Endo belly: endometriosis and abdominal swelling, the possible causes

Author of the blog I Love Being Healthy

⏰ READING TIME: 3 minutes

Hi, it’s so nice to have you here again!

In this article, I am going to talk about the “endo belly”: do you already know about it?

If you suffer from it, you probably do. It is abdominal swelling, sometimes soft and occasional, other times very frequent and troublesome, which is often (Alas!) associated with endometriosis.
Besides the other pain symptoms and problems related to this condition, here is another challenge to face!

In some cases, it occurs as a moderate and temporary swelling, maybe just after eating too much or something complex; in others, it can be really hard to live with it. When one less expects it, the abdomen becomes tight and swollen similarly to what happens during the first months of pregnancy; proper clothing and avoiding trousers too tight or clothes too adherent become important and, beyond the appearance, it is associated with an inevitable sense of discomfort and/or pain.

👉 Did you know that Endoplus – a natural dietary supplement for endometriosis – reduces abdominal swelling, inflammation and tiredness? -> –> Learn more about how it works and the related scientific studies.

Let’s try to figure out together which are the possible causes for all this.
You must not give up and live with it but try to investigate seriously all the possible reasons that could explain your swelling. The inflammation associated with endometriosis rarely induce specifically the endo belly, BUT the causes are often different!!
Most of the time, they can be adjusted/treated/cured with the help of an expert (gynaecologist, gastroenterologist, nutritionist, naturopath, personal trainer, yoga teacher, etc.). Have a look at the list below, try to make up your mind about which might be the culprit in your case and begin your healing journey!

Swollen belly and chronic inflammation

Many inflammatory diseases (autoimmune diseases, cancer, depression and chronic degenerative diseases) have something in common: they strongly impact the digestive system.
Almost all the endometriosis patients share some digestive disorder, which is often one of the reasons for the years required to diagnose endometriosis, having it occasionally mistaken for the irritable bowel syndrome or other similar conditions.
Besides, since there is increasing evidence demonstrating that adjusting the diet can mitigate the endometriosis symptoms, it is now easier to recognize the strong connection between the intestine and this disease. Such digestive problems, without you knowing it, can significantly worsen your endometriosis condition.


Culprit #1: Hypochlorhydria

digesting carbohydrates and fats) to make their job. Thus, if your HCl level is not adequate, your digestive processes inevitably do not proceed as they should.
Moreover, if your HCl level has been low for a while, you probably suffer also from protein and mineral deficiencies, even if your diet is balanced and includes all the right nutrients.
This might be why, despite following an danti-inflammatory diet, you don’t notice great improvement or felt better at the beginning, after reducing the consumption of meat.

Culprit #2: Gastroesophageal reflux disease, heartburn, gastritis or ulcers

Do you always have stomach heaviness? Do you often burp and have a sensation of heartburn? Is your belly always slightly swollen? Maybe what you eat does not even matter but, as soon as you eat, does the stomach hurt and swell, even after drinking just water?
Your gastric mucosa is probably inflamed, or you suffer from gastritis.
Look for the help of a gastroenterologist to, at least, mitigate your symptomatology; it is doable!

👉 Did you know that Endoplus – a natural dietary supplement for endometriosis – reduces abdominal swelling, inflammation and tiredness? –> SLearn more about how it works and the related scientific studies./a>

Culprit #3: Pancreas/strong>

LDoes your belly start to swell more than an hour after eating? Is your stool pale, almost oily, or very smelly, and are you often a bit gassy? Do you feel better when greatly reducing the consumption of carbohydrates? I recommend checking your pancreas.
This organ is tiny but extremely important! It is the main responsible for carbohydrate digestion. When overloaded (due to too many processed or overcooked foods, sugars or cereals), the pancreas cannot provide enough digestive enzymes. This means that you cannot digest the food correctly and your belly gets swollen like a ball.
In practice, there are only two “moments” when the carbohydrates get involved in the digestive process:
1) in the mouth, due to the chewing and the saliva enzymes;
2) in the small intestine, due to the pancreatic enzymes.
Since, usually, we do not correctly masticate the food, the pancreas gets overloaded and the undigested carbohydrates ferment, literally. This is the cause of your swollen belly!

Culprit #4: Gall bladder

Does your belly swell after eating high-fat foods? Do you often have nausea? Is your stool almost oily and/or do you have abdominal pain on the top right side or the higher part of your back? Did you try the paleo diet, the elimination diet or the high-fat diet but always felt hungry? Do you crave fried or high-fat foods? If yes, the gall bladder is probably the culprit.
The gall bladder is crucial for digesting fats. If it does not work correctly, it can cause several digestive problems. Furthermore, you will have a high risk of deficiencies of liposoluble vitamins (A, D, K and E) and Omega 3, 6 and 9.
The fact that you cannot absorb fats correctly could explain your desire for high-fat foods.

Culprit #5: Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)

Maybe, you have been dealing for a long time with serious abdominal swelling, constipation and/or diarrhoea, and you tried to follow different recommendations without success: for example, you are eating a lot of fibres and drinking more water, but the swelling keeps worsening. Probiotics did not help you or even made the situation worse. Maybe, you also tried to reduce the stress sources, increase the physical training or avoid processed foods. If, despite all this, you still suffer from severe abdominal swelling, you might have the SIBO.
In other words, there is bacterial growth in your small intestine, which is swollen and dilated; usually, most of the bacteria should be in the large intestine or the colon.
Since these “little creatures” are in the wrong place, the foods start fermenting, literally, in the intestine. This leads to the development of gases, such as methane or hydrogen, which are responsible for a swollen and tight belly. Several people suffer from the SIBO that, in 2/3 of the cases, is the real cause for the irritable bowel syndrome, which is often “generally” diagnosed.

