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PostHeaderIcon How Bloating can lead to a Large Belly, Part II of my series on what to do about belly bulge

The human gastrointestinal tract is over 30 feet long. When it is not functioning properly, along with your digestive organs, this can lead to swelling and bloating in the abdominal region.

Swelling can be caused by overeating, stress, food sensitivities or allergies, poor nutrition, gastrointestinal disorders; or eating too much salt, sugar or msg.

On overeating: When you gorge yourself with food, you are taking in more than your body has time to digest. This can throw your digestive system out of whack and lead to bloating. Remember to eat slowly, as it takes time for the body to realize when it is full. Once you are full, stop eating. Eating too fast can also cause air to build in the digestive organs which can lead to excess gas.

On Stress: As I mentioned in my earlier blog, “How Stress Leads to Belly Fat”  (  when we are under stress, we release certain hormones in our body to help us cope. One of these hormones is ephinephrine which relaxes your digestive organs so blood can go to other parts of the body in case you need to run or fight. If there is food in your body, it stops digesting and throws off your system. This can lead to bloating and other problems. So stress can lead to bloating as well as belly fat? That’s one round midsection! Also, the visceral fat that is stored in the belly section due to stress can slow down the digestive process, leading to more bloating.

Blog Update: Recent research on stress had shown that our attitude towards life’s stressors is more important in determining health. To read up on this new data, click here: Great News About Stress

Poor nutrition: This is the number one cause of belly bloating and belly fat. How do you know if you have poor nutrition? Check out the new USDA food plate here:

Notice that fruits and vegetables take up half of an entire plate. This means that half of the food that you eat should be whole fruits and vegetables. These foods contain fiber, enzymes, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals that are necessary to aid in digestion. These nutrients help to maintain a healthy probiotic flora in the gut. Without these nutrients, your body will have a very hard time digesting. Lack of proper nutrition can lead to very serious gastrointestinal problems over time. Do you keep processed or white bread or rice in your home? Switch to whole grain. Processed grains have been stripped of fiber, vitamins and nutrients necessary for proper digestion. This is why people who eat an excess of processed foods tend towards bloating. Make sure you are drinking enough water. Water is a vital nutrient for health. It also plays a huge role in digestion. Dehydration can lead to water retention and even more bloating. Try to eat from all food groups in the right proportions as we need the nutrients from every group for a well functioning system.

On Gastrointestinal Disorders: Gastrointestinal disorders, usually a result of improper nutrition can include heartburn, reflux, and constipation. These can also be signs of more serious diseases such as crohn’s disease or cancer in the digestive organs, to name a few. The side effect of these diseases is bloating and swelling of the abdominal region.

Salt, sugar and MSG are solvents: Their molecular structure absorbs water. This leads to dehydration and more bloating. Avoid these chemicals in excess.

Food sensitivities such as lactose or gluten intolerance can lead to bloating: These sensitivities come from the body’s inability to digest components of a certain food such as the lactose in milk or the gluten in certain grains. You can usually tell if you are sensitive to these foods if eating them leads to bloating, constipation or diarrhea. Food allergies can also lead to bloating. If you suspect you might have this problem, but you are not sure which food ‘causes it, you can check with your doctor and get yourself tested.

Exercise can help relieve bloating: Take light walks after a meal to help stimulate the immune system and help the body circulate. Yoga poses, deep breathing and other movements help to massage the internal and digestive organs. This helps with detoxification and better functioning.

For more on how to prevent belly fat and exercises for a smooth midsection, check out this post:

By Rhea Morales

6 Responses to “How Bloating can lead to a Large Belly, Part II of my series on what to do about belly bulge”

  • Rodrick Albach says:

    Gas (flatus), burping, and bloating are all normal conditions. Gas is made in the stomach and intestines as your body breaks down food into energy. Gas and burping may sometimes be embarrassing. Bloating, which is a feeling of fullness in the abdomen, can make you uncomfortable. Although many people think that they pass gas too often or have too much gas, it is rare to have too much gas. Changing what you eat and drink can sometimes cut down on gas and relieve discomfort caused by gas.”

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    • Rhea says:

      Thanks Rordrick. A bit of gas is normal. The article was more about abnormal bloating from gastrointestinal disorders such as celiac disease, chrones disease and lactose intolerance. They can be caused by lack of fiber, stress, or genetics and can lead to bloating. People are always asking me how to get rid of their belly so they should know how to differentiate between fat, swollen digestive organs or food babies. ;)

  • Rhea says:

    Absolutely right Burl and Lilliam. Thanks for your input!

  • Burl Keaney says:

    Bloating can be lessened by the consumption of a high fiber diet. `

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  • Lilliam Bruening says:

    Bloating is also dependent on the foods that you consume. Always avoid foods that causes bloating like fatty foods. `**”:

    Thanks again“>

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