My Symptoms

Swollen belly: the causes

Depending on the more or less important manifestations, one can wonder about the causes of these digestive problems and in particular of this distended belly.

Belly belly or swollen belly ... in medical jargon, we speak of aerophagia and aerocolie.

Both terms cover an excess of gas at different levels of the digestive tract, the stomach, or lower in the intestine or colon. Both can be related and concomitant, but have different causes.

They can come from:

  • a food that contains air (excess of soft drinks, mousses ...),
  • the fermentation of food (they "make" air ... but no bad smell),
  • an abnormal development of the flora that releases smelly gases.

In short, the causes of a bloated belly can be numerous. But upstream, we often find intestinal spasms that hinder the progression of the bolus and promote both fermentations and gases.

It is sometimes difficult to determine an accurate diagnosis of swollen belly, and the presence of other possible symptoms will be crucial to know the cause. Irritable bowel syndrome, gluten intolerance ... can be causes mentioned by the doctor, but many other reasons are possible.

Pretty fast onset of an inflated belly

A belly that becomes swollen rather quickly, without many other associated signs, is usually associated with a mild digestive problem related to an aerocolumn.

Disturbances of colic with flatulence felt by the patient, come from digestion. These symptoms dissipate quickly enough. When they repeat themselves, we advise of course to consult.

This is a fairly common phenomenon, which may tend to reproduce episodically. The doctor will start by advocating dietary advice.

If this problem is repeated too often, and depending on the accompanying symptoms, the doctor may prescribe additional tests. The specialist who can be consulted for this type of problem is a gastroenterologist.

Finally, if the belly is tense, painful, hard and if the patient suffers from nausea, vomiting, sometimes even a fever ... of course, it is at this time urgent to consult. The problem can be serious and sometimes require the intervention of a surgeon.

Very progressive occurrence of an inflated belly

If the tummy gradually increases in volume, several origins are possible ... especially a simple overweight. But if the abdomen really has an inflated and tense appearance, it is important to be examined by a doctor. One of the "classic signs" is the obligation to change the notch on his belt.

It is essential to establish a precise diagnosis of the origin of this problem. Indeed, one of the causes may be the occurrence of ascites, that is to say the presence of liquid in the peritoneum. It is by clinical examination and by complementary examinations that ascites is diagnosed and especially its origin. Of course, the liquid present in the peritoneum is punctured and then analyzed. This ascites often reveals an underlying pathology of abdominal origin.

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Read also :

Why are stools sometimes liquid?
Aerophagia: how to relieve symptoms?
All about gastrointestinal diseases

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