Overeating, eating too fast and eating fatty and rich food that takes longer to digest are some causes of a bloated, hard abdomen, explains WebMD. Gas, resulting from swallowing excess air, can also cause the abdomen or stomach to feel bloated and hard. Medical conditions, such as scarring of the stomach opening or an obstruction in the small intestines, cause the abdomen to feel bloated and hard.
People may experience a bloated, hard stomach when the digestive tract is not functioning properly, according to WebMD. Gas builds up in the small intestines when muscles do not effectively move food throughout the body. Impairments in muscle functions of the digestive tract and obstructions in the intestines or stomach require medical attention.
Individuals can prevent bloating by eliminating hard-to-digest foods from their diet, notes WebMD. People who are lactose-intolerant should avoid dairy products to minimize bloating or the development of a hard abdomen. Over-the-counter antacids or medications containing alpha-D-galactosidase help to break down indigestible foods, such as vegetables, sugars or beans. Medications containing simethicone may help to relieve excess gas symptoms. Eating slowly to aid in digestion, reducing fat intake and controlling portion sizes prevent bloating or a hard feeling in the abdomen.