Is That Stomach Bulge Really Fats?
Is it fat? Or could it be a mass of indigestible food? It’s one of those things we often ignore, yet it has become more rampant.
Prevalent among baby boomers, a bulging stomach indicates a more serious underlying problem than we might care to know.
It can stay unnoticed for years until it becomes a source of discomfort. A bulging stomach that isn’t attributed to fat is known as a bezoar.
A number of causes are attributed to growth of a bezoar, but the rampant cases in the recent past appear to have a direct link with the increase in the use of antacids.
Stomach acid is used to break down food during digestion, so that it can be converted to a form the body can absorb. When this process is interrupted by antacids, there’s partial breakdown of food due to slowed digestion. Normally, food that is partially digested is not passed through to the intestinal tract, so the undigested, mainly fibrous food, will mass into lumps which become bezoars.
Bulging stomachs were extremely rare before the advent of very potent acid blockers, coupled with a high consumption of fiber-rich foods. This is in no way to downplay the importance of fiber-rich food in a healthy digestive system.
Other causes of a bulge
Other than a bezoar, a bloated tummy could also cause your waistline to bulge. It causes a feeling of fullness and abnormal swelling of the stomach. Indigestion is the common culprit for a bloated stomach but there are other causes. It may be mild in some people and they could carry on without serious discomfort. On the other hand, some cases are severe and medical attention is required.
Food intolerance causes a bloated stomach. Foods like cabbage, broccoli, sprout, garlic and onions cause adverse reactions, hence bloating. Foods that contain a protein called gluten may cause bloating due to rapid build up of gas in the stomach.
Dairy products cause stomach gas too, so they should be eaten with caution in case of known issues with the digestive system. If a diet is altered suddenly to include more fiber-rich food, it may lead to bloating. A fiber-rich diet should be supplemented with a lot of fluids. Switch gradually but don’t exclude fiber entirely.
Carbonated drinks can also cause gas to pile up in your stomach. Moderate your intake of fizzy drinks and including bottled water.
Diet foods contain sugar alcohols (e.g. sorbitol, mannitol), used as food additives. These alcohols are not completely digested and absorbed, leading to indigestion and bloating. Excess consumption leads to growth of a bezoar.
Constipation can cause bloating too. If your bowel movements are not healthy, food will stay in the stomach and get fermented, releasing gases that put pressure on the stomach as they move. This causes a bloated stomach. Drink a lot of fluids to ease bowel movement.
If you understand these simple causes of a bulge, you can prevent more serious ailments. Digestion starts with chewing food in the mouth. Take time to chew food and remember, warm water is better during or after meals. Be sure to check out our article on excessive abdominal fats that's dangerous...