Stomach ruptures due to overeating, while extremely rare, are indeed possible and often have fatal consequences. When the stomach ruptures, the billions of gut bacteria flood into the abdominal cavity, leading to severe infections. Symptoms include acute abdominal pain, muscle tensing, fever, nausea, bloating, and vomiting. Without prompt medical intervention, these cases can be deadly.
Contrary to what one might expect, not everyone can vomit to relieve overdistension of the stomach. In individuals with unusual eating habits, the body’s natural reflexes may be suppressed or altered. This means that when the stomach is excessively distended, its muscles might be too weakened to induce vomiting effectively.
There have been several notable instances of stomach ruptures throughout history. A notable case from 1941 involved a 51-year-old woman whose stomach ruptured after consuming a large meal followed by soda bicarbonate, which generated excessive gas. Another case in 1963 involved a New York woman on a strict diet who experienced a rupture after a small meal. These cases highlight the unpredictable nature of stomach ruptures in relation to diet and eating habits.
Over the years, studies and reports suggest that women might be more susceptible to stomach ruptures due to overeating. For instance, a 23-year-old fashion model’s autopsy revealed an extremely large last meal, leading to a fatal rupture. Bulimia sufferers are particularly at risk due to their typically shrunken stomachs, making them more prone to tearing.
Not all stomach ruptures are directly caused by overeating. In 2011, a 25-year-old woman with a gastric band nearly died when the band slipped, causing her stomach to burst. This case illustrates that factors other than food volume, such as surgical interventions for weight loss, can also lead to stomach ruptures.