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A round belly may indicate a healthy pregnancy, but it isn’t typically a symbol of health otherwise. However, weight loss alone won’t sufficiently tighten up a protruding belly.
In clinical practice, we often hear patients say, “I want to make my thighs and arms thinner.” This is an achievable goal. Working out at the gym will help you increase muscle and lose weight because fat accumulation is the main reason for fat thighs and arms. A protruding lower abdomen, on the other hand, is more complicated.
4 Reasons You Cannot Lose Stubborn Belly Fat
Clinically, a protruding lower abdomen that isn’t reduced via weight loss indicates deeper issues.
1. Fried and Cold Food
Many people nowadays like to eat fried food, do not get enough exercise, and sit still for prolonged periods. These habits accumulate fat in the waist and abdomen, creating a “swimming ring.” Unfortunately, such practices will also impact cardiovascular health in the long run because the fat will enter the bloodstream and circulate, which can cause hyperlipidemia and affect blood flow. As a result, nasty things like arterial embolism, myocardial infarction, stroke, high blood pressure, and many metabolic problems may crop up.
Drinking cold beverages or eating ice-cold food can also cause the lower abdomen to bulge. Eating cold foods causes gastrointestinal contraction, which causes blood vessel contraction, affecting metabolism. The stomach prefers warmth and dislikes humidity and cold; these “cold” and “wet” foods will accumulate in the intestines, causing indigestion and lower abdomen edema, resulting in abdominal pain, distension, and a bulging belly.
You should eliminate bad eating habits to avoid a protruded lower abdomen. Avoid eating greasy or cold food and choose warm foods, even in summer. Healthy lifestyle choices include walking and exercising more, drinking warm tea, avoiding late-night meals, going to bed early, and getting up early. Consistent healthy choices will help even the most stubborn lower abdomen disappear.
During menopause, estrogen decreases and metabolism slows, resulting in weight gain. Fat accumulation in the lower abdomen will follow, making the waist look more pronounced. Uterine fibroids can also cause a woman’s abdomen to protrude.
If you eat raw or cold food during menstruation or spend a lot of time in cold temperatures, your blood may coagulate and stagnate, which can cause gynecological conditions such as menstrual pain, lower abdominal pain, or even uterine cysts.
3. Drooping Viscera
Visceroptosis often appears alongside decreased nutrient absorption, fatigue, diarrhea, and other symptoms. In severe cases, visceroptosis can result in organs being displaced, such as in cases of gastroptosis, uterine ptosis, intestinal ptosis, and hernia.
Typically, people with visceral sagging have an impacted digestive system. When gastrointestinal function is impaired, one will feel tired, weak, and sagging in the lower abdomen. Their abdomen will also bulge.
Bu Zhong Yi Qi decoction is the most used clinical prescription for visceroptosis. This decoction uses Astragalus and ginseng to invigorate vital energy, and black cohosh and Bupleurum have a lifting effect.
4. Bloating and Constipation
Stool accumulating in the intestines will cause constipation and abdominal distension, resulting in a protruding lower abdomen. The clinical manifestations are abdominal distension and pain, indigestion, stagnation of food accumulation, belching and sour odor, nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite, restlessness and impacted sleep, and a greasy tongue coating.
Constipation happens when feces stay in the intestine for too long, prolonging the defecation cycle. If feces is too dry, it will be difficult to pass, and even if defecation is frequent, it may not be a smooth consistency. If you have a bowel movement once every two or three days, even if the stool is dry, as long as there is no bowel movement difficulty or other abdominal discomfort, you are not experiencing constipation.
For abdominal distension and constipation, I often prescribe Fang Feng Tong Sheng powder in clinical practice and An Zhong powder and Bao He pills. Because Fang Feng Tong Sheng powder is cold in nature, it cannot be taken alone for a long time. However, combined with An Zhong powder and Bao He pill, it will help adjust the stomach and intestines and can relieve the coldness of Fang Feng Tong Sheng powder.
Twenty-seven-year-old Ms. Wang came to me the other day and said she had abdominal distension, poor appetite, lower abdominal edema, frequent constipation, and a slightly convex lower abdomen. I used Fang Feng Tong Sheng powder, An Zhong powder, and Bao He pills to treat her. I told her to take them in the morning and evening. After a few months, she told me, “I have normal bowel movements now, and my lower abdomen is also smaller, and I can walk easily.” When I examined her further, I found her pulse to be normal and her general health improving.
*Some herbs mentioned in this article may be unfamiliar, but they are generally available in Asian supermarkets.
Note: Because different people have different constitutions, consulting your doctor or TCM experts is recommended.