Hi there my lovelies! Hope you all are doing well and staying safe. Have started various diets and workout challenges just to stop and give up in the middle? Then you are not alone. I have probably now gone through several of this ‘so called’ diets and workouts just to give after few days.
Before I talk about any workout and diet let me first give you a short background about my heath. I suffer from severe chronic pains, and being in few car accidents and a nasty fall aggravated such pains. Additionally, several gastrointestinal issues has not only restricted the diets I could get into, but also cause horrible bloating and water retention. After every meal, small or big, my stomach would bloat so much that I would look as if in my third trimester. I call is my gas baby, because that’s exactly what it is. It happens when large amounts of air or gas build up in the gastrointestinal tract. Eating is a common cause of bloating because when the body digests food, it produces gas. People also swallow air when eating or drinking, which then enters the gastrointestinal tract.
As a public health and data driven person, I needed to find out what are the real culprit behind bloating and what happens if I eliminate one by one. So begins my search. Bloating can be caused by several culprits/
Common triggers of bloating:
- Fizzy drinks
- Lack of exercise
- Eating too quickly
- Food intolerances
Stress: In order to address stress, I started relying a lot on Mindfulness Based Meditation (Look Out for My Repost Tomorrow). The main goal of mindfulness based meditation is living in the moment. My dear lovelies, if you are a regular to my blog you may already know about my struggle with generalized anxiety symptoms and ADD. I will post detail post about each later. One of my regular regiment for dealing with stress and anxiety is being present in the moment. I actually took part in a stress study, where biofeedback mechanism was used to control stress. It’s then I actually got a measurement of extremely high stress level. That what the beginning of my mindful meditation journey. Through techniques as deep breathing and guided meditation I have learned to control my stress and anxiety. There is a saying:
That’s exactly what I have learned from mindfulness based meditation. Through mindfulness yoga and my trusty guided tai chi app in my Occulus Quest. Do visit my blog tomorrow for more detail information about guided meditation and a bonus video.
Frizzy Drinks:Any carbonated drink (yes, even sparking water) can cause bloating. The fizzing bubbles in carbonated drinks are actually gas, which can get trapped in your stomach and make you feel like you’ve been pumped with helium. I have eliminated fizzy drinks from my diet complete. Though I have seen some improvement but I have a long way to go.
Diet: Certain food in your diet can increase bloating. Diets such as, beans, lentils, carbonated drinks, onion, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower), diary, garlic, apple, wheat, rye, barley (commonly found in cereal), sugar alcohol (found in sugar free gums), and beer. If you have problems with bloating, then chances are that a food on this list is the culprit. That being said, there is no reason to avoid all of these foods, only the ones that cause you problems personally. If you find that a certain food consistently makes you bloated, then simply avoid it. No food is worth suffering for. That being said, don’t stop eating every, but opt for complex carbohydrates, such as quinoa and sweet potato wedges, over cous cous and regular chips. Opt for papaya instead of watermelon and drink nut milk as opposed to cow’s milk.
Lack of Exercise: Gas is a normal part of digestion, but how much you have depends on many variables, including your diet, when and how fast you eat, and the efficiency of your digestive system. One way to ease bloating discomfort is to get moving. Although you might feel like taking a nap after a big meal, walk for 10 to 15 minutes instead. Walking, jogging, calisthenics, and other types of exercise can help stimulate the passage of gas through your digestive tract. Lack of exercise can cause constipation, so you may feel like taking a nap after a large meal but getting in 10-15 mins of exercise can be really beneficial. Whether it’s running or walking, most forms of physical activity will help expel gas that causes pain and get your digestion moving.
Eating too quickly: Drinking or eating too quickly increases the amount of air a person swallows, which can lead to more gas building up in the gastrointestinal tract. For people who eat or drink quickly, this may be a cause of bloating; slowing down the rate at which they eat might help to reduce the problem. Hence, I have made it a habit of chewing my food at least 10-20 times before swallowing. Yeah I know, I have taken it from the book of Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory.
Dysbiosis: Dysbiosis means that the ecosystem of microbes living in your gut has become imbalanced or dysfunctional. When dysbiosis occurs and the environment of the gut changes, levels of microbial byproducts such as methane and hydrogen can ramp up. I myself have suffered from dysbiosis, and have been put on antibiotic for that. I really did see an improvement on bloating level. Additionally, I have also found low FOBMAP diet to be very helpful. I will add another post on that diet.
IBS: Uncomfortable and unflattering bloating is one of the main symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), along with abdominal pain, gas, diarrhea, and constipation. All of the symptoms are frustrating, but bloating can really make you feel down. IBS is a common disorder that affects the large intestine. Signs and symptoms include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea or constipation, or both. Some people can control their symptoms by managing diet, lifestyle, and stress. Others will need medication and counseling.
