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A condition in which the abdomen feels full and tight - this is often, but not always, caused by excessive intestinal gas.
Persons most commonly affected: All age groups and both sexes.
Organ or part of body involved: Abdomen
Causes and risk factors: Overeating, lactose intolerance and other food intolerances, air swallowing (a nervous habit), Irritable bowel syndrome, partial bowel obstruction, constipation and small bowel bacterial growth.
Other causes are PMS, excessive alcohol consumption, high salt intake, large consumption of sodas, too little protien in diet. Important but uncommon causes of abdominal bloating include ascites and tumors, such as those arising from ovarian cancer.
Prevention: Chew your food slowly. The more slowly you eat, the better your food is broken down, the less likely you are to suffer from gas caused by swallowing air. Avoid bloating foods. Raw vegetables, cabbage, beans, bagels and pretzels (which are cooked in boiling, bubbly water), dairy products, sugars and chocolate also are bloat-producers. Avoid chewing gum if you\'re prone to bloating - it can cause you to swallow a lot of air. Eliminate all carbonated beverages from your diet.