Stomach bloating: How to know if your bloating could be a sign of cancer – what to spot


Bloating is synonymous with excess intestinal gas. If you get a bloated stomach after eating, it may be a digestive issue. It might be as simple as eating too much too fast, or you could have a food intolerance or other condition that causes gas and digestive contents to build up. But occasionally your stomach bloating could be a signal for something far more serious.

According to Healthline, abdominal bloating can also be a symptom of several serious conditions, including:

Pathologic fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity (ascites) as a result of cancer.

Celiac, or non-celiac gluten sensitivity

Pancreatic insufficiency, which is impaired digestion because the pancreas cannot produce enough digestive enzymes

Perforation of the GI tract with escape of gas, normal GI tract bacteria, and other contents into the abdominal cavity.

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Ascites is when too much fluid builds up in your stomach.

A sheet of tissue called the peritoneum covers the abdominal organs, including the stomach, bowels, liver and kidneys.

The peritoneum has two layers.

Ascites happens when fluid builds up between the two layers.


Symptoms of ascites that are different from a bloated belly include:

  • Belly pain,
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Feeling of fullness after eating only a small amount.

If the fluid in the belly becomes infected, symptoms may include

  • Worsening belly pain,
  • Fever
  • Confusion
  • Low blood pressure.
  • Treatment for ascites depends on the cause and severity.

Ascites usually occurs when the liver stops working properly, leading to a build-up of fluid in the abdominal area.

When the liver malfunctions, fluid fills the space between the abdominal lining and the organs.

Ascites is the most common complication of cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), according to 2010 clinical guidelines published in the Journal of Hepatology with the condition affecting around 60 percent of people with cirrhosis within 10 years of their diagnosis.

The two-year survival rate is 50 percent.


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