Description and Possible Medical Problems

Of course, we know that the most common reason your abdomen would suddenly increase in girth over the course of several months is either weight gain or, if you’re a woman, pregnancy.

However, there are a number of serious medical problems that can cause the abdomen to increase in size. Sometimes the amount of water in the abdominal cavity can build up due to cancer or to failure of the heart, liver, or kidneys. This condition is called ascites. Another reason for the increase in girth could be a bowel obstruction or a tumor in the digestive or gynecological tract. You may also be jaundiced, vomiting, or constipated, or you may have experienced a recent loss in weight.


If you notice that the size of your abdomen has increased over the course of several months and your dietary or exercise habits haven’t changed, you should see your doctor. If he suspects you have ascites, you will most likely be hospitalized in order to undergo a series of lab tests to analyze the fluid in your abdomen. If your doctor believes you have a tumor in your abdomen, he will use a CAT scan, a sonogram, and perhaps a colonoscopy to determine its size and whether it is benign or malignant.


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