About Meteorism

Meteorism, also known as abdominal distension or a bloated belly, is a condition of swelling in the abdomen that is caused by gas or fluid buildup in the intestines. It is a symptom of many digestive diseases and can be very uncomfortable and cause pain.

Causes of Meteorism

Meteorism is usually caused by an underlying digestive condition, such as:

  • Intestinal obstruction
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Fructose malabsorption
  • Celiac disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Gastroparesis (slow stomach emptying)
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Constipation
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Cancer

Symptoms of Meteorism

The main symptom of Meteorism is a swollen belly, which may look larger than usual and feel hard. Other symptoms to watch out for are:

  • Belching
  • Flatulence (gas)
  • Abdominal bloating and cramps
  • Discomfort
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss

Treatments for Meteorism

The treatment for Meteorism depends on the underlying cause. Treatment may include dietary modifications, medications, and lifestyle changes

  • Eating more dietary fiber (such as whole grains, beans, lentils, and fruits)
  • Drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding carbonated drinks
  • Avoiding foods that can cause gas (such as dairy, legumes, and certain vegetables)
  • Taking probiotics or digestive enzymes if advised by a doctor
  • Exercising regularly to aid digestion
  • Reducing stress and anxiety
  • Taking medications for underlying digestive conditions