Bloated stomach


An inflated stomach describes a feeling of pressure in the upper abdomen of the affected person. The feeling of pressure can be temporary or can include a longer lasting episode. The intensity of the feeling of the bloated stomach is not always a marker for the severity of the cause. In general, it should be clarified exactly where the cause of the symptom comes from and whether the pressure may not originate from the chest after all and requires a prompt professional examination.


It is possible that a bloated stomach is a temporary condition, for example as a result of a high-fat and rather difficult to digest meal. If the condition persists for several weeks or if the symptom occurs repeatedly in episodes, this can be understood as a disease of the stomach or gastrointestinal tract. Frequently an inflammation of the mucous membrane of the stomach, a so-called gastritis, is the main trigger for the appearance of a bloated stomach.

These are divided into three subgroups according to the cause. Type A is described as an autoimmune inflammation of the gastric mucosa, for which no direct cause can be found. Type B is described as bacterial gastritis.

The cause is described as the colonisation of the stomach with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori. This causes the reduced protective mucus production of the stomach and increased acid production, which promotes the inflammation. Type C has chemical causes and is the result of prolonged use of drugs from the group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen or Voltaren®. In addition, high alcohol consumption, smoking and chronic bile reflux (backflow of bile into the stomach) lead to the development of type C. Another cause is the increased swallowing of air during meals.

Associated symptoms

As additional complaints of a bloated stomach, pain in the upper abdomen often occurs together with nausea. On the one hand, the pain can occur when fasting, but also after eating. It is also possible that frequent burping and heartburn may accompany the pain.

Sensitivities in the abdomen can be impressive, often resulting in a feeling of fullness. Furthermore, patients often report a faster satiation effect after eating. In general, accompanying symptoms of bloated stomach or gastritis occur variably and inconsistently, so that these named symptoms can occur, but do not have to. A quick clarification of the exact cause should be made.


The diagnosis of a distended stomach can be made by the doctor first of all by intensively questioning the patient. This involves asking about the time of onset of the symptoms, habits and the use of certain painkillers. A gastroscopy can be performed to investigate the cause of the distension in more detail.

In this procedure, a tube containing a light source including a camera is used to precisely assess the surface of the gastric mucosa. In addition, tissue samples can be taken which are then examined by specialists. In addition to this invasive method, there are also possibilities to prove the cause of the complaints in the stool or blood. Ultrasound of the abdomen