What’s causing my abdominal bloating and back pain?
The cause of your belly fat and back pain are different. You may have some sort of underlying medical condition which causes these symptoms. If not, then it is likely due to genetics or lifestyle factors such as poor diet, lack of exercise, stress, etc.
Causes of abdominal bloating and back pain:
1) Eating too much fatty foods.
Fatty food contains lots of calories. These calories are stored in your body as fat cells (adipose tissue). When you eat fatty foods, they release hormones into your blood stream which cause the production of extra adipocytes (fat cells), thus increasing your weight.
2) Lack of physical activity.
Lack of physical activity leads to loss of muscle mass and bone density, leading to low bone mineral density (BMD). Low BMD means less strength and power in your legs, arms, hands, feet and other joints. Your bones become fragile. This results in lower leg pain when walking.
Also, osteoporosis occurs because you do not get enough calcium from your diet or take too much vitamin D from sunlight exposure. Osteoporosis is a disease where the bones become very weak, break easily and cause back pain.
3) Lifting too much weight.
If you lift weight incorrectly or too heavy, you can damage your back muscles and herniate your back discs. This also results in back pain and radiating leg pain.
4) Lack of physical activity and lifting heavy weight.
This is a combination of the above 2 points. Not enough physical activity causes low bone mineral density (BMD) and lifting heavy weight too often can damage your back muscles and herniate your back discs. This leads to back pain and leg pain when walking.
As people age, their bodies do not heal as well as they age. Also, weight gain is more likely to occur as people age due to hormonal changes in the body.
Too much stress can increase your cortisol levels. Elevated cortisol is known to increase fat gain specifically in the belly area.
7) Hormonal problems.
Too little thyroid hormone can cause underactive thyroids and lead to weight gain and tiredness (fatigue). Too much thyroid hormone can lead to loss of muscle mass and bone weakness, known as hyperthyroidism. Too much testosterone in men can lead to testicular cancer, male baldness and facial hair growth (side-effects of testosterone treatment are well known). Too much oestrogen in women can lead to uterine cancer (a main symptom is excessive menstrual bleeding or periods, also known as menorrhagia).
Both men and women can develop hormonal cancers such as thyroid and adrenal gland cancer.
8) Poor diet and lack of exercise.
Poor diet and lack of exercise can lead to weight gain. Too much weight can put more stress on your joints, in particular your legs when you walk. This causes your legs, knees, ankles and feet to hurt.
9) Lack of dietary fibre.
Fibre is a type of carbohydrate found in fruit and vegetables. It helps to prevent constipation and reduces the risk of bowel cancer.
10) Lack of water in your diet. Not drinking enough water causes dehydration. Dehydration causes side-effects such as headache, fatigue (tiredness), diahorrea and dizziness.
11) Digestive disorders. Disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and hiatus hernia can cause belly pain, diarrhoea and constipation. These disorders can also cause an inflammation of the stomach lining (called gastritis).
12) Skin conditions. Conditions of the skin can lead to weight gain.
Sources & references used in this article:
Hysterical type of nongaseous abdominal bloating by WC ALVAREZ – Archives of Internal Medicine, 1949 – jamanetwork.com
Sensation of bloating and visible abdominal distension in patients with irritable bowel syndrome by L Chang, OY Lee, B Naliboff, M Schmulson… – The American journal of …, 2001 – Elsevier
Functional chest pain: esophageal or overlapping functional disorder by RS Mudipalli, JM Remes-Troche… – Journal of clinical …, 2007 – journals.lww.com