Why Has My Stomach Inflated Like a Balloon?

If you’re over 40, like me, you might have what’s called “Abdominal Inflammation.” It starts slowly so you might not even notice it. But because digestion is slower in women than in men, it builds up. Poor diet and lifestyle are the leading causes.

Medical Reasons

There are medical reasons for inflammation like food allergies, pregnancy, certain medications, or disease. I recommend you consult your doctor before making any changes in case you might have a medical issue.

Non-Medical Reasons

Here are 12 factors that can lead to abdominal inflammation.

1. Eating Quickly

If you rush through your day like I do, you probably rush through your meals. When you eat too fast, you can suffer from a bloated stomach. So, take your time and you’ll have better digestion.

2. Artificial Sweeteners

Your body doesn’t digest artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes very well. Avoid foods that contain mannitol or sorbitol. You can use stevia sometimes, but natural sweeteners are better.

3.  Dairy

Dairy products cause abdominal swelling because of lactose intolerance. If I eat dairy, I look like I’m pregnant! Reduce your intake of dairy products and get tested by your doctor.

4.  White Bread

White bread and other over-processed bakery products can lead to a larger belly. Replace them with natural foods like rice or potatoes.

5.  Processed Meats

Most deli meats have a lot of sodium, which causes your body to hold onto liquids. Replace processed meats with unprocessed but cooked meats.

6.  Not Enough Fiber

Fiber improves digestion because food stays longer in the intestines. Eat more fruits, vegetables, and beans.

7.  Too Much Salt

Like deli meats, processed foods, dressings and sauces contain excess salt. Avoid foods with too much salt.

8.  Chewing Gum

Chewing gum is terrible for bloated belly because of artificial ingredients and the excess air your body absorbs as you chew. Don’t go to the beach when you are chewing gum!

9.  Not Enough Water

Dehydration is a very common reason for a bloated stomach. Be sure to drink a lot of water all day.

10. Too Little Sleep

Without enough sleep, your body can retain water, so sleeping well helps reduce inflammation.

11. A Lack of Exercise

When you don’t exercise, you can suffer from bloating. Start an exercise program that you will keep up with.

12. Stress

Living with a lot of stress can cause you to overeat, not work out, eat poorly, sleep poorly, and drink less water. Talk to your doctor for tips on how to reduce stress.

Personal Tip

I eat fermented foods, which contain probiotics that promote good bacteria and microbes in your gut. Unpasteurized yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, and kimchi that contain live cultures are good options. You can make your own dairy-free versions if needed.

When you’re ready to start your exercise program, Vicky Garcia Fitness is here to support you.

Note: This blog is for informational purposes only and is not a replacement for diagnosis, treatment, or recommendations from medical professionals. Consult with your medical professional with questions and approval before making any changes.