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severe bloating, distended abdomen
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severe bloating, distended abdomen

I am not sure if my problem is bloating or abdominal distention (how do you tell the difference?), but it is driving me crazy.  A few weeks ago I started off feeling like I was gaining weight in my tummy, so I started exercising more and stretching.  It progressed rather than subsided and I started feeling like there was a balloon blown up under my right rib cage.  Actually, I told my doctor that I thought my gallbladder had regenerated and grown back (joking, of course).  Now I look like I am 3-4 months pregnant and sometimes it gets worse than others.  An ultrasound showed liver abnormalities, although labs were normal.  A CT scan showed a fatty liver, but everything else was fine.  I was just sure it would show massive ascites, but it didn't! My doctor does "not know where to go from here" (internal med doc) so I am getting a referral to a GI doctor.  I also have GERD, diabetes (blood sugars are not doing well lately), HTN, hypothyroid, on daily iron pills for anemia and I take a ton of presc meds daily for these conditions.  Any ideas on what could be causing the bloated feeling?  I do not think it is IBS, since I do not have much problems with diahrea or cramping.  It is just a constant, dull feeling like a balloon is sitting under my rib cage and in my abdomen.  The only thing that seems to make it worse is salty foods.  It is not gas or BM related.  Meals seem to increase the pressure, but not affect it otherwise.  I cannot understand why nothing showed up on the CT scan, when I am so uncomfortable.  

Thanks for all comments.
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Please ask your doctor(s) about the possibility that you might have Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH).  This makes people gain weight in their abdomen and they are more likely to have diabetes and hypothyroidism.  There was an article in the April 2002 isuues of the New England Journal of Medicine on NASH.  They also call it Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD).
   I was diagnosed by the doctors at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, MD in Feb 2002.  I am participating in a clinical trial to test a new medicine for this condition.  Don't give up.  There will be a treatment for this awful condition in the next year or so.  
   I hope you found this information to be helpful.

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One of our local radio stations offers one interesting medical topic daily. One thing that I heard about women that have only abdominal bloating sensations like you are experiencing (down to looking 3 or 4 months pregnant) is a type of ovarian cyst or cancer. From what they said you can even have this if your ovaries have already been removed. I would go to your gyn. and have her/him check your symptoms.
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One of our local radio stations offers one interesting medical topic daily. One thing that I heard about women that have only abdominal bloating sensations like you are experiencing (down to looking 3 or 4 months pregnant) is a type of ovarian cyst or cancer. From what they said you can even have this if your ovaries have already been removed. I would go to your gyn. and have her/him check your symptoms.
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Hi I hope maybe this could be of some help....I know each person is different but here goes....See your OB/GYN because I had a fainting episode back in Feb. and several near faintings and had to call 911 2x. I never felt right since....just always ill feeling to the point it really interfered with my daily life. I ended up having an ultrasound done by my OB/GYN which found Hydrosalpinx and some ovarian cysts. I was told constantly by Dr.'s and after many ER visits that it was anxiety/panic. Well I just had surgery on 9/27 to remove my tubes (not ovaries or uterus) and the cysts also I would guess. And I feel like a new person....I finally feel well again ...about 90% back to my old self. Do not let Dr.'s try to tell you what it is if you feel it isn't what they say....you know your body best. I even was getting PVC'S, and was evenn put on heart med atenolol, and also Zoloft and Klonopin. I just find it weird how no one could find anything on tests but my OB?GYN who did my surgery said I had alot of scar tissue (adhesions) which happen after surgeries (I had 2 before ...1992 and 1994) so I was told I had so much scar tissue that when the Dr. went in he couldn't even see my organs (tubes ,ovaries,uterus) so he had to call in a second Dr. to help him "clean up " everything. Mind you , they were able to do it laparoscopically so I was very fortunate. And like you were saying about looking pregnant.....all the time before I even had any sign of problems, people would always ask me stuff like " when are you due?" So I casually would say "due for what?"  I used to smoke but quit when I fainted because it scared me enough. I actually went into a store to get cigs and the man working the register had the nerve to tell me "thats not good for the baby" I said excuse me? very rudely and I was so mad. I HATE when people assume youre pregnant. And another good one I just had a week post op...I was in a pet store and bought a puppy and while I was holding it, I must of been standing a certain way but this women stopped to pat the puppy and say how cute it was and then the clencher....."wow, you're gonna have your hands full quite soon with a puppy and everything else" and she was smiling to....I wanted to tell her off but I just smiled back and thought "b@$%h" but I'll be nice. I do not look pregnant but I like very loose clothing so maybe due to the way most young women dress these days they automatically think someone is pregnantif they aren't showing off more skin than clothes, but thats not me so up their butts. My stomach also would get very bloated at times and then it wouldn't be too bad other times. So check into it, also ....here is a website I found bombobeach.com and also international adhesion society    They are excellent places with alot of surprising info. Give it a try,.....you never know, that could be your problem...Good Luck Kellie B
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Recently I discovered that Tylenol makes me swell up (bloat).  I will gain 4-5 pounds if I take Tylenol.
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A related discussion, hypothyroid with distended abdomen was started.
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A related discussion, Acromegaly - severe bloating during meals was started.
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