A swollen abdomen is when your belly area is bigger than usual.
See also: Abdominal girth
Abdominal swelling, or distention, is more often caused by overeating than by a serious illness. This problem can be caused by:
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:
For a swollen abdomen caused by malabsorption, try changing your diet and limiting milk. Talk to your doctor.
For irritable bowel syndrome:
For a swollen abdomen due to other causes, follow prescribed therapy to treat the cause.
Call your health care provider if:
Your health care provider will perform a physical exam and ask questions about your medical history, such as:
Tests that may be done include:
Swollen belly; Swelling in the abdomen; Abdominal distention; Distended abdomen
Bengiamin RN, Budhram GR, King KE, Wightman JM. Abdominal pain. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2009:chap 21.
Postier RG, Squires RA. Acute abdomen. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:chap 45.
Reviewed by: Linda Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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