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Constant BLOATING


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Lately I am so bloated I feel like I may pop.  I'm concerned about the possibility of uterine fibroids, cysts, or endometriosis.  I see my gyno this Friday.

Anyone know what could be causing this bloat?

18 Replies (last)

What sort of foods are you eating? If you give an example of your daily intake that might help. It could of course be a medical issue, but often bloating can be resolved with dietary and lifestyle changes (trust me, I have lots of experience in this arena!)

#2  
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Well, I have a pretty healthy diet.. I was diagnosed with IBS years ago but I have thought it is something else for years.  I have altered my diet to tailor to things I thought have been "triggers" but I'm still suffering on a daily basis.  It gets worse around that time of the month which makes me think it may be related to my female reproductive system.

Here is my typical diet:

Breakfast: Decaff coffee with SoDelicious dair free creamer, oatmeal, whole grain cereal such as bran, or a bagel.  Always paired with milk and a fruit (blueberries, bananas, and strawberries mostly)

Lunch: A healthy choice frozen meal or a turkey sandwhich on a wheat bread of some sort.

Snack:  I am a picker, so when I get home from work I often pick at leftovers from last night, some wheat thins or pretzels, cottage cheese, pickles.. etc.  Whatever I can find to get me through my work out and hold me over till dinner.

Dinner:  Fish or lean meat and lots of veggies

Snack: Sugar free pudding, hot cocoa, or some dark chocolate after dinner (sometimes I end up overindulging a bit!  Once I start in on the chocolate it's hard to stop!)

cole37,

I have a history of bloating and an IBS diagnosis.  For me it is a matter of moderation and symptom management.  I am careful not to consume very much wheat, dairy (although I do OK with Greek yogurt), sugar, or artificial sweetners.  An elimination diet can be very "telling."  Remove those items from your intake for two weeks, then add them back, one at a time.  You may get some feedback about what you can and cannot tolerate.  I also take a probiotic, and I notice bloating if I miss a day or two.

#4  
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Murrill,

I tried taking a probiotic for about a month and it seemed to exacerbate my symptoms, especially the bloating.  The product said bloating would occur for the first 2 weeks or so, but mine lasted the full month, so I felt that I gave it enough of a try and it wasn't for me.

Try cutting out wheat and bran. I suffer badly with ibs constipation and while I'm still trying to commit to this lifestyle completely this def helps, also find something about pounding movement of running helps soothe my big huge bloated belly too :) good luck I literally am feeling your pain right now!

Everyone else has given great advice so mine might be somewhat controversial!

Bit of background: I have dealt with stomach problems all my life, and digestive issues run in the family - my sister has severe Crohn's Disease, as did my Grandmother, and my Mum has Diveticulitis and IBS. I'm still getting treated for things at the moment but I've learnt to drastically reduce my bloating and stomach pains over the years. And the way I've done it is probably the opposite of what you'd read in 'traditional' or government-promoted health advice, so I'm a BIG advocate of listening to your OWN body and doing something personally tailored to you. 

So, tip number one is listen to your body. Maybe keep a food and symptom diary and record how you feel after certain foods. Then you can start to narrow it down. It might be completely unexpected - I can't tolerate potato, for example - but that doesn't matter. Once you find the culprits it will improve your quality of life hugely!

From what you've written, there are a few things that jump out at me which you could test to see if they cause you problems:

- Oatmeal/Bran...I know it's meant to be 'healthy' but its quite rough on the digestive system and I avoid oats like the plague if I want to keep a flat and pain-free stomach

- Fruit: try to limit it to 2 pieces at breakfast, and eat it first thing (ie before any other food) Fruit digests much faster than any other food, so if you eat it after a meal/later in the day, it will just ferment on top of everything else in the stomach and cause pain and bloating (and gas!)

- Veggies: stating the obvious, but beans, broccoli, cabbage etc is going to bloat you up if you eat it in big doses

- Sugar-free products: artificial sweeteners are normally a recipe for bloating so go for the full-fat stuff, but have a smaller portion!

- Hunger...sounds weird, but if you allow yourself to get too hungry (for example if you leave 4/5 hours between meals) then you will bloat up, especially when you then eat later on. Your stomach will be digesting nothing, creating air and bloating. Then when you do eat it will be exacerbated. Maybe try 5-7 small meals a day and see how that goes?

I realise I've given lots of different bits of advice here but I guess my point is you should do a bit of trial-and-error and see how you get on! We're all different. My sister, for example, can't eat fruit and vegetables, but drinks milk like it's water and lives of chocolate. But it works for her because she can't digest much else. So just treat it as a little experiment on yourself and hopefully you'll start to find what works :)

 

Good luck! 

before my celiac, i used to eat oatmeal and it bloated me up because of the bubbles in it

#8  
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Original Post by aitchsimm:

- Veggies: stating the obvious, but beans, broccoli, cabbage etc is going to bloat you up if you eat it in big doses

- Sugar-free products: artificial sweeteners are normally a recipe for bloating so go for the full-fat stuff, but have a smaller portion!

- Hunger...sounds weird, but if you allow yourself to get too hungry (for example if you leave 4/5 hours between meals) then you will bloat up, especially when you then eat later on. Your stomach will be digesting nothing, creating air and bloating. Then when you do eat it will be exacerbated. Maybe try 5-7 small meals a day and see how that goes?


