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The Complete Guide to Why My Stomach Is HARD – 7 Things to Know

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The Complete Guide to Why My Stomach Is HARD – 7 Things to

How is a bloated stomach defined?

A bloated stomach is first and foremost an abdominal sensation of tightness, pressure, or fullness. It is not always associated with a clearly dilated (swollen) abdomen.

The sensation might range from mildly unpleasant to excruciatingly agonizing. It normally resolves on its own after a while, but for some, it becomes a recurring issue.

Constipation and hormonal swings can both contribute to cyclical bloating. If your bloated stomach persists, you should seek medical attention to ascertain the source.

What is causing my stomach to be bloated?

Excess intestinal gas is the most prevalent cause of stomach pain and bloating. If you have to bloat after eating, this could be a sign of a digestive problem.

It could be as easy as eating too much too quickly, or you could have a food intolerance or another illness that results in the accumulation of gas and stomach contents.

Another typical reason for temporary bloating is your menstrual cycle. A bloated stomach might occasionally be a sign of a more serious medical problem.

How prevalent is abdominal bloating?

Between 10% and 25% of otherwise healthy individuals experience occasional stomach bloating. Up to 75% of individuals report having moderate to severe symptoms.

Approximately 10% report having it on a regular basis. It may be as high as 90% among individuals diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Bloating occurs in up to 75% of women prior to and during their period. Only 50% of those who have bloating also have an enlarged abdomen.

What causes stomach bloating?

Gas

While gas is a typical consequence of digestion, excessive intestinal gas indicates that something is wrong with your digestion.

While gasses can be ingested by swallowing air or consuming carbonated beverages, they are primarily expelled through belching before reaching your intestines.

Gases are mostly created in the intestines by gut bacteria when they digest carbohydrates, a process termed fermentation.

If there is excessive fermentation, it is because not enough carbohydrates were taken naturally earlier in the digestive process, prior to reaching those gut bacteria. This could be for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you simply consumed too much food too quickly for adequate digestion.

Alternatively, you could be suffering from a specific dietary intolerance or gastrointestinal (GI) condition. Several possible causes include the following:

Malabsorption of carbohydrates: Numerous people have difficulty digesting specific carbs (sugars). Lactose, fructose, and the carbohydrates found in wheat and beans are all prominent contributors.

You may have an intolerance, or your body may simply struggle more with tougher carbs. A nutritionist or gastroenterologist can assist you in isolating your food sensitivities.

Overgrowth of microorganisms in the small intestine (SIBO):

This arises as a result of colonic bacteria overflowing into the small intestine. Additionally, an overpopulation of these bacteria can outnumber the microorganisms that are supposed to balance them.

Certain bacteria actually absorb the gasses produced by others, but an imbalance between the number of one type and the number of another type can upset this equilibrium.

Digestive problems that are functional: IBS and functional dyspepsia are identified when your body’s digestion becomes more difficult for unknown causes.

Symptoms frequently include gas and bloating following meals. Keep a lookout for typical warning signs such as diarrhea or constipation, nausea, vomiting, fever, bleeding, anemia, or unexpected weight loss.

Hypersensitivity of the viscera:

Certain individuals feel gassy and bloated even though their gas volume is normal. This illness frequently co-occurs with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other disorders involving the gut-brain neuronal connections.

Certain individuals may even acquire muscle hypertrophy in order to increase the amount of space available in the abdominal cavity for gas (abdominophrenic dyssynergia).

Even when the actual volume of gas is normal, their abdominal muscles relax and protrude outward in the presence of gas.

Digestive Substances

These may be solids, liquids, or gases. Digestive contents can accumulate in the digestive system if there is a blockage or restriction in the digestive tract, or if the muscles that move digestive contents forward are affected in some way.

Any accumulation of digestive materials along the digestive tract reduces the amount of space available for typical levels of gas to pass through.

Additionally, it leaves less room in your abdomen for other things, such as circulatory fluids and fat, making everything seem tighter. Among the possible causes of build-up are the following:

Constipation:

You may experience constipation on a temporary basis as a result of food or lifestyle variables, or you may experience persistent constipation as a result of an underlying problem.

Due to backed-up waste in the colon, recently digested food remains in the intestines longer, waiting to descend. Everything grows to accommodate the additional volume, resulting in bloat.

Obstacles to the bowel:

When backed-up excrement is not impeding your bowels, it may be a sign of something more serious.

