Often at times you may feel your stomach getting bloated, hardened to the touch or simply swollen. If we think of a simple reason for this, the blame can be put on certain food drinks or food types or rather their side effects. However, if the hardening of the stomach rolls into days and weeks, this may signify a graver underlying problem. Even though a hard stomach condition goes away on its own, sometimes they may hang onto you a bit longer, possibly with a little pain along side. In such a scenario, a doctor’s visit should be scheduled duly. Here in this article we have enlisted the probable causes for this condition along with treatment procedures for each.
Hard Stomach – Causes and Treatments
Causes for a hard stomach are many as there are equal measurements of respective treatments that can help us control these situations. The most cases noted have assured that the hardening or bloating of the stomach will pass away on its own but if this persistent problem doesn’t or rather keeps coming back, here are some of the diagnosis and treatment measures that you should abide to:
- Gas and bloating:
As your body breaks down the food to make essential nutrients, the process of food break down may cause a little gas to form inside the stomach. This build up of gas would then go on to cause bloating in the stomach and abdominal region. Apart from discomfort, the swelling or the bloating in the stomach may also cause the stomach to feel hard possibly with a little pain too. This can usually be caused by certain kind of food and beverages, swallowing of air through mouth or due to some medical conditions like interaction with certain medications or constipation.
Cure: Avoid certain food and beverages and at all times eat slowly and at a relaxed pace. Over eating or excessive smoking too causes hardening of stomach owing to the accumulation of gas. Certain medicines, especially over the counter ones too may cause trouble in your system.
When to worry: Usually a case of hard stomach should go away on its own. However, if the symptoms don’t clear up within a few hours or possibly over night, you may need to see a healthcare professional regarding this situation.
Constricted bowel movements or inadequacy of emptying out your bowels may cause a situation called constipation. The symptoms for these usually include- a filled stomach feeling, difficulty in bowel movements such as irregularity or larger sized stools that becomes difficult to pass, pain, bloating and hardening of the stomach. The main causes for this are listed as- lack of proper physical activity, unpleasant or unhealthy dietary charts, drinking less water during the day or delaying your bathroom trips even if you have to go real bad. Some of the other reasons for this may be physical disorder, pregnancy, interaction with certain medications and bowel syndromes.
Cure: Getting a good work out for yourself helps a lot as you put some activity into your lifestyle system. Eating healthy high fiber foods and drinking ample of water to wash them down properly would help you contain constipation. In this scenario, you may also resort to over the counter medications that aid you in getting your bowel movements back on track. Also, these medications can help you add fiber to your diet. Laxatives or stool softeners may help too.
When to worry: You should consult a doctor in case either of these following problems show up- feeling pain and discomfort whilst trying to pass the bowel, bleeding or finding blood in your bowels or the fact that you have not had any bowel movement for the past whole week. In serious cases, the constipation system may be caused by something more serious, say a bowel block or a colon cancer.
- Irritable Bowel syndrome
IBS is a common disorder with the symptoms for it usually being either diarrhea or constipation. Some other symptoms can be recognized as abdominal pain, bloating, gas formation or cramps and other such discomforts. Usually these symptoms are mild or mediocre in nature but in many rare cases, the symptoms might show being quite serious. Even though the exact cause for irritable bowel syndrome to appear is not clear, it is usually believed that some trigger points like hormones, stress or certain food items may encourage it.
Cure: Medicines to contain the spasms or cramps can help, such as certain antibiotics. Taking supplements to control the situation help too by settling your intestinal functions. Stick to a high fiber diet which is essential at this time. The usual foods that may result in irritation of the bowel should be controlled too. However, your doctor might suggest a few tests before actually venturing out on the treatment path.
- Stomach cancer:
It is quite a rare case when a stomach cancer causes gas bloating or hard stomach but we cannot entirely rule the possibility out of the equation. A cancerous tumor building up inside your stomach at this time can be blamed for the feeling of uneasiness, bloating, gas and discomfort. However, the cancer in its advanced stage may cause other side effects too. Some of those symptoms are- weight loss and appetite lessening or finding blood in your stools.
Cure: cancer treatments are always aggressive in nature since the stubborn illness takes a lot of effort to combat it to recovery. The first treatment procedure may include surgically removing a part or the entire of the stomach to reduce expansion. Radiation therapy or chemotherapy continues after this. To reduce the possibilities of contracting stomach cancer, include more fruits and vegetables in your diet.
If you are serving a pregnancy term be rest assured a hard stomach condition may appear. This is because the uterus gains weight as it grows thereby applying pressure to the abdomen area. This is usually known to occur during the first trimester when the uterus just starts expanding. As we roll on to the second trimester, the water volume in the uterus increases as the uterus now grows a bit more too. This may cause the hard stomach condition to appear. By the third trimester, you can even feel your baby inside you move or shuffle around. This time the stomach becomes harder than ever. If you suffer from intestinal issues or consume a low fiber diet with lots of carbonated beverages, this situation may become more pronounced.
Cure: to get this situation into control, start exercising regularly and watch your diet. Refrain from drinking alcohol or too many carbonated drinks. Add more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet. To avoid stress or anxiety, learn up some relaxation techniques. You will see the problem fading away post delivery of your baby.