Food Intolerance: A food intolerance, or a food sensitivity occurs when a person has difficulty digesting a particular food. This can lead to symptoms such as intestinal gas, abdominal pain or diarrhea. Food intolerance involve the digestive system. Food allergies involve the immune system. With a food allergy, even a microscopic amount of the food has the potential to lead to a serious or life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis. Whether you have lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance, or even sucrose intolerance, it will effect your digestion. Talk to your physician or gastroenterologist you have any symptoms after eating certain food. I would suggest keeping a food diary and noting symptoms after each food.
My dear lovelies! I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed reading this post. I wanted to share with you things I have gone through and learned from my experience. Hope this post allows you have to move towards a more healthy and less gassy journey.
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“By going with what’s happening rather than expending energy fighting or turning away from it, you create the opportunity to gain insight into what’s driving your concerns”.
Fizzy Drinks: I remember how much I used to love soda and even when I was just 90 lbs, how my stomach will swell up after drinking any fizzy drinks. According to Go With Your Gut author and nutritional eating coach Robyn Youkilis, any carbonated drink (yes, even sparking water) can cause bloating. The fizzing bubbles in carbonated drinks are actually gas, which can get trapped in your stomach and make you feel like you’ve been pumped with helium. That’s why I have eliminated fizzy drinks from my diet, and yes I have one less culprit to my extreme bloating.
Diet: There are several diets that can cause stomach bloating. Avoiding, or even eliminating those food can be really helpful in alleviating painful stomach bloating that making it harder for you to zip up those favorite jeans for the evening party. We’re talking about the temporary abdominal distention that plagues most everyone from time to time. Michael Jensen, MD, an endocrinologist and obesity researcher at Mayo Clinic, says:
“It is a myth that bloating in the stomach is from fluid accumulation in healthy adults, because the abdomen is not a place where fluids accumulate first. Instead, you would see it in your feet or ankles as long as you are upright.”
To avoid this, eat a diet high in fiber (25 grams per day for women and 38 for men) from whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Also, drink plenty of fluids (aim for 6-8 glasses a day). I myself try to avoid cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflowers, cabbage, and broccoli to avoid bloating.
Lack of exercise: Aim for physical activity for at least 30 minutes, five times a week. This is where I have failed each time. As I am mentioned before, due to my chronic pain and recent accidents, many exercises are too much for me. Each time I tried doing Pilates, and plank exercise I have broken my metatarsal bones. Let just say, I am not restricted to only low impact exercise. However, thanks to a recent video that I found online, I am beginning to challenge myself to exercise more. Stay tuned to learn more about the challenge and my journey.
Eating to quickly: Eating fast not only increases your risk of becoming overweight and obese, it’s also linked to other health problems, including: Insulin resistance. Eating too quickly is linked to a higher risk of insulin resistance, which is characterized by high blood sugar and insulin levels. It can also lead to build up of sodium in your body, which in turn lead to water retention in your body and increased bloating. Stay tuned for my mindfulness mediation post where I will discuss more about mindful eating. So slow down and enjoy your food. Your meals should last at least 30 minutes. Also, keep in mind that digestion begins in the mouth and you can decrease bloating just by chewing your food more. I am making it a habit of chewing my food 15 to 20 times before swallowing. Yes my lovelies, I have taken this from the book of Sheldon from Big Bang Theory.
Dysbiosis: It is a term for a microbial imbalance or maladaptation on or inside the body,such as an impaired microbiota. Dysbiosis may be caused by such diverse things as antibiotic or mold exposure, alcohol misuse, or inappropriate diet. Disruptions in the microbiome can allow outside factors or even pathogenic members of the microbiome to take hold in the gut environment. Dysbiosis has been reported to be associated with illnesses, such as multiple chemical sensitivity, periodontal disease, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, obesity, cancer, bacterial vaginosis, and colitis. Probiotics such as in supplement and in greek yogurts, kimchi, and kaffir to balance this microbiome and improve your gut health.
IBS: Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS, is a common disorder that affects the large intestine. Signs and symptoms include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea or constipation, or both. I more one has been diagnosed with IBS long time ago by my Gastroenterologist. IBS is a chronic condition that you’ll need to manage long term. Many people have worse IBS symptoms when they eat or drink certain foods or beverages, including wheat, dairy products, citrus fruits, beans, cabbage, milk and carbonated drinks. Stress can also trigger IBS symptoms. Again, stay tuned for my post on stress reduction tips.
Food Intolerance: Several food intolerance can cause heavy gas and bloating. In tolerance to wheat, lactose, and even sucrose can play a big role. I suggest keep a food diary and start with a Low FOBMAP diet (Stay tuned for the post) and add one food at a time after 6 weeks on the diet. Keep track of what foods are causing symptoms. This will sure to rout out the culprit(s).
My dear lovelies! Hope this post helps you start your journey towards the a flatter stomach. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow and find out more about my stress reduction journey, where I will share with you a special video.
Hope you enjoyed my post as much I enjoyed writing it. What symptoms of swollen belly has you suffered from? What worked for you and what didn’t?
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