Diastasis Recti: Causes, Solutions, and When to See a Doctor

Diastasis Recti: Causes, Solutions, and When to See a Doctor

2023-06-02 09:00:00

Jeanette (39): “At first I didn’t think much of it, but when my belly still looked like I was four months pregnant ten weeks after giving birth, I went to the doctor. Through the pelvic specialist I then ended up in the hospital. There the surgeon found a gap of almost ten centimeters between my abdominal muscles. That is too big to heal on its own, so I hope to have surgery soon. Until then, an abdominal band offers some support and I have been able to strengthen the other muscles with exercises. But walking, bending, lifting and standing are still difficult and a year later I am still wearing maternity clothes because my regular clothes are not comfortable.”


“Usually a so-called diastasis is caused by a pregnancy or a large belly due to excess abdominal fat,” says therapist Sietske Wildschut of the Diastase Treatment Center. “If this requires space in the abdominal wall, the left and right abdominal muscles stretch to create that space. When pressure is applied to the abdominal wall, the enlarged and weak space then bulges out into a bulging abdomen. This in itself is normal and should not cause any problems. However, it does not always recover automatically after pregnancy, which can cause complaints. Power loss, for example. But back pain, pelvic and hip complaints and abdominal pain also occur, because the abdominal muscles support the back and organs and are part of longer muscle chains. Some people also suffer from urine loss, bowel function disorders, disturbed breathing or even neck and shoulder complaints. There are also women who feel unattractive and insecure because of their bulging, large belly.”


Fortunately, it usually succeeds in flattening the stomach again. Wildschut: “If fat tissue is the cause, it is wise to also lose some weight, and we can strengthen the abdominal muscles with a tailor-made program of special exercises. In the beginning, a supportive belly band can also help with many complaints.” In case of major abnormalities, an additional umbilical hernia and insufficient recovery after exercises, surgery is possible. “The surgeon then pulls the abdominal muscle taut from the inside, sometimes he also places a mat, as a kind of internal corset. As a result, the space between the muscles disappears. In that case, a plastic surgeon also removes the excess skin.”

Think about it

Especially if a round belly is accompanied by other complaints, such as pain, weight loss, decreased appetite or vaginal bleeding, it is wise to visit the doctor. Sometimes there is a more serious underlying cause. For example, a bulging abdomen can be the result of fluid in the abdomen because the lymph nodes do not function properly. Gas formation can be caused by a blockage caused by a tumor in the intestines. And a fibroid that grows larger after the transition also needs attention.

#stretched #abs #culprit


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