Distended Stomach (Abdominal Distention)

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A distended stomach is a term usually used to refer to distension or swelling of the abdomen and not of the stomach itself. When the term is used in this manner, a number of different diseases and conditions can cause abdominal distension. These conditions can be related to digestion, such as malabsorption or lactose intolerance, or to disturbances in bowel function, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or constipation. Bloating is another term that is sometimes used to refer to a swollen belly. Consumption of high-fiber foods can lead to intestinal gas and bloating. Less commonly, ovarian cysts or other types of tumors can cause the appearance of a distended abdomen.

A distended stomach (abdomen) can be associated with other symptoms, including belching, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, or abdominal pain.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/15/2013

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REFERENCE:

Longo, Dan, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 18th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.

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Other Causes of Distended Stomach (Abdominal Distention)
  • Bacterial Infections
  • Benign Ovarian Tumors
  • Bowel Obstruction
  • Malabsorption
  • Malnutrition
  • Small Bowel Bacterial Overgrowth Syndrome
  • Swallowing Air
  • Tumors
  • Viral Infections
  • Weight Gain


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