I definitely know that artificial sweeteners (except my small single serving cup of sugar free pudding!) bother me.  And the gas producing veggies you mention have always been a major issue for me.  Caffiene is another.  I cannot give up my oats and whole wheat products.. I wouldn't have anything to eat at breakfast! (I can't do eggs in the morning, it's gotta be something sweet!)

And I love your last one, I have always wondered if being too hungry caused me to bloat up because whenever I would get hungry it seemed that I would become gasy and then I wouldn't even want to eat which just made it worse!  I do need to try to eat more frequently as my diet is based around 3 large meals a day.

Thanks for all of the advice.  It sure is difficult to discover your triggers, though :-(

No problem! Happy to try and help.

If you do find that oats/bran are a problem, you could always try Semolina or Cream of Rice. Or Cornflakes/Rice Krispies. Still sweet but less fibre!

Good luck, I'm sure you'll solve it all soon - just give it time :) 

I find that I can digest rice products better than wheat products, and they are readily available.  I do not have celiac (thankfully!) but I seem to handle gluten free a little better.  Also, BeanO is good, but you have to take it just before eating.  Those products that you take after eating to relieve gas & bloating do not work

"Wheat belly" is something to look into. Also...sugar free products can cause gas, however if you start with very small amounts and gradually add more over time, you can have your pudding and eat it too!
Original Post by cole37:

Lately I am so bloated I feel like I may pop.  I'm concerned about the possibility of uterine fibroids, cysts, or endometriosis.  I see my gyno this Friday.

Anyone know what could be causing this bloat?

Any of those things could. I was recently diagnosed with endometriosis after exploratory surgery, and it was the same...years before, they'd told me I had IBS.

Turns out maybe my symptoms of bloating, low back pain etc may have been more endo related.

Certain foods (anything heavy/carby) seem to still swell me like a balloon though, and I am going to follow up with an endo specialist to see if I need further surgery or anything.

 

Good luck!

 

#13  
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Original Post by knoppie_:

before my celiac, i used to eat oatmeal and it bloated me up because of the bubbles in it


Bubbles?  My oatmeal doesn't have bubbles!  What kind of oatmeal are you eating?!

It could also be sodium - a lot of the foods that you're eating, even relatively healthy ones, sound like things that could be high in sodium depending on the brand, etc.  Lots of those frozen meals (inculding healthy ones) have a ton of sodium, deli turkey meat can be high in sodium, bagels can be high in sodium, cottage cheese is usually somewhat high in sodium, wheat thins, pretzels, and pickles are definitely high in sodium, soy drinks can be high in sodium and so can oats or other whole grain cereal.  If you don't find out that it's a certain food I would try slowly lowering your sodium intake.   Also, if you're not drinking enough water then your body can retain more water than usual. Or you could be not getting enough fibre (which makes it hard to pass waste because there is not enough undigested bulk in it) or you could be getting really inconsistent amounts of fibre, ie. 20g for a few days and then 27g - your body will need time to adjust to a raised or decreased intake so it's good to keep your fibre intake pretty steady.  Also keep in mind that if you do eat a lot of fibre you will need to drink even more water because undigested fibre carries a lot of water out through your digestive system with it.  This could lead to a double problem because your body will retain water because it's thirsty AND you will also have a hard time passing waste because it is not hydrated enough (is that a gross enough mental image for you? haha). Original Post by cole37:

Well, I have a pretty healthy diet.. I was diagnosed with IBS years ago but I have thought it is something else for years.  I have altered my diet to tailor to things I thought have been "triggers" but I'm still suffering on a daily basis.  It gets worse around that time of the month which makes me think it may be related to my female reproductive system.

Here is my typical diet:

Breakfast: Decaff coffee with SoDelicious dair free creamer, oatmeal, whole grain cereal such as bran, or a bagel.  Always paired with milk and a fruit (blueberries, bananas, and strawberries mostly)

Lunch: A healthy choice frozen meal or a turkey sandwhich on a wheat bread of some sort.

Snack:  I am a picker, so when I get home from work I often pick at leftovers from last night, some wheat thins or pretzels, cottage cheese, pickles.. etc.  Whatever I can find to get me through my work out and hold me over till dinner.

Dinner:  Fish or lean meat and lots of veggies

Snack: Sugar free pudding, hot cocoa, or some dark chocolate after dinner (sometimes I end up overindulging a bit!  Once I start in on the chocolate it's hard to stop!)

 

#15  
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I actually don't think it's sodium bloat.  My bloat is often accompanied with stomach cramps.  And I get plenty of fiber.  Finally, I actually have IBS-D not C!

Regarding my sodium intake, I realize it is probably on the high side, but I have an abnormally low blood pressure, so I'm not too concerned about it.

Thanks for the advice!

This may sound a little out there because there is no real link to but I had the same problems and I stopped drinking coffee for a couple weeks and everything went back to normal. I started drinking coffee again and still everything okay, sometimes your stomach may just need a break from it, especially in the morning!
Original Post by cole37:

Original Post by knoppie_:

before my celiac, i used to eat oatmeal and it bloated me up because of the bubbles in it


Bubbles?  My oatmeal doesn't have bubbles!  What kind of oatmeal are you eating?!

when you cook(boil) it, right after if you look closely it has tiny bubbles from boiling that don't get out until you .completely cool and stiffen it., maybe if i didn't let it boil that wouldn't have happened, too late to find out now anyway

#18  
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Catherine_doyle:

Coffee actually is a trigger for me, but only caffeinated.  I switched to decaff several months ago and that definitely helped with my gastro problems in the morning, but it certainly hasn't solved them!  Thanks for the advice!

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