possible cause Excessive amounts of faeces in the intestine may cause a swollen abdomen. In some cases, the underlying cause of the constipation needs prompt medical attention.

possible cause Changes in hormone levels at this stage of the menstrual cycle can cause swelling due to fluid retention. This is one of the features of premenstrual syndrome.

action You may find some of the self-help measures for coping with premenstrual syndrome (p.257) useful. If these do not help, or if you develop additional symptoms, consult your doctor.

Go to chart

Constipation (p.221)

see your doctor within 24 hours

Possible cause Retention of urine in the bladder may be the cause of your swollen abdomen.

Go to chart 119 Bladder control problems in men (p.242)

or go to chart 129 Bladder control problems in women (p.258)

see your doctor within 24 hours possible cause Fluid retention as a result of a heart, kidney, or liver disorder can cause swelling in the abdomen and the ankles.

action Your doctor will examine you and will probably arrange for blood and urine tests. He or she may refer you to hospital for further tests, such as electrocardiography (p.203), to help to determine the cause. Treatment may include diuretic drugs to remove excess fluid as well as treatment for the underlying cause.

Consult your doctor if you are unable to make a diagnosis from this chart and if abdominal swelling persists with no obvious cause.

Excess wind (gas) in the digestive system can cause discomfort and a bloated feeling. Expelling the gas through either the mouth (belching) or the anus generally relieves these symptoms. Wind is often caused by swallowing air while eating. It may also occur when certain foods are not broken down properly in the intestines; the food residues then ferment, producing gas. High-fibre foods such as cabbage are common causes of wind, although some people are affected by other types of food, such as dairy products. Usually, wind is nothing to worry about, but you should consult your doctor if you suddenly develop problems with wind without having had a change in your diet.

Curing Premenstrual Tension Naturally

Curing Premenstrual Tension Naturally

Is Moodiness, Pain and Bloating Paralyzing Your Life In the Days Leading Up to Your Period? Just what is premenstrual tension also known as PMS anyway and why does it cause most women so much misery?

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