What causes a full feeling in the stomach and how to loosen it up
After a big meal, you're bound to feel full. However, gastroparesis should be suspected if the stomach frequently or unexplainably feels full and tight. Many people find relief from using home remedies, but there are times when medical attention is necessary.
Constipation can be the result of stress, poor diet, or other lifestyle choices. Bloating is a common symptom, and conditions affecting digestion and hormones are common culprits.
Causes, treatments, home remedies, and when to see a doctor are discussed in this article for the common problem of feeling full quickly.
Below are some of the many potential causes of satiety:
A person's eating habits may play a role in making them feel too full after meals. Excessive eating, eating when stressed, and eating too quickly are all examples.
It's also true that eating a lot of certain foods can lead to bloating afterward, which can make you feel more full. These include high-fiber foods like beans, onions, and cabbage. Carbonated beverages may also stimulate satiety.
If a person's stomach fullness is the result of their eating habits or specific foods, making changes to these factors may alleviate the problem. The steps one can take to fix this are:
- reducing one's serving size
- Attaining satiety gradually and consciously
- being able to put an end to one's meal when full
- taking in sufficient fluids
- Exercising on a consistent basis
- Keeping away from acidic foods and beverages as well as foods and drinks that cause gas and bloating, such as beans, carbonated drinks, or fried foods high in saturated and trans fats.
- cutting back on salt intake is recommended.
Common signs of indigestion include:
- stomach ache or burning,
- Rapid satiety after eating a small meal
- An audible or audible-to-some rumbling from the stomach
- expelling gas or air by burping
It's not uncommon to experience occasional indigestion, but making some dietary adjustments could help. There are some people who may experience indigestion when consuming acidic foods like tomatoes or orange juice, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Other potential sources of stomach discomfort are:
The symptoms of indigestion can be avoided with the help of OTC antacids and by avoiding the foods and drinks that set off the digestive system's off-kilter mechanisms. However, recurring stomach pain may point to a health issue that needs medical attention.
When a person has fewer than three bowel movements in a week, they are considered constipated. The result can be a bloated, unpleasant feeling in the stomach. A person with constipation may also experience:
- Bowel movements that are difficult or painful
- Stools that are hard, dry, or lumpy
- bowel movements that aren't complete
Most people experience occasional or chronic constipation. Fiber, water, and exercise can help in mild cases. OTC treatments, such as stool softeners, are another option.
Please find listed below some of the more long-term reasons for abdominal distention:
Chronic abdominal discomfort or IBS
Constipation, abdominal pain, and other similar symptoms are all associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). According to the NIDDK, people with IBS also experience:
- cramping pain in the abdomen
- either loose or hard stools, or both
- bowel movements that aren't complete
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has multiple potential causes or contributors. Some examples of these are:
Some treatments for IBS include modifying one's diet, decreasing one's stress levels, and attending to one's mental health. Medicines are another option for symptom control that doctors may recommend.
Peptic ulcers of the stomach
The bacterium Helicobacter pylori can cause stomach ulcers by damaging the stomach's lining. Long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (ZES), a rare condition that causes tumors to grow in the upper small intestine, are two other potential causes of stomach ulcers.
Stomach pain, either dull or burning, is a hallmark of an ulcer. For some, the pain is worse on an empty stomach and can last for days, weeks, or even months. Additional signs of a stomach ulcer are:
- failure to thrive
- drops in weight
The treatment of stomach ulcers varies according to the underlying cause of the ulcer. Antibiotics, antacids, bismuth subsalicylates, and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are some of the medications that doctors may recommend.
Reflux disease of the esophagus
Gastric esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is characterized by persistent acid reflux or heartburn. The following symptoms are experienced by people who suffer from GERD:
- painful heat in the chest or upper abdomen
- sickness and throwing up
- bad breath
- Problems swallowing
- issues with breathing
- loss of tooth structure
Pregnancy, obesity, a hiatal hernia, smoking, and certain medications are all known contributors to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). By learning more about what sets off their GERD, sufferers can begin to take steps toward relief. Some suggestions are as follows:
- Trying to stay away from things like alcohol and spicy foods can help with GERD.
- The minimum time between dinner and going to sleep is three hours.
- Keeping your weight in check
- giving up cigarettes
Antacids, H2 blockers, prokinetics, and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are some of the drugs that doctors may recommend.
Delay in gastric emptying is a symptom of gastroparesis, a medical condition. This causes the stomach to feel full because food is sitting there instead of emptying into the small intestine. These are some of the symptoms:
- Rapid satiety
- persistent fullness after eating
- sickness and throwing up
- Pain in the upper abdomen
- inability to eat
Examples of possible treatments for this condition include:
- After a meal, try some light exercise like walking.
- decreasing one's fat and fiber intake
- decreasing meal size but increasing frequency
- Keeping away from sugary sodas and boozy cocktails
- Laying down for the first 2 hours after eating is discouraged.
The existence of other causes
And if your stomach is still feeling tight, there are other possible causes:
- The bloating and cramping of premenstrual syndrome
- inflammation of the stomach lining (also known as gastritis).
- pancreatitis, a condition characterized by upper abdominal pain or tenderness
Several medical conditions, such as stomach ulcers and gastroparesis, cannot be remedied with home remedies. People with conditions like IBS may also benefit from a dietitian's guidance in learning how to control their symptoms through diet.
Although there is no permanent solution to the problem of feeling overly full, some remedies and lifestyle changes may provide temporary relief. Those things are:
- calms nerves and stress
- increasing one's frequency of exercise
- avoid foods that may set off your triggers, such as those high in heat, fat, or salt
- Increasing the frequency of smaller meals
- putting on a sloppy outfit
- Try to stay upright for at least three hours after eating.
When one's stomach is full, they may worry that they've overindulged. The stomach area itself may feel constricted, stretched, or weighed down.
This symptom often occurs in tandem with others, such as:
- a stomach that is distended or bloated
- Illness or pressure in the belly
- abdomen pain or cramping
- being full relatively quickly while eating
- excessive flatulence
- Alterations in bowel habits
Another possible cause of a full, uncomfortable stomach is one's way of life, eating habits, or diet. However, if fullness or tightness persists despite eating a normal diet, it may be a sign of a more serious medical problem.
Anyone experiencing persistent abdominal fullness or bloating should consult a medical professional. As such, it may be indicative of a more serious problem.
Persons should see a doctor without delay if they experience any of the following severe or ongoing symptoms:
- unusually rapid and severe weight loss
- irregular or persistent fullness
- Alterations in bowel or urinary habits
- Discomfort in the lower back
- Tingling or shivering
- stool or urine containing blood
- rectus hemorrhage
- Continual bloating, gas, or abdominal tenderness
- sickness and puking
- difficulty breathing
These signs might point to cancer or pancreatitis, both of which are very dangerous conditions.
Altering one's diet and eating routine can help alleviate bloating if one experiences it. Some over-the-counter remedies can help with bloating when the cause is something like indigestion or constipation.
However, if a person is chronically uncomfortable with their level of fullness despite not having consumed an unusually large meal, they may have a health problem. A medical professional can provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
The article is available in Spanish here.
In the most recent comprehensive health assessment, on November 1st, 2021
- Heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Gastroenterology and the Digestive System
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