Abdominal distention, gaseous
Abdominal distention, gaseous often results from overeating or from swallowing air, but can be a sign of a more serious medical condition, such...

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Definition

Abdominal distention, gaseous is the abdomen swollen due to gas in the intestinal tract.

Alternative Names

Abdominal distention, gaseous; swollen belly, gassy; distended abdomen from gas; swelling of the abdomen due to gas; bloated, due to gas.

Synopsis

Abdominal distention, gaseous often results from overeating or from swallowing air, but can be a sign of a more serious medical condition, such as bowel obstruction. Eating certain foods such as legumes (beans) can cause abdominal distention due to intestinal gas. This may occur with ingestion of dairy products by persons who are lactose intolerant.

Avoid overeating or eating foods that are known to cause undue gas production to avoid uncomfortable distention due to gas.

Associated Diagnoses

  • Amebiasis
  • Celiac disease
  • Air swallowing
  • Colic
  • Colitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Gallstones
  • Giardiasis
  • Hiatal hernia
  • H. pylori infection
  • Indigestion
  • Intestinal obstruction
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Stomach cancer
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Ovarian cancer

Diagnosis and Treatment

A complete history and physical examination will be required. Additional diagnostic studies such as abdominal CT scan or ultrasound, laboratory tests or stool analysis may be required. Treatment will depend on the diagnosis.

Call your provider if:

If the abdominal girth gets worse and is not relieved by time and rest or if the belly is tender to the touch, or accompanied by vomiting. Any time that bowel habits change in a significant or prolonged manner, see your doctor.

Written by: JC Jones MA, RN
Reviewed by: Paul Auerbach, MD
Written: September 26, 2007
Last Updated: September 30, 2007
Published By: Healthline Networks Inc.
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