Bloated stomach and intestines
The flatulence of the gastrointestinal tract can have many causes. The consumption of flatulent foods, such as pulses, various types of cabbage and particularly high-fibre foods, play a major role here. Food intolerances, such as lactose intolerance or gluten intolerance, can also be causative.
In order to determine the cause, the suspected foods should be avoided. It is recommended to keep a diary of the meals taken. The so-called irritable bowel syndrome, which predominates in over 50% of cases in patients with gastrointestinal complaints, is the cause in many cases.
The background for the development of irritable bowel syndrome is not yet well understood and is the subject of current research. Those affected suffer from diffuse abdominal pain that can extend over the entire gastrointestinal tract, in addition to a feeling of pressure and/or fullness, as well as constipation or diarrhoea. After emptying the bowel, there is a feeling of improvement in the feeling of fullness and pressure in the abdomen.
The irritable bowel syndrome is a diagnosis of exclusion. This means that other underlying possible diseases must first be excluded. These include, among others, chronic inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
Bloated stomach after the meal
A bloated stomach after a meal has several causes. On the one hand, fast eating and snares can cause a lot of air to be swallowed. This leads first to a bloated feeling and later to increased belching, which should bring improvement.
Drinking carbonated drinks is often another cause. Very fatty meals also often cause a feeling of fullness. During digestion, the fatty acids absorbed react with the stomach acid and release carbon dioxide. The resulting gas then takes up space and thus provides the perceived feeling of fullness. In the case of an existing inflammation of the mucous membranes of the stomach, a bloated feeling can also occur after eating, so that in some cases a feeling of fullness is quickly reached after eating a small amount of food.
Can a bloated stomach crowd the heart?
Anatomically, the stomach lies below the diaphragm and is therefore spatially assigned to the upper abdomen and not to the thorax, in which the heart is located. However, if the stomach is very bloated, the increase in size may cause the stomach to move closer to the organs of the thorax. As a result, the so-called Roemheld syndrome can occur.
In this syndrome the affected person develops a fast heartbeat and occasionally feels extra beats of the heart. Roemheld syndrome can occur as a result of a diaphragmatic hernia. In this case parts of the stomach slip through enlarged openings in the diaphragm into the chest.
These enlarged openings can be congenital or acquired. They can also result from trauma, for example if the diaphragm is injured. If the above-mentioned symptoms occur, surgery should be considered in careful consultation with the treating physician. This can be done in a minimally invasive way. A net is inserted to prevent the stomach from passing through again.