What is it?

Abdominal distention is a swollen abdomen, accompanied by sensations such as bloatedness and discomfort. It could either present suddenly or become a chronic problem. Chronic abdominal distention is usually the cause of a digestive problem. Other causes for abdominal distention may include pregnancy, menstruation that causes water retention, recent weight gain, bowel obstruction, partial gastroparesis, digestive diseases such as inflammatory bowel diseases, inflammation of the abdominal lining, build-up of fluid (ascites), and liver or spleen enlargement due to certain conditions. Other causes may include gas, constipation, urinary retention, pseudo-obstruction caused by a disorder in muscle contraction, and abdominal muscle weakness.

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Signs & symptoms

Symptoms may include discomfort, restlessness, abdominal pain, gas, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and more.


Diagnosis is based upon findings from medical history and physical examination.Further evaluation may include abdominal X-ray, endoscopic imaging, abdominal US, blood tests and others.


Treatment depends on the underlying cause, especially in acute cases. Treatment may include diuretics, laxatives, enzymes that improve digestion, steroids and even some surgical procedures.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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