Chapter 3: Symptoms and health concerns
Swollen belly – What is it and what may cause it
Swollen belly or abdominal swelling means the person’s belly has become larger than it normally is for them. This happens because fluids aren’t moving properly through their body. An abnormal amount of liquid, which is usually yellowish, starts collecting in their belly. This is called ascites.
There are various causes for swollen belly. Click below to see some of these.
Advanced illnesses such as cancer, liver disease, heart disease, and kidney disease
Digestive or lymphatic system problems
A little bit of swelling might not cause discomfort; however, as it builds, the person may experience pain, shortness of breath, or bloating. This can be emotionally stressful and exhausting. They may become isolated and choose not to socialize with friends. The physical and emotional distress of abdominal swelling can lead to depression.
Be sure to note any changes and concerns about the swelling in the tracking journal. This will help to share information with the healthcare provider.
Click here to see some questions the healthcare provider may ask, including how it's affecting the person. You can use these to guide the tracking journal.