Tumors, scar tissue, strictures, stenosis, or hernias can obstruct both the big and small intestine. Inflammatory illnesses such as Crohn’s disease and diverticulosis can cause damage to specific sections of the small bowel, forming strictures that restrict the flow of digestive materials.

Constipation can be caused by motility issues, or they can simply inhibit the passage of food through your digestive tract.

These are typically diseases of the muscles and nerves that detect the digestive tract’s contents. Examples include intestinal pseudo-obstruction, which mimics the effects of an obstruction when none exists, gastroparesis, a disorder in which the stomach muscles are partially paralyzed, and pelvic floor dysfunction.

 

Weight gain in the recent past: Weight accumulated in the last year or so typically goes to the stomach first. If you’ve gained 10 pounds or more, this will almost certainly have an effect on your abdomen volume.

This implies that there is less space for typical digestive processes, and even a normal meal may cause you to feel unusually bloated during digestion.

Occasionally, the weight increase is accompanied by water retention, which can cause you to feel bloated due to excess fluid in your stomach and elsewhere.

 

How long does a bloated stomach last?

If the bloating is as a result of anything you ate or drank, or as a result of hormonal swings, it should subside within a few hours to days.

If you are constipated, it will remain constipated until you begin pooping. All of these things can be aided by water, exercise, and herbal teas. If the condition does not improve or worsens, get medical attention.

 

What causes bloating to subside?

What provides long-term relief will vary according to on the source of your suffering. You may require a professional diagnosis to determine the cause.

However, whether you’re seeking for home remedies to debloat your stomach today or to avoid bloating in the future, there are a few options.

Herbal teas such as peppermint, chamomile, ginger, turmeric, and fennel can assist with digestion and gas elimination. Dandelion tea may assist in reducing water retention.

Capsules of peppermint oil are a natural antispasmodic. That is, they aid in the relaxation of your gut muscles. This can assist you in passing blocked stool and gas, particularly if your issues are caused by a motility issue.

Antacids have been shown to alleviate digestive tract inflammation and aid in the passage of gas. Antacids frequently contain the active component simethicone, which facilitates gas passage by grouping together smaller gas bubbles. Simethicone is also accessible in its own right.

Magnesium supplements aid in the neutralization of stomach acid and the relaxation of intestinal muscular contractions. Magnesium has a natural laxative effect, which can be beneficial on occasion but can become habit-forming if used excessively.

Probiotics can be used to augment or rebalance the microorganisms in your gut. Some will aid in the first digestion of food, while others may actually aid in the absorption of excess gasses. It may take a few days or weeks of constant use to detect an improvement.

Psyllium husks are a popular fiber supplement that can aid with regular bowel movements. Always begin with little doses of fiber supplements and plenty of water. Additionally, over-the-counter laxatives may be used as needed.

Exercise that focuses on core body strengthening on a regular basis can assist fight stomach bloating.

When is it appropriate to be concerned about abdominal bloating?

Consult your healthcare practitioner if you have a bloated stomach and the following symptoms:

  • Continues to deteriorate.
  • This condition persists for more than a week.
  • Is excruciatingly uncomfortable.
  • Comes with illness-related symptoms such as fever, vomiting, or bleeding.

Conclusion

A bloated stomach is not a comfortable sensation. While this is a typical occurrence that is usually brief, you may grow tired of the cycle. Spending a little concentrated attention on the problem in order to determine the reason might be really beneficial.

Consider keeping a journal to track your symptoms and any triggers. Take note of dietary, hormonal, and stressors. When in doubt, take your notes to a specialist for expert advice.

Although the various causes that contribute to bloating can be complex and difficult to decipher, medical tests can aid in this process. As is always the case, seek medical attention if your symptoms are severe or prolonged.

 

 

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How to Maintain Healthy Eating Habits at Social Events

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Sister Regina Liu

How to Maintain Healthy Eating Habits at Social Events

Social events often pose a challenge to maintaining healthy eating habits. With an abundance of delicious yet unhealthy food options, it’s easy to stray from your nutritional goals.

However, by planning and making mindful choices, you can enjoy social gatherings without compromising your health. Here are some practical tips to help you maintain healthy eating habits at social events.

Plan Ahead

Eat Before You Go

Before attending a social event, eat a small, healthy meal. This can help curb your appetite and prevent overeating. Choose foods high in protein and fiber, such as a chicken salad or a bowl of oatmeal with fruits.