How to find out if you suffer from SIBO? Ask your doctor or gastroenterologist to make the breath test, in order to understand whether you have intestinal dysbiosis. Specific diet plans, combined with integration protocols for lactic ferments having probiotic activity, will help you restoring the balance of your intestinal microbiota and solving your gastrointestinal problems.



Culprit #6: Leaky gut syndrome

Besides swollen belly, do you have several food allergies and/or intolerances? Perhaps, do you also suffer from other types of allergies, which maybe cause you asthma or skin rashes? These signs indicate that your intestinal system is knocked out due to excessive permeability.
The leaky gut syndrome is a disorder associated with the deterioration of the intestinal barrier, which cannot correctly perform its protective function anymore, compromising the balance of the mucosa and the microbiota.
In fact, the role of the intestinal barrier is paramount: it is responsible not only for nutrient absorption but also for impeding the passage of toxins, pathogens or allergenic substances. Thus, when it gets damaged, food particles and toxins, as well as rancid and partially digested pathogens, directly go into the blood flow.
If this happens daily, it can lead to not only severe inflammation but also a hyper-reactivity of the immune system, and the organism might develop intolerances, excessively stressing the liver and the nervous system.


👉 Did you know that Endoplus – a natural dietary supplement for endometriosis – reduces abdominal swelling, inflammation and tiredness? –> Learn more about how it works and the related scientific studies.

Culprit #7: Pelvic floor dysfunction

Endo belly or “mechanical” problems of the body? When we breathe, move, urinate or defecate, our core muscles should automatically work in synergy.
Nowadays, most of us breathe superficially, that is, without even using the diaphragm, often “hold” the urine or gas for too long, don’t have properly trained muscles or make too many abdominal exercises in the “wrong” way, or are just subjected to stress; whatever the case, the abovementioned synergy, too often, does no longer exist.
Try to understand whether a pelvic floor rehabilitation might work for you and help to solve the associated problems.

COUGH TEST: to determine whether your abdominal muscles are correctly working, you can do this test directly at home. Put the hands on your belly and cough. While you coughed, did your belly swell outwards or was it a bit “sucked” inwards? In theory, it should slightly curve inwards! If everything is working properly, the diaphragm should go upwards when the air (of the cough) moves within the body. If the belly swelled outwards while coughing, it might reveal a pre-existing or imminent pelvic floor dysfunction. Ask for the help of your doctor; the problem can be solved with proper rehabilitation

Culprit #8: Intestinal infections and parasites

Most of the time, candida, the majority of parasites and various other infections are not the main responsible for endo belly, but they can definitely give their contribution.
They mostly have the chance to enter our body if the immune system cannot keep them under control. This is why they are on this list, since many girls and women may be suffering from them.
Be aware, though, that you should probably further investigate your abdominal swelling (which might be instead caused by hypochlorhydria, leaky gut syndrome, SIBO, etc.). This explains, for example, why you might have felt better when following a specific candida diet or an anti-parasite protocol but later, within a few months after ending the treatment, the symptoms arose again.

Culprit #9: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

IBS has been diagnosed too many times.
Its diagnosis is usually referred to the multiple gastrointestinal symptoms exhibited by the patient, BUT the cause is unclear.
As a consequence, if you have been diagnosed with IBS, I encourage you to dig deeper, have your doctor prescribing further tests and trying to determine whether, instead, you might suffer from intestinal dysbiosis or pelvic floor dysfunction. With a more specific diagnosis, you can actively try to solve your problem!

Culprit #10: Stress perception

The last responsible in this list: stress, which greatly impacts the body.
If you are always in a hurry, doing thousands of things while eating or simply in a complicated moment of your life, your body tends to produce not enough gastric juice (read the cases #1, #2, #3 e #4!!). PBesides, under stress, the blood flows to the extremities to prepare the body to “run away”. Thus, even if you have the most nutrient meal in the world, you will probably have problems digesting it.
Stress (or, in general, our stress perception) largely contributes to the endometriosis condition. It hinders the ability of our organism to digest, restore itself, and literally heal. Try to define your priorities and the things worth worrying about, as well as the stress-causing “nonsense things” that you can’t avoid thinking about daily. And, above all, do not get stressed while eating. Take a moment, stop running, sit down, do some deep breaths, be grateful for the food you have and don’t discuss stressing topics. You can try, at least while eating.
Your body (and your endometriosis!!) will thank you!

PS: If you liked the article, please, leave a comment and share it on social media.

🥝 🍎 Do you want to know more about the endometriosis diet? Read the COMPLETE list of the recommended foods and those to avoid 🍍🥑

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[1] Endo-belly popped, su https://www.healendo.com/endobelly?rq=belly. URL consultato il 3 febbraio 2020.

[2] Cos’è la sindrome dell’intestino permeabile e come si combatte, su: https://www.mbenessere.it/intestino/articoli-intestino/sindrome-intestino-permeabile-come-si-combatte/. URL consultato il 3 febbraio 2020.

[3] The 6 main cuplrits of endometriosis bloating (ie endo belly), su https://www.healendo.com/blog-the-6-main-culprits-of-endo-belly. URL consultato il 3 febbraio 2020.
[4] Why you shoud go to endo-belly school (aka read my endo belly guide), su https://www.healendo.com/blog-endobellyebook. URL consultato il 3 febbraio 2020.

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