Abdominal swelling is a widespread disorder, particularly in women. What is the reason for this and how can we combat it? Beatrice Salvioli, gastroenterologist at Humanitas, spoke about this topic in an interview with Obiettivo salute on Radio24.

If in men the abdominal swelling is mainly due to excessive consumption of alcohol, in women the causes can be many. For example, there may also be an accumulation of adipose tissue; hormones can play a role both during the menstrual cycle and during menopause, as can the intake of certain drugs, such as antidepressants.

“If swelling is localized at the mouth of the stomach, we can hypothesize two prevailing causes: an inflammation of the stomach (such as a gastritis), in this case it is advisable to consult a doctor who will prescribe the necessary examinations and any therapy, or a time of significant stress that blocks the diaphragm and affects the correct breathing resulting in pain and swelling. If the swelling instead is placed under the navel, the problem is of an intestinal nature,” explained Dr. Salvioli.


Bad habits and the role of breathing in the prevention of swollen belly

Bad eating habits also play a role. Many people eat fast, chew poorly, eat lunch in front of a computer or telephone, or have an incorrect posture. These are all factors that contribute to digestion problems and swelling.

“I advise everyone to dedicate 5-10 minutes to diaphragmatic breathing before eating: this helps relaxation and preparation of the stomach, easing muscle tensions and facilitating digestion”, suggests the specialist.


The best choices at the table

It is different to eat at home from eating in the canteen, for example. In the canteen, those who suffer from swelling or difficulty in digesting, should prefer simple dishes and little seasoning to avoid getting weighed down and have digestive problems. “People who suffer from swelling should also avoid eating salad; it is better to have a plate of pasta or a second of meat or fish with vegetables cooked on the side. The salad in fact ferments and causes swelling, even those suffering from gastritis should avoid it. Moreover, avoid eating fruit at the end of the meal; it is better to eat it away from meals as a snack.

Finally, the ideal is to drink natural water at room temperature, if possible a glass of water every hour,” concluded Dr. Salvioli.


Listen to the entire interview with Dr. Salvioli, click here.