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What are some causes of a large stomach?

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Quick Answer

Common causes of a large or swollen stomach include overeating and gas, according to Healthline. Other causes are pregnancy, irritable bowel syndrome and lactose intolerance.

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There are many reasons why the stomach becomes swollen, and only a doctor has the ability to determine the exact cause, explains Healthline. If symptoms such as a fever, nausea, extreme diarrhea or bloody stools accompany stomach swelling, it is important to tell a doctor.

In addition to stomach swelling, irritable bowel syndrome causes cramps, pain and gas. One in every six Americans experiences symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, as of 2015, states Healthline. Lactose intolerance is a condition in which the body cannot digest lactose. Lactose is a sugar found in dairy products, and if a swollen belly occurs within two hours of consuming dairy products, it is likely due to lactose intolerance. Individuals of Asian, African, or Native American descent have a higher risk of lactose intolerance.

Another condition that may be the cause of stomach swelling is ascites. This condition happens when fluids build up inside the abdomen, which is usually caused by a problem with the liver, such as cirrhosis, according to Healthline. Less common causes of stomach swelling include gallstones, weight gain and an ovarian cyst.

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