culprits that have brought about this unusual change in the size of the belly, then appropriate treatment has to be taken at the earliest, to restore normal belly size.