Swollen Abdomen: Causes and Treatment

A swollen abdomen occurs when your stomach area is larger than normal. This is occasionally called a distended abdomen or swollen belly. A swollen abdomen is typically uncomfortable or even excruciating. A swollen abdomen has a variety of potential causes and is an usual occurrence.

What Causes Abdominal Swelling?

Your abdomen could be swollen for different reasons. These range from consuming way too much to pregnancy. Only your doctor will be able to figure out the specific cause of your swollen abdomen.

A typical cause of abdominal swelling is gas. Swallowing air as part of a worried practice or from eating foods that are high in fiber can result in gas production. If you don’t release this gas, it can cause abdominal swelling.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition that triggers cramping and pain in your stomach, among other signs. IBS can additionally cause bloating and gas, which could cause you to have a distended abdomen.

According to the International Structure for Functional Gastrointestinal Diseases, about 1 in 10 people have signs of IBS.

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is a condition that happens when your body is incapable to absorb lactose, a sugar located in dairy products. Symptoms of lactose intolerance consist of abdominal bloating and gas. These signs can trigger your abdomen to swell.

If you experience a swollen abdomen within 2 hours of ingesting dairy, you might be lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerance is most typical in people of African, Asian, Hispanic and American Indian descent.


Ascites is a condition that occurs when fluid accumulates inside your abdomen. This buildup is typically because of problems with your liver, such as cirrhosis. Cirrhosis happens when your liver comes to be extremely scarred.

When ascites first creates, you probably will not observe any signs and symptoms. As the fluid builds up with time, you’ll begin to notice your abdomen coming to be more and more swollen. Ascites can trigger you discomfort.

Other Causes

Your swollen abdomen could be caused by other, less common symptoms. For example, gallstones are difficult masses that can build up in your gallbladder.

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreatic. Weight gain might likewise cause swelling of the abdomen, as can a clog in your intestine. An ovarian cyst may additionally result in a swollen abdomen.

What are the Treatment Options for Abdominal Swelling?

Home Treatments

Depending upon the cause of your swollen abdomen, you might be able to treat your signs and symptoms conveniently at home.

If your abdomen is swollen since you consumed too much, merely waiting for your food to digest might fix your issue. Eating smaller dishes can aid prevent this trouble in the future. Additionally, consider eating a lot more slowly to give your stomach time to process your food.

If your abdomen is swollen due to gas, try avoiding foods that are recognized to cause gas. A few of these foods are beans and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage. Stay clear of drinking soft drinks and drinking out of a straw. Eating gradually can likewise help stop you from swallowing air, which brings about gas.

Avoiding dairy products can help relieve abdominal swelling caused by lactose intolerance. When it comes to IBS, lowering your anxiety levels and increasing your fiber consumption have actually been revealed to aid eliminate signs and symptoms. If you have ascites, bed remainder and lowering your sodium consumption can aid your body get rid of the excess fluid.

Medical Treatment

If rest and lowering the amount of sodium in your diet do not work to soothe signs and symptoms, your doctor may suggest making use of diuretics.

Diuretics will aid your kidneys remove more of the fluid triggering the swelling. In uncommon situations, an infection can create in your ascitic fluid. If this occurs, you’ll require to undergo extensive treatment with antibiotics.

There isn’t much medical treatment available to soothe a swollen abdomen due to IBS and lactose intolerance.

Ascites is typically a side effect of an additional significant problem in the body, such as cirrhosis. You must speak to your doctor about a plan of treatment.

In addition to treating the triggering ailment, you might need to undergo removal of the fluid. The fluid removal treatment, or paracentesis, differs in duration since it relies on how much fluid needs to be removed.

When Should I Seek Medical Attention?

It’s unlikely that your swollen abdomen is the result of any significant health problem, yet there are a couple of things you should look out for. Call your doctor if your abdomen is growing, or if you have other signs that accompany the swelling, such as fever or queasiness.

Seek medical care if you have extreme diarrhea or blood in your feces. If you locate that you’re not able to consume or drink for more than 8 hours, tell your doctor.

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