In the first part of this two-part series on bloating, I talked about causes of bloating. Here’s the short version:
With that list in mind, let’s look at ways to prevent bloating and relieve the gas and discomfort.
At the very end, I’ve included a list of natural supplements and herbs for bloating.
This question was sent to us by a visitor:
“How can I manage my ibs so that I do not constantly look several months pregnant ? I am so bloated no matter what I do/do not eat or how little/how much… I feel like I have balloons inside of me day in and out… How do I get rid of my over bloated tummy?”
Can you relate to this? If so, this article is for you.
This article looks at the causes of bloating. In part two, I will cover how to get rid of bloating.
Go to Part Two article.
I don’t think I need to explain what bloating IS. If you are reading this article, you already know that it’s when your abdomen is filled with gas and, as our reader above said, you feel like you’re several months pregnant.
Please note that I am talking about the “bloated stomach” that happens for many IBS sufferers. If you do not have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, there may be other reasons for your chronic bloating, some of which are symptoms of certain diseases. This article does not cover those symptoms or diseases.
If you are a woman who has bloating during your menstrual cycle, much of the information below will also apply to your situation.
So, let’s get to it!
Why it happens...
The stress of worrying about the possibility of having a bathroom accident causes the bowel to over-react and increases the possibility of an accident!
This can be called ‘anticipatory anxiety’. You are worried about something happening in the future.
Usually people experience anticipatory anxiety because of a specific event that has happened. They have had a bathroom accident or a ‘near accident’. So the brain has every reason to worry because it feels it has the proof of the actual experience to go on.
As with any difficult or negative emotion, it is extremely helpful to let go of judgements and to develop some degree of acceptance. It is also very helpful and healing to give yourself permission to take care of your own needs. Even if that means having to go back in the house to use the toilet. I worked with one client who was eventually able to say to me (and herself) “So what if I have to use the toilet; everyone has to use the toilet.”
What to do...
This article is a Product Review of the highly-effective IBS Audio Program 100 from clinical hypnotherapist, Michael Mahoney. The review was written by our subscriber Marilyn who had such good results iwth hypnotherapy for IBS that she wanted to share her findings.
I developed IBS about a year ago after a surgical procedure. It was very difficult for me as I had always been able to eat or drink whatever I desired with no consequences. So I went about trying to educate myself about IBS and spent many hours doing research.
One of the biggest problems for me was stress and anxiety. I found Heather Van Vorous's website (helpforibs.com) where she gives a great deal of information about the use of hypnosis in treating IBS symptoms.
There seems to be a lot of disagreement about the best foods for IBS. The one consistent piece of advice is to eat foods containing soluble fibre.
Why is soluble fiber important? Because, when you eat it first, at the beginning of your meal, it “pre-conditions” the bowel by forming a kind of thick gel that bulks up in the intestines, giving them something to work with. This will slow down your transit time if you’re prone to diarrhea, or help to move things along if you suffer from constipation.
HOWEVER! You need to be a bit careful about your sources of soluble fiber. I’ve read nutritionists who recommend legumes such as kidney beans, soy beans, chick peas, etc. as a good source of soluble fiber for people with IBS. I find this a bit strange, as we all know that legumes are notorious “fart foods” and are hard to digest even for people who don’t have digestive problems.
Have you cooked quinoa before only to have it turn out hard and crunchy or, even worse, soggy and tasteless? I don’t know about you, but I like my quinoa light and fluffy, somewhat chewy, but neither crunchy nor soggy.
After a few quinoa fiascos of my own, I figured out this easy way to cook quinoa so it turns out perfectly every time.
Does Christmas make you feel anxious, nervous or depressed? (I’m talking about Christmas because it’s the tradition I grew up with, but this information probably applies equally to other holidays.)
Over the holidays, do you end up spending time with people you love but don’t really like? (You know – the people who, if you weren’t related to them, you wouldn’t be friends?) Do you feel obligated to go to parties full of strangers? Or miss out on parties because of anxiety and stress-induced symptoms? Do you feel pressured to buy gifts you can’t afford for people who don’t need them?
In his book, Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, Robert Zampolsky PhD points out that there is plenty of scientific evidence that IBS is a largely stress-driven condition. And Christmas is a stressful time of year.
When you have IBS, there are some powerful reasons to feel stressed at Christmas, even if you’d prefer to enjoy it. These reasons have to do with “early adverse life experiences” or EALs.
A study at the Oppenheimer Family Center of Neurobiology of Stress, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA showed that when you have EALs before the age of 18, your chance of having IBS skyrockets. Emotional abuse was the biggest predictor of IBS. Neurologist Robert Scaer MD points out that when you have been traumatized at an early age – or at any age – until that trauma is discharged (I’ll get to that later), you continue to react to it throughout your life.
What does that mean for Christmas and IBS?
I recently had a bizarre experience – at least it was bizarre to me – and I want to tell you what happened in case it will help you control pain better and suffer less...
I went to the dentist to have a cavity filled and I actually had it done with NO ANAESTHETIC!!!
Why is that bizarre?
Because I was one of those kids where people used to say, “You’re too sensitive.” (Or, more typically, “What’s wrong with you? You’re WAY too sensitive.” Gee, thanks. That really calms me down.)
My startle reflex was high – yes, I “over-reacted” to things that didn’t bother many other people. If someone touched me, I felt that touch coming even before it reached my physical body.
So, in the past, I was always ready to open my mouth wide when the dentist brought out the syringe full of happy juice. When it came to pain, my attitude was, “Just say NO and bring on the drugs.”
But this time was different.
Here’s an excellent question we received from a subscriber:
“I'd like to know more about gut flora and how to maintain good conditions related to flora in my gut. Regular physicians don't seem to know much about this area.” – Jay
Maintaining good gut flora is a huge topic and unbelievably important to your health.
In fact, if your gut flora isn’t functioning well, it’s no exaggeration to say that while it may not kill you, it could make you wish you were dead, because it will make your life hell.
So, Jay, thank you for sending in this question because it is something absolutely everyone needs to know about. I hope you find this article helpful.
In this blog post, I’m going to look at:
1) What is gut flora?
2) Why maintaining good gut flora is so important.
3) What interferes with healthy gut flora?
4) How to support gut flora so it fosters your health instead of making you sick. You CAN fix your flora!
What are the worst foods for IBS? Here’s a list with explanations of why each one can be a problem:
1) Dairy foods.
According to every expert I’ve read as well as our experience with clients, the number one worst food for IBS is anything made from dairy.
That means any kind of milk that comes from a four-legged animal, and any food product made from that milk: milk and chocolate milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream, cheese popcorn, milk chocolate, the cream in your coffee and anything else with milk, cheese or cream in it. (Eggs are not dairy, even though they’re in the same department in the grocery store. Eggs are from chickens. But you already knew that.)
I know a lot of people aren’t happy that dairy tops the “worst food” list. Dairy is a comfort food for many of us and it’s easy to become “addicted” to certain cheeses (I’ve been there) or other dairy delights.
But it’s the top food allergen for everyone, not just people who have IBS, and it contributes to a wide variety of health nightmares that go far beyond digestion, including arthritis, osteoporosis, and kidney problems. Even if you’re not lactose-intolerant, the proteins in dairy can cause trouble for you.