Diseases with a thick belly


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In addition to the previously described causes of a thick belly, there are also some real diseases that cause the girth of the belly to grow considerably.

These diseases are rare and not the usual causes of a big belly.

But you should know that they exist when the stomach grows too much in inexplicable ways.

In case of inexplicable abdominal growth, a doctor should be consulted and, if necessary, a thorough examination should be carried out.

Cushing's disease

In Cushing's disease, the level of cortisol is not slightly elevated by stress, but greatly increased by a tumour of the pituitary gland (= pituitary gland).

The tumour in the pituitary gland produces too much ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone), a hormone that stimulates the production of cortisol in the adrenal cortex, among other things.

As a result, far too much cortisol is produced.

This leads to a fully developed Cushing's syndrome:

  • central obesity
  • full moon face
  • increase in weight
  • osteoporosis
  • hypertension
  • and other symptoms

Intensive treatment with cortisone, for example in cancer or autoimmune diseases, can also lead to Cushing's syndrome.

In both Cushing's disease and drug-related Cushing's syndrome, the thick belly is only one symptom of many and not the main problem of the health situation.


In rare cases, tumours and cysts in the abdominal cavity can become so large that they are clearly visible from the outside as a thick belly.

These can be tumors of the uterus, cysts of the ovaries or tumors of the digestive system.

It does not matter whether the tumour is benign or malignant with regard to the thick belly. But in terms of health it is.

Therefore, in case of doubt, one should seek a medical examination. A large tumour or cyst can be detected with a simple ultrasound scan.

Proteus syndrome

Proteus syndrome is a very rare congenital disease in which different parts of the body grow excessively.

Where the excessive growth takes place is different from case to case. In many of those affected, several parts of the body grow. Tumor growth may also occur.

This can also lead to pronounced growth of the abdomen.

In these rare cases, abdominal growth is hardly misunderstood as normal growth of fat deposits, unless it is an attenuated form of Proteus syndrome that has not yet been recognised as such.

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