Abdominal or Stomach Swelling

Abdomen | Gastroenterology | Abdominal or Stomach Swelling (Symptom)


Abdominal swelling also known as Enlargement of the abdomen occurs in obesity and growth of the uterus during pregnancy.


Usually, abdominal swelling, or distension, is caused by overeating than by a serious illness. This problem can be caused by: air swallowing (a nervous habit), build-up of fluid in the abdomen that can be a sign of a serious medical problem, gas in the intestines from eating foods that are high in fibre such as fruits and vegetables, Irritable bowel syndrome, Lactose intolerance, Ovarian cyst, Partial bowel blockage, Pregnancy, Premenstrual syndrome (PMS), Uterine fibroids, Weight gain.

Wind in the stomach or intestine may cause uncomfortable, bloating distension of the abdomen. Some women experience abdominal distension due to temporary water retention just before menstruation. Other causes may be more serious. For instance, ascites (accumulation of fluid between organs) may be a symptom of cancer or disease of the heart, kidneys, or liver; swelling may also be due to intestinal obstruction or an ovarian cyst.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis of the underlying cause may involve abdominal X-ray, ultrasound scanning, laparotomy, or laparoscopy. In ascites, some fluid between organs may be drained for examination.

A swollen abdomen that is caused by eating a heavy meal will go away when you digest the food. Eating in moderation will help prevent swelling. For a swollen abdomen caused by swallowing air, the following must be respected: avoid carbonated beverages, avoid chewing gum or sucking on candies, avoid drinking through a straw or sipping the surface of a hot beverage and eat slowly.