Research the Menu

If the event is at a restaurant or has a set menu, research the options beforehand. Look for healthy choices and decide what you will order in advance. This can help you avoid impulsive decisions when you’re hungry and tempted by less healthy options.

Make Smart Choices

Opt for Smaller Portions

It’s easy to overindulge at social events, especially when the food is served buffet-style. Opt for smaller portions to enjoy a variety of foods without overeating. Use a smaller plate if possible, and fill it with vegetables and lean proteins first.

Choose Healthy Alternatives

Look for healthier alternatives to traditional party foods. For example, choose grilled chicken over fried chicken, or a vegetable platter over chips and dip. If you’re hosting the event, consider providing healthy options for your guests.

Stay Hydrated

Drink Water

Staying hydrated is essential for maintaining healthy eating habits. Drink plenty of water throughout the event to help you feel full and avoid mistaking thirst for hunger. If you’re drinking alcohol, alternate with water to stay hydrated and reduce your alcohol intake.

Avoid Sugary Drinks

Sugary drinks, such as soda and fruit punch, can add a significant amount of empty calories to your diet. Opt for water, sparkling water, or unsweetened tea instead.

Be Mindful of Alcohol

Limit Your Intake

Alcohol can lower your inhibitions and lead to overeating. Limit your alcohol intake to avoid this. If you do choose to drink, opt for lower-calorie options such as a wine spritzer or a light beer.

Eat Before Drinking

Eating a healthy meal before drinking can help slow the absorption of alcohol and prevent you from getting too intoxicated, which can lead to poor food choices.

Practice Mindful Eating

Pay Attention to Your Hunger Cues

Listen to your body and eat when you’re hungry, not just because food is available. Take small bites, chew thoroughly, and savor the flavors. This can help you enjoy your food more and eat less.

Avoid Mindless Eating

Social events often involve a lot of mingling and distractions, which can lead to mindless eating. Be aware of what and how much you’re eating, and avoid standing near the food table to reduce temptation.

Bring Your Healthy Dish

Contribute a Healthy Option

If you’re attending a potluck or a family gathering, bring a healthy dish to share. This ensures that there will be at least one nutritious option available, and it can inspire others to make healthier choices as well.

Offer to Help with Meal Prep

If you’re close to the host, offer to help with meal preparation. This can give you some control over the menu and an opportunity to suggest or prepare healthier options.

Set Realistic Goals

Allow Yourself to Indulge in Moderation

It’s okay to indulge in your favorite treats occasionally. Allow yourself to enjoy small portions of your favorite foods without guilt. This can prevent feelings of deprivation and make it easier to stick to your healthy eating habits in the long run.

Focus on Socializing

Remember that social events are about spending time with friends and family. Focus on socializing and enjoying the company, rather than making food the main attraction.

Stay Active

Incorporate Physical Activity

If possible, incorporate physical activity into the event. This could be as simple as a walk after the meal or playing a game of catch. Physical activity can help offset some of the extra calories consumed and keep you energized.

Dance the Night Away

If there’s music and dancing, take advantage of it! Dancing is a fun way to burn calories and stay active while enjoying the event.

Maintain a Positive Mindset

Don’t Stress Over Perfection

It’s important to remember that one meal or one event won’t make or break your healthy eating habits. Don’t stress over perfection. Instead, focus on making the best choices you can and getting back on track with your regular eating habits after the event.

Celebrate Your Successes

Celebrate the small victories, such as choosing a healthy option or stopping when you’re full. Acknowledging your successes can boost your confidence and help you stay motivated.

that you can enjoy guilt-free.

Conclusion

Maintaining healthy eating habits at social events requires planning, mindful choices, and a focus on socializing rather than just food. By implementing these strategies, you can enjoy social gatherings without compromising your health. Remember, it’s all about balance and making the best choices for your well-being.

FAQs

1. How can I resist the temptation of unhealthy foods at social events?

To resist temptation, eat a healthy meal before attending the event, stay hydrated, and focus on socializing rather than food. Bringing your healthy dish can also help.

2. What are some healthy snack options to bring to a potluck?

Healthy snack options include vegetable platters with hummus, fruit salads, whole-grain crackers with cheese, and Greek yogurt with mixed berries.

3. How do I handle peer pressure to eat unhealthy foods?

Politely decline or take a small portion to satisfy your peers without compromising your dietary goals. You can also explain your commitment to healthy eating if comfortable.

