Hard Stomach Causes, Treatment & Pregnancy

A hard stomach can be a bothersome experience. It is caused by  a variety of factor ranging from eating to pregnancy issues. In this article, I explore the main causes and treatment of a hard stomach. I will also highlight the relationship it has with constipation.

Why is My Stomach Hard? – Causes of Hard Stomach

Your stomach feels hard when it appears tight to the touch, it simply shows that your body’s trunk is not fine. It would be possible that what you are experiencing is the adverse negative effects of your routine diet.

Here is an overview of the common causes:

  1. Infected Appendicitis: It’s a serious abdominal condition with an inflamed appendix which may likely contribute to stomach disorders. These problems could lead to the feeling of a stiff stuff inside your belly.
  2. Ectopic Pregnancy: People with this type of disorder normally have attached fertilized egg outside the uterus. It’s a condition that can be fatal if not treated in time.
  3. Acute Pancreatitis: If you have a pancreas that is inflamed, you will likely have a swollen and painful hard stomach. It particularly happens in your abdomen’s upper left side. It also causes burping and nausea in the belly.
  4. Basics of Food Allergy: This a condition triggered by an overblown immune system response to typically safe foods like peanuts and eggs.
  5. Abdominal Blockage: Obstruction of your intestines also causes this problem. It leads to a hindrance to the passage of digested food and fluid. As a result, it causes stomach burping, cramps, and bloating.
  6. Lactose Intolerance: The inability of your body or the digestive system to break down lactose denoting a certain kind of natural sugar. The undigested food leads to you feel a hard stomach.
  7. Celiac Disease: This type of illness means more than just Gluten Intolerance. It’s digestive abnormality triggered by your stomach’s immune response to gluten. It can make your abdomen feel full and tightened.

Hard Bloated Stomach & Pain

If you experience a stomach which is hard, bloated, and painful, then, it’s probable that you have a digestive problem. It’s a condition with symptoms such as a feeling of fullness of the abdomen or a belly which has gas, bloated, and painful. But, these disorders disappear after the digested food and gas is finally expelled from the digestive system.

On the other hand, an inflexible or rigid stomach may be caused by abdominal cancers. It’s a condition that does not subside until treated.

There are several types of such cancer. But, two stomach cancers are mainly associated with a hard and painful belly.

First, the formation of malignant cells in your stomach’s muscle walls or lining leads to the development of a tumor, which ultimately causes a hard bump in the digestive system.

Secondly, cancer cells adversely impact on the abdominal muscles leading to leather-like, rigid scar tissue. It’s a condition capable of spreading to other close body organs and causing the organ to feel hard.

Treatment of a Hard Stomach

One of the commonly used remedies for a hard stomach is to avoid ingesting a diet which is likely to cause flatulence and gas. You do this by maintaining a diary of the foods you consume. Doing so will enable you to effectively monitor the effects related to diets which lead to aggravation of your digestive system. It will as well help to identify the types of food that must be scraped off your routine nutrition.

Although there are artificial therapies to such issues, there are also popular home remedies you can apply for your bloated belly. Some of these natural remedies comprise of using herbal supplements like Burdock and sweet fennel to give your digestive system a natural reprieve against swelling and feeling hard.

Here are some of the effective ways of using these herbs:

  1. Use fennel and dill for treatment of stomach bloating as well as for minimizing additional symptoms, including reducing heartburn and acidity along with limiting abdominal gas and flatulence.
  2. Eat cooked food supplements like spice, fennel, and dills such as cinnamon and ginger. They can help to naturally relieve your stomach quickly since they aid in improving food absorption through stimulating your digestive system.
  3. Home therapies for your abdominal swelling may also comprise of the use of Alfa Alfa. This is the natural remedy of food supplements with high levels of chlorophyll known to minimize stomach gas.
  4. Taking or drinking peppermint tea or linden tea anytime you feel your belly hard or after a meal is also a perfect home-based treatment approach for your bloated stomach.

Hard Stomach during Pregnancy – Early, Late or Third Trimester

Pregnancy is associated with feeling a hard stomach. Does your stomach feel hard when pregnant? If so, then you should be alarmed. That is because most women typically feel tightening in their belly when their uterus or abdomen becomes hard without any understandable reason.

These are some of the common facts about a bloating stomach during your pregnancy:

When does your Stomach Start Getting Hard when Pregnant?

Many mental and physical changes take place during pregnancy as the stomach becomes more protruding as the process progress.

During this period, women usually encounter a sensation of Braxton Hicks withering, particularly in their second trimester. The contractions become more felt as one approaches their final stages of the pregnancy.

