What Causes Stomach Swelling & Diarrhea?

A swollen, tender belly and diarrhea can be uncomfortable, to say the least. There are several things that can cause such symptoms, and getting to the bottom of them is the first and most important step in recovery. In some cases, these symptoms can be attributed to something simple. Some cases can also be more serious, so talk to a doctor to get a firm diagnosis and discuss treatment options as soon as possible.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Abdominal Cancers

Abdominal cancer is just one of several types of illnesses that have a swollen stomach and persisten diarrhea as a symptom. Loss of appetite, unexpected weight loss or weight gain and nausea and vomiting are also signs of stomach or abdominal cancer. Abdominal cancer can include any of a variety of cancer types, including liver cancer, stomach cancer, esophageal cancer, uterine cancer and ovarian cancer.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is a condition characterized by bloating, gas, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain and mucuous in the stool. MayoClinic.com reports that as many as one in five Americans suffer from IBS symptoms, yet very few seek medical treatment. Those who do suffer from IBS-related symptoms are encouraged to seek professional treatment in order to rule out other, more serious, medical conditions.


Appendicitis, an infection of the appendix, can also be attributed to swelling and pain in the abdomen, as well as diarrhea. According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, appendicitis is most common among men and women between the ages of 10 and 30. Other symptoms of appendicities may include frequent flatulence or the inability to pass gas, low fever, constipation and vomiting.