4. Is it okay to indulge occasionally at social events?

Yes, occasional indulgence is fine. The key is moderation. Enjoy small portions of your favorite treats without overindulging.

5. What should I do if I overeat at a social event?

Don’t stress about it. Return to your healthy eating habits at your next meal and consider increasing your physical activity to balance out the extra calories.


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“NHS Doctors Dismissed Our Symptoms as Menopause – What We Experience is Much More Severe”

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"NHS Doctors Dismissed Our Symptoms as Menopause

“NHS Doctors Dismissed Our Symptoms as Menopause – What We Experience is Much More Severe”

In recent years, a growing number of individuals have faced challenges in receiving appropriate medical attention for their health conditions.

Many have reported that their symptoms, often dismissed as merely menopausal, are part of a broader and more serious health crisis.

This article delves into the experiences of those affected, exploring the ramifications of misdiagnosis and the urgent need for greater awareness and understanding within the healthcare system.

Understanding the Symptoms

Individuals experiencing symptoms often associated with menopause, such as hot flashes, mood swings, and fatigue, may be facing more complex health issues.

These symptoms can stem from various underlying conditions, which may require different treatment approaches. Misidentification of these symptoms can lead to inadequate care and a worsening of the individual’s health.

The Impact of Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis can have serious consequences. When healthcare professionals dismiss legitimate concerns, patients may feel invalidated and lose trust in the healthcare system.

This can result in delays in receiving necessary treatments, worsening symptoms, and deteriorating mental health.

Case Studies: Real Voices, Real Experiences

  1. Sarah’s Story Sarah, a 45-year-old woman, began experiencing severe fatigue and joint pain. Initially brushed off as menopausal symptoms, she later discovered she had an autoimmune disorder that required immediate treatment. Sarah’s experience highlights the importance of comprehensive examinations and not hastily attributing symptoms to menopause.
  2. Tom’s Journey Tom, a 50-year-old man, experienced mood swings and significant weight changes. His doctor attributed these changes to mid-life hormonal shifts. After seeking a second opinion, Tom was diagnosed with thyroid dysfunction, a condition that was treatable but had been overlooked.

The Need for Awareness and Education

Increasing awareness among both patients and healthcare providers about the potential seriousness of overlooked symptoms is crucial. Educational initiatives and training for healthcare professionals can lead to better diagnostic practices and improved patient outcomes.

Symptoms That Should Not Be Ignored

Certain symptoms should prompt further investigation rather than immediate dismissal. These include:

  • Severe fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Persistent joint or muscle pain
  • Significant mood changes
  • Memory loss or cognitive difficulties

Recognizing these symptoms can lead to earlier diagnoses and interventions, potentially preventing further health complications.

Advocating for Change in the Healthcare System

Advocacy is key in addressing the challenges faced by those experiencing misdiagnosed health conditions. Patient advocacy groups play an essential role in raising awareness, providing resources, and pushing for changes within healthcare systems.

Empowering Patients

Empowering patients to take charge of their health can foster better communication with healthcare providers.

Here are some tips for individuals navigating their health concerns:

  • Educate Yourself: Understand your symptoms and research potential conditions that could be affecting you.
  • Seek Second Opinions: Don’t hesitate to consult another doctor if you feel your concerns aren’t being taken seriously.
  • Document Your Symptoms: Keeping a journal of your symptoms can provide valuable information to your healthcare provider.

Conclusion

The issue of misdiagnosis related to menopause and other serious health conditions is critical and demands immediate attention.

By fostering greater awareness and encouraging open dialogue between patients and healthcare providers, we can work towards a healthcare system that better serves everyone.

Understanding that symptoms may signify more severe health issues is the first step toward effective treatment and improved quality of life.

FAQs

1. What should I do if my symptoms are dismissed by my doctor?

If your symptoms are not being taken seriously, consider seeking a second opinion and documenting your symptoms to present a comprehensive case.

2. How can I educate myself about potential health issues?

Research reputable medical sources, talk to healthcare professionals, and consider joining support groups for shared experiences and knowledge.

3. Are there specific tests that can help diagnose underlying conditions?

Yes, depending on your symptoms, doctors may recommend blood tests, imaging studies, or referrals to specialists.

4. What resources are available for patient advocacy?

Many organizations focus on patient advocacy; researching local and national groups can provide valuable support and resources.

