Can Your Stomach Explode?

The stomach is a hollow organ and an extremely important part of your gastrointestinal system. Your digestion starts in the stomach, and continues through small and large intestines where digestive enzymes through pancreas, liver, and gall bladder also play a role in digestion. The digestive tract is where the foods and fluids are processed to extract nutrients from the food and send waste products out of your system through stools.

You may have heard people say that your stomach will burst if you keep stuffing it with mashed potatoes, turkey, sweet potatoes, and all sorts of foods. Is it possible? 

Can Your Stomach Explode?

While it is very rare, it is possible to rupture your stomach by eating too much. Under normal circumstances, your stomach can hold up to one-and-a-half liters, and if you exceed this, you may start to feel nauseous. Most people stop here and never experience any issues with their stomach. However, some people with eating disorders can override their natural gag reflex and continue to eat beyond that point where others would feel nauseous. This may lead to a ruptured stomach.

Some people's reflexes stop working normally when they eat too much. When this continues to happen for years, their stomach loses the ability to use its muscles and vomit the food out. If your body does not throw the excessive food out and you keep putting more in it, this may again lead to a ruptured stomach. Moreover, the more you eat the higher the pressure on the stomach's walls, which can cause your stomach tissues to weaken and tear. Stomach content may go into the body and cause infections. Surgical intervention is usually necessary in this case to repair the stomach.

It is rare but very much possible for a person to eat so much in one sitting that it damages the stomach or leads to the esophageal tear. These may cause life-threatening consequences. Some reported cases of stomach rupture were in people who have been suffering from a congenital disease called Prader-Willi syndrome, which is an eating disorder and causes an intense craving for food, resulting in morbid obesity.

Can your stomach explode? While it is rare, people with certain eating disorders can experience this situation. However, it does not mean you will cause serious damage to your stomach just by eating too much at Thanksgiving or other occasions. You are still far away from making your stomach explode.

Dangerous Habits That Harm Your Stomach

You end up affecting your gastrointestinal system in some way when you develop unhealthy or dangerous eating habits. These habits can affect your stomach as well and cause serious medical problems. Here is more about it.

1. Unhealthy Diet

Even if you know how much to eat, you will fail to get any benefits if you know nothing about what to eat. Unhealthy diet that includes fatty, spicy, and fast foods is not good for your metabolism and stomach for that matter. You are going to affect the function of your stomach over time. For proper functioning, your stomach relies on the nutrients it gets from the foods you eat. Therefore, it is better to stick to organic vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, legumes, beans, and foods rich in dietary fiber to keep your stomach healthy.

2. Poor Eating Habits

When you know what to eat but have poor eating patterns, you are again going to experience digestive issues. Even the healthiest food will not offer any benefits if you eat it too fast. It is going to cause indigestion. Your stomach needs to produce gastric juice to digest the food and it cannot produce enough of it when you load your stomach up with too much of food too quickly. This may also cause acid reflux disease or stomachache. Going to bed soon after eating your meals is bad for your digestive health – it does not give your stomach enough time to digest food properly.

3. Tobacco Smoking

Instead of worrying about, "Can your stomach explode?" you should worry more about the ill effects of smoking. Not only does it harm your stomach, it is equally harmful for your vital organs. You are ingesting carcinogenic elements and toxins while smoking and they can irritate the mucosal lining of the stomach, causing stomach ulcers and heartburn. It may also cause gallstones and liver problems.

4. Too Much Alcohol

Alcohol is not good for your digestive system because it is an irritant and increases your risk of gastroesophageal reflux disease. It lowers the production of gastric enzymes and acid, without which your stomach cannot digest food properly. Excessive alcohol may lead to liver dysfunction and stomach cancer. You should stop drinking alcohol or at least limit its intake to prevent complications.

5. Energy Drinks

The presence of caffeine makes energy drinks bad for your stomach and intestines. You may sustain intestinal injury and stomach flu by drinking too much of energy drinks. It disrupts the release of gastric acid and enzymes, which in turn affects the digestion. You should eliminate energy drinks and stimulants from your diet to keep your stomach healthy.

6. Certain Medications

Medications help treat certain ailments, but they have their side effects as well. Some medications, such as painkillers, antihistamines, analgesics, antibiotics, and certain antihypertensive drugs may damage your stomach lining and cause stomach irritation. They may also affect liver function and put you at an increased risk of developing stomach ulcers. It is, therefore, a good idea to talk to your doctor immediately if you notice digestive issues after starting a new medication. 

 
 
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