Gaseous gastric distension is commonly referred to as bloating. It referes to any abnormal general swelling, or increase in diameter of the abdominal area.
Gaseous bloating may be a consequence of cardiopulmonary resuscitation procedures, due to the artificial mouth-to-mouth insuflation of air.
Postmortem bloating occurs in cadavers, due to the formation of gases by bacterial action and putrefaction of the internal tissues of the abdomen and the inside the intestines.
Causes of Gaseous Gastric Distension
Bloating may have several causes, the most common being accumulation of liquids and intestinal gas. Ascites is the proper medical term for abdominal bloating cause by excessive accumulation of liquid inside the cavity.
Common causes for abdominal bloating are overeating, lactose intolerance, fructose intolerance and other food intolerances. Some food allergies will produce gaseous gastric distension. Air swallowing, a nervous habit, also termed aerophagia, may produce bloating.
Alarez' syndrome, hysterical or neurotic abdominal bloating without excess of gas in the digestive tract, is an uncommon cause.
Intestinal disease in the form of irritable bowel syndrome. partial bowel obstruction, dumping syndrome or rapid gastric emptying, diverticulosis, ingestion of some gas-producing foods also can lead to gaseous gastric distension.
Other causes of bloating include constipation, splenic-flexure syndrom, menstruation, dysmenorrhea and premenstrual stress syndrome,
polycystic ovary syndrome and ovarian cysts.
Massive infestation with intestinal parasites, such as worms.
Important but uncommon causes of abdominal bloating include large intra-abdominal tumors, such as those arising from ovarian, liver, uterus and stomach cancer; and megacolon, an abnormal dilation of the colon, due to some diseases, such as Chagas disease, a parasitic infection.
Signs and Symptoms of Gaseous Gastric Distension
The most common symptom of gaseous gastric distension is a full and tight abdomen, which may cause abdominal pain. Depending on the underlying cause, there may be associated nausea and vomiting or flatulance and diarrhea.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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