Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up
Font Size

Abdominal Fullness or Bloating - Topic Overview

Abdominal fullness or bloating occurs when excess gas builds up in the digestive tract.

Common causes of gas include:

Recommended Related to Digestive Disorders

Blood in Urine (Hematuria)

Blood in urine - known medically as hematuria - is usually not a reason for major alarm. Because blood in urine can be a sign of a serious medical condition, however, it shouldn't be ignored. All cases of hematuria should be evaluated by a doctor who can order tests to confirm or rule out an underlying cause. There is no specific treatment for hematuria, because it's a symptom and not a specific condition. Instead, treatment is aimed at the underlying cause if one can be found. In many cases, no...

Read the Blood in Urine (Hematuria) article > >

  • Swallowed air. If swallowed air is not burped up, it passes through the digestive tract and is released through the anus as gas (flatus). Excessive air swallowing may cause hiccups.
  • Gas-producing foods and drinks, such as beans, broccoli, carbonated drinks, and beer. The amount of gas that different foods cause varies from person to person.
  • Constipation.
  • The side effects of medicines or supplements, such as narcotic pain medications, vitamins, iron supplements, and many medications that are used to treat constipation.
  • Changing hormone levels. Many women feel bloated right before their periods because their bodies retain fluid.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Weakened abdominal muscles caused by pregnancy or abdominal surgery.
  • Obesity.

Occasionally, excess gas and bloating may be caused by a more serious medical problem, such as a bowel obstruction, liver problems, gallbladder disease, or cancer.

Treatment depends on what is causing the problem. Call your doctor for a checkup if you have abdominal fullness or bloating that has not gotten better or gone away with home treatment.

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 12, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Abdominal Fullness or Bloating Topics

Today on WebMD

man holding his stomach
Get the facts on common problems.
blueberries in a palm
Best and worst foods.
 
woman shopping
Learn what foods to avoid.
fresh and dried plums
Will it help constipation?
 
top foods for probiotics
Slideshow
couple eating at cafe
Article
 
sick child
Slideshow
Woman blowing bubble gum
Slideshow
 
Woman with crohns in pain
Slideshow
Woman with stomach pain
Slideshow
 
diet for diverticulitis
Video
what causes diarrhea
Video