Nursing care plan for abdominal distention



Abdominal distention is defined as an enlarging of the abdomen, usually caused by the accumulation of fluid or gas. This symptom can be caused by anything from poor diet habits to an underlying medical condition, such as a tumor. Abdominal distention must be assessed by an experienced health care provider in order to determine the cause and treatment plan.


Location: The location of the abdominal distention should be identified by noting any areas of tenderness or fullness.

Intensity: The feeling of fullness or pain should be measured on a scale for persons experiencing prolonged or severe distention.

Duration: The length of time the person is experiencing abdominal distention should be measured.

Associated symptoms: Other, related symptoms may include vomiting, nausea, constipation, or painful urination.

Nursing Diagnoses

Ineffective Management of Therapeutic Regimen: The person may be having difficulty managing the specific guidelines recommended for managing abdominal distention, such as diet restrictions or medications.

Risk for Deficient Fluid Volume: Long-term abdominal distention can lead to dehydration.

Impaired Gas Exchange: Severe abdominal distention can also cause difficulty breathing as the gastrointestinal system is not able to expand as easily.


The goal of treating abdominal distention is for the person to experience relief from symptoms, including pain and any other associated symptoms. The person should also be able to demonstrate effective management of the therapeutic regimen.


  • Provide assessment of the person's dietary intake and review any restrictions.
  • Assist with developing coping mechanisms to manage abdominal discomfort.
  • Provide frequent reassurance to the person.
  • Administer prescribed medications as ordered.
  • Monitor the person's vital signs, including blood pressure, pulse, and temperature.


  • Dietary assessment helps to identify any food items that may contribute to the abdominal distention.
  • Coping strategies can help the person manage the feelings of discomfort.
  • Reassurance helps reduce any anxiety the person may be feeling.
  • Medications may be prescribed to help alleviate the swelling and pain.
  • Vital signs monitoring ensures that any changes in the person's condition are immediately identified.


The therapeutic outcomes should be evaluated by measuring any improvements in symptoms and effectiveness of the therapeutic regimen. The person should also be evaluated for any signs of dehydration.


Abdominal distention is a common symptom of many diseases and disorders and should be assessed by a health care provider for proper treatment. The goal of any plan of care for abdominal distention is to reduce symptoms and provide guidance in managing any lifestyle changes needed.


  • What is the most common cause of abdominal distention?The most common cause of abdominal distention is bloating from gas buildup in the digestive system due to a poor diet or high stress levels.
  • What are the treatments for abdominal distention?Treatments for abdominal distention depend on the cause, but can include dietary modifications, medications, and lifestyle changes.
  • Is abdominal distention dangerous?Abdominal distention can be serious if it is caused by a medical condition, such as a tumor. If you have persistent abdominal distention, you should see a health care provider.
  • Can abdominal distention go away on its own?In some cases, abdominal distention can go away on its own. However, it is best to seek medical attention for a complete evaluation.
  • What measures can I take to prevent abdominal distention?Eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly can help with preventing abdominal distention. It is also important to take steps to reduce stress levels.

Isabella White

Hello to all nursing enthusiasts! I'm Isabella White and I'm thrilled to welcome you to this space dedicated to the exciting world of nursing. Let me share a little about myself and what we can expect together on this journey. About Me: Nursing is more than just a profession to me, it's a calling. When I'm not caring for my patients or learning more about health and wellness, you'll find me enjoying the great outdoors, exploring new trails in nature, or savoring a good cup of coffee with close friends. I believe in the balance between caring for others and self-care, and I'm here to share that philosophy with you. My Commitment to You: In this space, I commit to being your reliable guide in the world of nursing. Together, we'll explore health topics, share practical tips, and support each other on our journeys to wellness. But we'll also celebrate life beyond the hospital walls, finding moments of joy in the everyday and seeking adventures that inspire us to live fully. In summary, this is a place where nursing meets life, where we'll find support, inspiration, and hopefully a little fun along the way. Thank you for joining me on this exciting journey. Welcome to a world of care, knowledge, and connection! Sincerely, Isabella White

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