Also known as: distended abdomen, abdominal distention, distended stomach, bloated abdomen, bloated stomach
What is a swollen abdomen?
When the area of the body around the stomach is bloated or larger than it usually is, this is the sign of a swollen abdomen. Causes can range from overeating to more serious medical conditions.
What might cause swollen abdomen?
If the abdomen is swollen after a large meal, it’s likely a sign of overeating. Other medical causes may include:
- Intestinal gas from eating high-fiber foods
- Swallowing air
- Lactose intolerance
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Weight gain
- Bowel blockage
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Fluid buildup
- Ovarian cyst
- Uterine fibroids
How can it be treated?
For some cases of swollen abdomen, the following approaches can help:
- Avoid carbonated beverages
- Avoid foods known to cause gas like beans and cauliflower
- Don’t chew gum
- Don’t use drinking straws
- Steer clear of dairy products
- Eat more slowly
- Quit smoking
When should you seek medical attention?
If a swollen abdomen does not appear to be related to your diet, is growing worse or not improving, is tender or is accompanied by a high fever, diarrhea or bloody stools, talk to your health care provider.
Reviewed by: Luxme Hariharan, MD
This page was last updated on: February 12, 2020 03:47 PM