The pendulous abdomen is one type of abdomen shape abnormality. The normal abdomen shape is slightly convex. Abnormal abdomen shapes include the protuberant, distended, scaphoid, and pendulous abdomen shapes. Misshapen abdomens either acquired from birth or later in life can show up as organ malfunction, abdomen pain, hernia, bloating, difficult digestion, and other illnesses. Important digestive, excretory and reproductive organs are located inside the abdomen. People with misshapen abdomens have issues with the correct placement of abdominal organs and muscles. Using reverse logic it can be said that maintaining the right abdomen shape is the key to the proper functioning of the abdominal organs.
What Is A Pendulous Abdomen?
If one acquires a pendulous abdomen shape the anterior wall of the abdomen hangs over the pelvis. A pendulous abdomen denotes slackness in abdominal muscles. The causes of pendulous abdomen differ from person to person. Doctors present diagnosis after studying abdomen shape in the context of the whole body and medical history. Some of the common causes associated with the occurrence of the pendulous abdomen include:
- Congenital issues
Sometimes pendulous abdomen or other abnormal abdominal shapes can be present at birth. As the body grows it may be able to correct abdominal organs and muscles positioning and gain normalcy. The possibility cannot be ruled out especially under expert advice and guidance. As opposed to this sometimes a pendulous abdomen or other abdomen shape abnormalities may not be detectable at birth. The abnormality starts becoming visible as the body grows. At any stage, it is best to seek medical guidance if the body starts showing noticeable changes. Timely medical advice can prevent major impending health issues.
- Lifestyle issues
People can tend to lose muscle strength including anterior muscles abdomen strength due to lifestyle issues. Such issues can arise due to type of work profile, lack of exercise, poor diet, and other conditions. People with bulky abdomen who spend long hours working at their desk overexert their anterior abdomen muscles in comparison to other body muscles. Sitting for long hours should be avoided. People with desk jobs should take ten minutes to break every hour to walk and exercise their muscles.
The body can store extra fats, carbs, proteins as well as certain minerals and vitamins. People under work pressure tend to grab meals with high carb content. Poor diet conditions and lack of exercise can make the body obese. The lower abdomen region is the location where the body mostly stores fats and carbs that have been consumed in excess as adipose. Though not all obesity can be linked to poor eating habits and lifestyle yet very often these can be the primary cause. People with obesity tendency can do well to adopt a wholesome nourishing diet with limited fats and carbs content and rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Proteins are bodybuilding foods that help to strengthen muscles.
During pregnancy, a woman’s body has to bear extra weight in the pelvis region. The anterior abdominal muscles remain stretched during the entire gestation period. Most women report stretch marks and looseness in lower abdominal tissues post-pregnancy. Women with complicated pregnancies can develop loose lower abdomen muscles. It is possible to correct pregnancy acquired abdominal shape abnormalities through proper exercises and routines during and post-pregnancy.
Severe injury to the abdomen region due to accident or other trauma condition can disturb the alignment of abdominal muscles and organs. It is possible to acquire abnormal abdomen shapes like pendulous abdomen post-trauma or injury. Diseases like piles that overstress lower abdominal muscles can also distort abdomen shape. Trauma-related abdomen shape abnormalities can be corrected with operative and post-operative methods and treatments.
Certain types of surgeries in the abdomen region like complicated c section, diaphragmatic hernia operation, abdomen cosmetic surgery can sometimes loosen lower abdomen tissues and muscles.
Treatment for pendulous abdomen
Treatment for pendulous abdomen can be nonsurgical and surgical
- Nonsurgical methods
These can include a medically guided diet and exercise regimen. The patient can be advised of abdomen muscles strengthening exercises and wholesome diets based on medical history and examination.
Abdominoplasty is medical terminology for cosmetic surgery of the abdomen. Apart from health issues undergoing abdomen surgeries can be for improving abdomen aesthetic appearance. Abdominoplasty performed by veteran cosmetic surgeons removes an extra fatty layer from the abdomen, corrects and tightens abdomen muscles and tissues. Excessively hanging tissues and skin are also eliminated during abdominoplasty surgeries.
Amanda Wingfield is a certified Diabetes Management Specialist who also holds an MD in Endocrinology, with certifications from ABIM and AACE. She has a decade of experience serving thousands of patients through her independent practice and has been working in the capacity of an expert diabetes consultant for the past 4 years. Ms. Wingfield is revered by her regular readers for her in-depth research and evidence-based analysis of diabetes medications, supplements, and treatments, and her highly critical style of writing.