Causes of a swollen abdomen include gallstones, pancreatitis, blockage of the intestines, ovarian cysts and weight gain. Other possible causes are irritable bowel syndrome, pregnancy, lactose intolerance, ascites and appendicitis. Additional causes include liver cirrhosis, peritonitis, premenstrual syndrome, ectopic pregnancy and malabsorption, according to Healthline.
Other causes of lower abdominal swelling include gluten intolerance, hepatitis, hyperventilation, fibroids and megacolon. Swelling of the abdomen happens when the stomach area becomes abnormally large. Seek immediate medical attention if swelling increases and symptoms such as nausea, extreme diarrhea, blood in the stool and fever also occur. Overeating also causes abdominal swelling. Ascites cause fluid buildup in the abdomen resulting in swelling. This buildup can cause liver cirrhosis. It also causes discomfort, says Healthline.
Treatment of a swollen abdomen depends on the underlying cause. Eating slowly prevents abdominal swelling. This gives food adequate digestion time and prevents a person from swallowing air. Additionally, a person should avoid foods that cause gas such as beans, cabbage and broccoli. Carbonated drinks also cause gas. Avoid consuming dairy products to prevent abdominal swelling as a result of lactose intolerance. Other treatment options include reducing stress levels and increasing fiber intake. In people with ascites, reducing sodium consumption and adequate bed rest assists the body in getting rid of excessive fluid, explains Healthline.