Hard Stomach Early Pregnancy

Are you experiencing a hard stomach during early pregnancy? At the start of your pregnancy, it’s more likely that the size of the belly will begin to tighten and become hard due to the expansion of the uterus. Ultimately, the tissue muscles of stomach lining start pressing against the abdominal walls, which leads to a hard feeling.

As the pregnancy progress or grow, the hardness of your belly becomes to feel somehow normal. You shouldn’t get worried about such body transformations because it’s a typical encounter for most pregnant women.

Hard Stomach during Late Pregnancy

In later pregnancy, which usually encompasses the second trimester, the swelling of your abdomen or uterus will have gone above its half way. At this stage, the tightening of the stomach gets stuck between the belly button and pelvic bone.

As you approach the 21st week and beyond, you may feel your belly bloated because other factors due to constipation and pain related to stretch marks. Fat and thin body shape also makes some women have a similar encounter.

The development of fetal skeleton further causes a hard feeling in the stomach.

Hard Stomach During Pregnancy Third Trimester

Some expectant mothers experience a hard stomach during the late pregnancy. While the above section has covered everything under later pregnancy, I will try and focus on the 3rd trimester in this section.

During the third trimester, say between 27 to 36 weeks, some expectant mothers experience a tight stomach that may even make it hard to move. While this may be cause for concern in some mothers, it is actually very normal.

If you are experiencing such, especially after having a brisk walk or after doing some physical activity, it may still be normal. However, if this is accompanied by excessive bleeding, consider seeing a doctor ASAP.

Hard Stomach after C-Section

Most women have reported having a hard feeling in the exact area they had a C-section after giving birth to their babies. In most cases, such encounters represent scar tissue left behind after cutting through about eight layers during this process. With time, such feelings disappear. It’s sometimes accompanied by itchiness and pain as well.

You can treat such a problem through carrying out certain sorts of special exercises and massage. It can heal less thick using a message.

The exercises, on the other hand, help to reactivate the cut muscles.

Hard Stomach after Eating

If you your stomach feels hard after taking a meal or eating, then you should make assumptions about its cause because it could be caused a more serious disorder than you might think.

In most circumstances, abdominal tightening after ingesting food, usually occur from irritation and inflammation of the digestive system’s lining or the wall of gastritis. There are other causes of this condition such as constipation. However, these are minor in magnitude.

Of course, this stomach abnormality may be as a result of numerous other factors, including allergic reactions to food preservatives, food intolerance or poisoning as well as irritable bowel syndrome.

Hard Stomach in Baby & Infants

Infants and babies with hard stomach signal a trap of gas in their intestines. This subsequently leads to a buildup or accumulation of pressure in the digestive system.

Consequently, the child has a discomforting and painful, bloated belly. Your baby may not be able to effectively cope with such agonizing stomach cramps due to its immature intestines.

The trapped gas normally has buoyancy and end up behaving like a stopper in the digestive system. As a result, the flow of gastric fluids stops or slows down leading to the hard feeling in the abdomen.

Hard Stomach Constipation

In case you have constipation which is making your stomach to feel hard, it’s possible that you have tough bowel movements in your belly.

It mostly occurs to people less regularly than they would imagine. But, at one given time in life, you must encounter such an abnormality in your intestines.

Despite the fact this condition may not be that medically lethal, it’s only after your body comes back on track that you will start feeling much better. The period of the movement differs from one individual to the other. While it may occur to you about thrice daily, to others, it happens in just a couple of times weekly.

However, it would be somehow quite long if it takes than three days before you experience it. Beyond this period of time, your poop becomes more difficult to pass as it hardens.

This is a condition caused by several things such as stress, being inactive, lack of adequate fiber or water in the diet, or changes in your routine activities or foods.

Other common causes comprise of colon cancer, pregnancy, irritable bowel syndrome, and eating disorders.

Hard Stomach after Liposuction

If you are experiencing a feeling of the hard stomach in the follow-up to liposuction, it could be advisable to go for an examination of abdominal fluids. Experts suggest that the swelling and firmness caused by liposuction is not excessive.

Ultimately, you must seek the opinion of your doctor if you observe excessive firmness and swelling in your belly.

It’s normal to experience a sudden rise in the fullness of your body’s area of liposuction beyond the 11th day after the process.

Chances would be that you have a seroma or hematoma which requires draining and thus, you should seek medical help in such an event.

Sources & References on Hard Stomach

  1. Healthline: Abnormal Bloating and Pain – Causes and Photos
  2. LiveStrong: Why is my Stomach Hard?
  3. BoldSky: Causes of Hard Belly during Pregnancy
  4. ZocDoc: Why do I feel tightness in my stomach after eating?
  5. WebMD: What is Constipation?

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