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What is the difference between bloating and distension?

Lawrence S. Friedman, MD
Gastroenterology
That feeling of fullness and tightness in the abdomen is called bloating, while distension is the actual increased size of the abdomen. The two conditions usually occur together, but it is possible to have bloating without distension. Bloating with distension, however, is much more bothersome than bloating alone.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.