Top Causes of Swelling Stomach with Gains in Weight

By Amanda Lawrence |
|5 min read

Unintentional weight increase or stomach swelling can be defined as a condition whereby one gains weight without decreasing their normal daily activities or increasing their food and fluid intake quantity. In most cases, abnormal growth, pregnancy, menstruation, fluid retention, and constipation are the main causes. Below are symptoms attached to this condition:

  • Abdominal pain/discomfort and bloating
  • Stomach swelling
  • Swelling of body parts like hands, arms, legs or feet

Additionally, when extreme symptoms like breath shortness, skin sensitivity, visual issues, etc. are experienced, a doctor should be visited immediately. A doctor's diagnosis through questions regarding one's lifestyle, medical history, or taking tests like X-ray, MRI, CT or ultrasounds is vital for treatment prescription. The treatment majors on correcting the root cause of swelling stomach with gains in weight.

Causes and Remedies of Swelling Stomach with Gains in Weight

Any abnormal growth, whether caused by weight gain or swelling, creates discomforts. Doctors' advice on how to control the root causes of such conditions is therefore vital. Below are some of the causes related to weight gain and stomach swelling.

1. Ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer happens due to abnormal growth and production of ovarian cells. This unusual cell growth develops into tumors that cause pain and abdominal swelling. Even though it is not easy to notice ovarian cancer and weight gain signs, below are the main symptoms:

  • Frequent urination
  • Constipation
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal/ pelvic pains

Ovarian cancer is treated through surgical removal of the tumor, and chemotherapy which helps kill the remaining cancerous cells.

2. Acid reflux disease

Acid reflux disease occurs after digestion when food rises into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation known as heartburn. The rise of food and the gastrointestinal acid mixture is responsible for the burning sensation, bloating, hiccups and nausea. Since the burning happens after digestion, most victims may overeat, because when some food is in the stomach or digestion is taking place, the burning stops. Full-blown burning is experienced after digestion. To sum up, the extra eating which temporarily relieves the burning sensation is what causes weight gain.

Acid reflux can be treated through home remedies like aloe vera and apple cider vinegar, which are also home remedies used for weight loss. Additionally, regarding over-the-counter drugs, Zantac and Prilosec are effective.

3. Constipation

There is no direct linkage between constipation and weight gain. Constipation is caused by imbalances in flora gut bacteria and other bacteria to produce methane gas. This bacterial effect causes slower movement of food in the colon. Due to the sluggish food movement, the stomach swells and colon cells get extra time to absorb more water from the food, which results in hard stools. Secondly, the retention gives small intestine time to absorb more calories, blamed for the extra weight increase.

If constipation is the cause of your swelling stomach with gains in weight, consider taking about 25 to 30 grams of fiber every day to ease digestion. Drinking enough water too helps to smoothen digestion.

4. Gastroparesis

This condition is mostly experienced by type 1 and 2 diabetes patients. Gastroparesis causes a delay in emptying one's bowel because of the slow movement of food from the stomach into small intestines. The result of such slowness is bloating and extra fullness which feels like weight gain or stomach swollenness. But, it is very rare for gastroparesis to cause weight gain.

Since gastroparesis is caused by slow digestion rate, limiting or even avoiding foods that take longer to digest like fatty foods and excess fiber-containing foods is a solution.

5. Bacteria overgrowth (SIBO)

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) slows down metabolism to cause resistance on leptin and insulin hormones. These two hormones help to regulate satiety and hunger feelings. When satiety and hunger normalcy is affected, carb craving might result which leads to weight increase.

The best way to handle SIBO is to regain the hormonal balance. Although antibiotics are recommended, they should be used with precaution because antibiotics can kill intestinal bacteria. Also, Atlantic which is nutraceutical can be effective in relieving any stomach effect such as bloating, constipation and any discomfort caused by bacteria.

6. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

IGS is the most pronounced irritable gastrointestinal condition today. Such a condition is caused by the imbalance of gastrointestinal bacteria when the good bacteria are overnumbered by the bad ones. IBS results in stomach inflammation, bloating, and weight gain.

The best treatment is to first discover the root cause of IBS and correcting it. Since IBS is a bacterial imbalance issue, your doctor can advise further on the best probiotics which will help the growth of good bacteria. A diet that will not increase gas production must be used too.

Other Causes for Unexplained Weight Gain

Besides causes of weight gain accompanied by a swollen stomach, below are other possible causes for unexplained weight gain. For a definitive diagnosis, please consult your doctor.

1. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Apart from the unexplained weight gain and cancer issue, PCOS is another ovarian concern, and hormonal imbalances are mostly blamed. The symptoms include problems during fetal implantation, menstrual irregularities, and unexplained weight gain. Excess weight results in more insulin production, a vital hormone that leads to more weight gain.

2. Hypothyroidism

Thyroid glands are tasked with the production of hormones which regulate metabolism. An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) is characterized by reduced hormone production (which is responsible for normal metabolism). This condition mostly affects older women when the body registers slow metabolism.

3. Fluid retention

Fluid retention also known as edema is a condition whereby a human body accumulates a lot of fluids which results in weight gain and body swelling. Mostly, this happens prior to menstruation or during long standing sections. The swelling occurs around ankles and legs.

4. Cushing's syndrome

Cushing's syndrome is a rare condition which can be linked to a weight gain issue. It is caused by elevated levels of cortisol hormone. Long-term treatment by using steroids causes cortisol hormone disruption. Uncontrolled cortisol hormones cause redistribution of fat on one's face, stomach, and chest, signified as weight gain.

Weight gain and stomach swelling might not have direct linkage or cause, but it is possible to avoid and treat them. With a keen eye to the above reference guidelines and seeking doctor's advice, one can correct the condition fully.

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