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Causes of a Distended Abdomen

The causes of a distended abdomen are highly deterimental of not taken care of immediately due to prolonged symptomatic episodes. Learn about how this condition can take place and ways on how to avoid such an occurrence.
Abdominal distention falls along the same lines as bloating, wherein both showcase the same symptoms initially, but are still different. Bloating is when one only feels like the abdomen is unusually large, and distention is when it is actually physically larger than what is normal. The causes that lead up to a distended abdomen, usually come about when one overeats or due to other problems like pregnancy or premenstrual syndrome. Abdominal distention takes place, due to three different situational problems that deal with either, tissue, air or fluid related issues. Gas present in the intestinal tract, is often a cause of this problem as well. For one to overcome this, you need to evaluate certain health issues, and decide what the course of action is accordingly.

Causes of an Abdominal Distention

There are many causes revolving around the occurrence of this condition, which will be further explained. Find out exactly what the root of this problem is, and act on it as soon as possible.
  • Distention can come about for those who are lactose intolerant. Since eating dairy causes one's abdominal to swell.
  • Mesenteric artery occlusion
  • Eating too much of fibrous food items, like vegetables and fruits
  • Toxic megacolon
  • Gulping air, which is a bad habit when one is anxious
  • Constipation
  • Legumes (beans) are eaten in excess, leading to gas problems.
  • Distention due to a tumor present in the abdomen
  • Menopause
  • Obesity
  • Enlarged organ in the abdomen
  • Fluid around the abdomen area, like maybe a case of water retention
  • Flatulence
  • Bloating can lead to distention
  • Partial bowel obstruction
  • Food allergies
  • Cirrhosis
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Abdominal trauma
  • Anorexia
  • Diverticulitis
  • Whole grains, including fruit / aerated drinks can lead to gas problems
  • Artificial sweeteners use like fructose and sorbitol
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Peritonitis
  • Ovarian cyst
  • Alvarez' syndrome
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Milk products
  • Uterine Fibroids
  • Paralytic ileus
Symptoms of an Abdominal Distention

If you've been suffering from distention, and have no clue about it, here's how you can find out if you've been dealing with it, without knowing why it was happening in the first place.
  • Depression
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea
  • Long menstrual cycle
  • Excessive hair growth all over body
  • Swollen belly
  • Burping
  • Dysfunctional uterine bleeding
  • Short menstrual cycle
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Abdomen hurts while eating
  • Pain around the hip bone or rib area
  • Irritability
  • Loud bowel sounds
  • Weight loss (for those suffering from lactose intolerance)
  • Peripheral edema
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Heartburn
  • Loss of appetite
  • Discomfort in the stomach
Treatment for Abdominal Distention

There are ways that you help yourself overcome this health problem, by starting out on altering your lifestyle, by lead a more healthier one instead. Here's giving you ways to help you out with distention.
  • Avoid carbonated drinks, since carbon dioxide present in the drink, causes one to start bloating.
  • Eat fresh vegetable and fruit produce in limited amounts, since it eases constipation.
  • Avoid fatty foods that aren't easy for the stomach to digest.
  • Stay clear from foods rich in sodium, since it cuts down on water intake.
  • Tale up a colon cleansing diet and rid the body of any toxins that can damage the intestinal tract.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day, and clear liquids like fresh fruit / vegetable without added additives / preservatives.
  • Women can get a hold of PMS supplements, to cut down on bloating.
  • Go easy on dairy products, or look out for products that don't have dairy in them.
  • Make sure you have some sort of activity going on in your lifestyle. Exercise and go for walks, or take up yoga to help with digestion and bowel movement and even obesity.
  • Avoid foods with preservatives, since the stomach finds this difficult to digest.
The things that lead up to abdominal distention can be avoided if you eat healthy, and learn how to maintain that kind of dietary discipline everyday. You can overindulge yourself with certain foods, but only in controlled portions for one designated day over the weekend. You need to keep a set of boundaries for yourself, or others in your household, to avoid all these above complications. Stay healthy.
By Naomi Sarah
Published: 10/14/2010
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