Swollen belly or abdominal distension


Who has not felt some or many times your belly swollen? After certain meals it seems that the clothes tighten us more than before putting it on, that we need to unbutton the button of the trousers and even we are more irritable, our intestinal rhythm is altered and all this makes us feel uncomfortable. The dietitians – nutritionists of Alimmenta (members of the Association of Dieticians-Nutritionists) propose solutions in this article so that you can improve your digestions through a healthy diet.

The swollen belly

Bloated belly abdominal distension swollen belly, or abdominal distention, can occur in people with low or adequate weight as well as overweight or obese (according to the BMI); Although the sensation of swelling is more evident in people who do not have excess weight. Women are the ones who most refer to this problem but it is not exclusive to the female sex. In many cases, it is due to a digestive problem that is usually solved with a change in diet.

Causes and solutions

The causes that can cause a swollen belly are not the same for everyone. Here are the most frequent:

  • Food intolerances: some people are not able to digest certain components of foods such as lactose, fructose, sorbitol, gluten, etc. As they can not be digested, they continue their way through the intestine and are the food of different intestinal bacteria, causing abdominal pain, diarrhea, and gas.
    Solution: put yourself in the hands of a specialist doctor who will do the necessary tests to verify the intolerance and also of a dietitian-nutritionist who will set some guidelines so that when eliminating certain foods from your diet you do not have nutritional deficits.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease: are part of the so-called intestinal inflammatory diseases that are characterized by injury to the intestine altering its functioning and causing diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, bloating and gas.
    Solution: as in the case of food intolerances is important a good diagnosis and advice by a dietitian-nutritionist who pate the right diet in each case.
  • Dyspepsia: are discomfort or pain in the upper abdomen accompanied by nausea, abdominal swelling, heartburn, heavy digestion, early satiety, belching, regurgitation, and vomiting.
    Solution: Eat slowly and little food more times a day, avoid excess fat in meals, lose weight if necessary and abstain from alcohol.
  • Excess or lack of fiber in the diet: fiber is the main component of feces and should be taken in its proper measure. Thus, an excess of fiber can increase intestinal transit and cause diarrhea, and on the contrary, the lack of fiber decreases intestinal transit and causes constipation. Both situations cause swelling, gas and abdominal pain.
    Solution: consume whole grains, fruits, and vegetables daily, ensuring 1.5-2 liters of water per day. Do not forget to include at least 2 to 3 times a week legumes. Eye! Introduce fiber-rich foods progressively so that our body gets used little by little and does not form a plug.
  • Gases and food: as we have seen, the previous causes cause gases but certain foods and how we eat them also influence.
    Solution: avoid the consumption of flatulent vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, artichokes, peppers …), hot bread, pasta or pulses al dente, artificial sweeteners (mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol), alcoholic beverages and with gas (soft drinks, water with gas …) and try to take legumes without skin or by the masher (creams, purées, hummus …). Also, do not make copious and high-fat meals, eat slowly, chew well and with your mouth closed, avoid talking while eating and not drinking with a straw or taking sips from the surface of a hot drink.
  • Rupture of the abdominal muscles: it can be in some cases also a cause. The muscles are unable to contain the abdominal mass and cause “gut”. It can be due to pregnancy, rapid weight loss or tendency to flaccidity.
    Solution: make physical activity part of your daily life and avoid excess weight by controlling your diet.

Personalized recommendations for the swollen belly
If you need personalized attention to solve your abdominal distension problems, in Alimmenta you will find a team of dieticians-nutritionists and endocrine doctors that will help you solve your bloated belly problems through a personalized diet and changing habits.