5. How can I improve communication with my healthcare provider?

Prepare for appointments by noting your symptoms, asking clear questions, and expressing your concerns confidently.


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Measles Outbreak at NYC Migrant Shelter Highlights Public Health Concerns Amid Border Crisis

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Measles Outbreak at NYC Migrant Shelter

Measles Outbreak at NYC Migrant Shelter Highlights Public Health Concerns Amid Border Crisis

The recent detection of measles at a migrant shelter in New York City has intensified the debate surrounding the ongoing border crisis and its public health implications. This development has raised alarms among health officials and the public, highlighting the need for comprehensive strategies to manage the influx of migrants while safeguarding public health.

Understanding the Measles Outbreak

Measles, a highly contagious viral disease, poses a significant health risk, especially in densely populated areas. The outbreak at the NYC migrant shelter has put a spotlight on the challenges faced by public health officials in managing and containing such diseases within vulnerable populations.

The Impact of Measles

  • Highly Contagious: Measles spreads through respiratory droplets, making it easy to transmit in crowded conditions.
  • Severe Complications: The disease can lead to severe complications such as pneumonia, encephalitis, and even death, particularly in children and immunocompromised individuals.
  • Vaccination: Despite the availability of an effective vaccine, measles outbreaks still occur, often linked to unvaccinated populations.

The Border Crisis and Public Health

The ongoing border crisis has resulted in an unprecedented number of migrants entering the United States. Many of these individuals come from regions with lower vaccination rates and inadequate healthcare infrastructure, increasing the risk of disease outbreaks.

Challenges in Migrant Shelters

  • Overcrowding: Migrant shelters often operate at or beyond capacity, creating conditions conducive to the rapid spread of infectious diseases.
  • Limited Resources: Shelters frequently struggle with limited resources, including medical supplies and personnel, which hampers effective disease management and prevention.
  • Healthcare Access: Migrants may have limited access to healthcare services, including vaccinations, both in their home countries and upon arrival in the U.S.

Federal Response and Policy Implications

The Biden administration has faced criticism over its handling of the border crisis and its impact on public health. Critics argue that the administration’s policies have contributed to the current situation, while supporters contend that the challenges are multifaceted and require a comprehensive approach.

Policy Measures

  • Enhanced Screening: Implementing robust health screening protocols for migrants upon entry to identify and manage infectious diseases early.
  • Vaccination Programs: Expanding vaccination programs within migrant shelters to prevent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.
  • Resource Allocation: Ensuring adequate resources, including medical staff and supplies, are available at migrant shelters to address health concerns promptly.

Public Health Strategies

Addressing the public health challenges posed by the border crisis requires coordinated efforts from federal, state, and local agencies, as well as collaboration with non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Preventive Measures

  • Vaccination Campaigns: Launching targeted vaccination campaigns in high-risk areas and among migrant populations to reduce the risk of outbreaks.
  • Public Awareness: Increasing public awareness about the importance of vaccination and the risks associated with measles and other infectious diseases.
  • Community Health Programs: Developing community health programs that provide education, resources, and support to both migrants and local communities.

Conclusion

The measles outbreak at the NYC migrant shelter underscores the complex interplay between public health and immigration policy.

As the border crisis continues to evolve, it is crucial to adopt comprehensive strategies that address both the immediate health needs of migrants and the broader public health concerns.

Enhanced screening, vaccination programs, and resource allocation are essential components of a robust public health response. By prioritizing these measures, we can mitigate the risks posed by infectious diseases and protect the health and well-being of all individuals.

FAQs

1. What caused the measles outbreak at the NYC migrant shelter?

The outbreak is likely due to the combination of overcrowded conditions, limited healthcare access, and the presence of unvaccinated individuals within the shelter.

2. How can measles be prevented in migrant shelters?

Prevention can be achieved through robust vaccination programs, enhanced health screenings, and improving living conditions to reduce overcrowding.

3. What are the complications of measles?

Measles can lead to severe complications such as pneumonia, encephalitis, and even death, particularly in children and immunocompromised individuals.

4. How is the Biden administration addressing the public health concerns related to the border crisis?

The administration is implementing enhanced screening protocols, expanding vaccination programs, and allocating resources to address health concerns in migrant shelters.

5. Why is vaccination important in preventing measles outbreaks?

Vaccination is crucial because it provides immunity against measles, reducing the risk of outbreaks and protecting vulnerable populations from severe complications.


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