What Is Tympanic Abdomen?


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If an abdomen is described as 'tympanic' it means that it will resonate like a drum when it is struck. This phenomenon takes place because the intestines are distended with gas. This means that a person's belly will typically feel bloated and full. Abdominal distension is not associated with pain, but a sufferer may experience mild cramps.

In a medical context, the term 'tympanic' is more commonly used relating to the ear. According to, it means "pertaining to a structure that resonates when struck" or "relating to or resembling a drum of the ear".

Abdominal distension is a sensation of elevated abdominal pressure and volume. Approximately one quarter of the American population experiences some degree of abdominal distension on a regular basis.

Possible causes of abnormal bloating include:

• Excessive eating
• Aerophagia (sleeping swallowing)
• Irritable bowel syndrome
• Diabetes
• Function dyspepsia
• Transient constipation

In most cases, it is believed that the combination of swallowed air and fluid in the abdomen creates a swirling sensation in the bowels that in turn induces the feeling of being bloated. Scientific studies have demonstrated that swallowing air during eating can lead to bloating after a meal.

Normally, bloating can be easily handled with home remedies and simple lifestyle changes. It is only necessary to consult a doctor when the problem of bloating has proved itself to be persistent and recurrent.

An excess of dietary fiber intake is a common cause of bloating. It is not recommended that people exceed a daily intake of 20 to 25 g. If a person suffers from a form of lactose intolerance, then the consumption of dairy products can also lead to bloating. Vegetables such as beans, cabbage and broccoli are also known for causing bloating because of high levels of fiber and indigestible sugars.

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