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Bloated stomach

Bloating of the stomach (tummy or abdomen) is often due to wind or flatulence, but may arise as a result of other causes.

The word ‘stomach’ is used in a number of ways. People commonly use it to identify the part of our body lying below the rib cage and above the hip bones, otherwise known as the ‘tummy’. This area is known medically as the abdomen. In addition, anatomically, the stomach is an organ of digestion.

Similarly, the words ‘bloating’ or ‘bloated’ are also used in a variety of ways. Most commonly, it describes a feeling of being full or swollen as a result of wind or flatulence.

Hence, when people speak of a bloated stomach, they usually mean that their abdomen (or tummy) feels ‘full’ or ‘swollen’ as a result of wind in the digestive tract.

Doctors refer to this as abdominal distension or abdominal swelling. Wind (or flatulence) is the most common cause of abdominal swelling, and these are situations which do not normally cause any major concerns. However, before a doctor comes to this diagnosis, he or she will eliminate other causes of stomach bloating or abdominal distension.

This article provides a brief overview of abdominal distension, describing the most common reasons, symptoms and causes.

For more specific information on stomach bloating resulting from wind or flatulence in the digestive tract, go to our page on bloating.

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