Banish Your Bloat

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Do you find that on occasion your waistband feels extra tight and your stomach is distended? Or perhaps your rings get tight and your fingers feel puffy? There are different kinds of “bloating”. One is an overall fluid retention and the other is more localized in the abdominal area. Both can be very annoying – especially when they make your clothes fit tight or cause pain in the stomach area.

Overall fluid retention
Your body is made up of approximately 65% water. You can lose or gain several pounds on a daily basis. Have you ever noticed the scale jumping up a few pounds several days prior to your period? Hormonal changes can make your body hold on to several pounds of fluid. Or how about waking up with puffy eyes the day after eating Japanese food? Your body wants to keep a balance of sodium to fluid. Increasing your sodium intake will cause your body to hold on to water… for a day or two. You will then release it.

Tips to deal with fluid retention:
1. Limit high sodium foods
2. Drink at least 8 cups of fluid (preferably water). This will help to flush out the sodium.
3. The key here is not to panic, it is only water weight and will come off in a day or two.

Intestinal bloat
Bloating can also occur in the abdominal area. Symptoms could include a distended abdomen that feels hard or stomach pain. The following factors could be cuprits in abdominal bloating:
– Carbonated beverages
– Consumption of gassy foods such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, green peppers, onions, peas, radishes, beans and other legumes.
– Constipation
– Fried and fatty foods
– An increase in your fiber intake
– Milk and other dairy products, especially in people who have trouble digesting lactose ( the main sugar found in milk).
– Sugar and sugar substitutes (especially sugar alcohols such as sorbitol)
– A medical condition such as crohns disease, IBS or celiac disease (gluten intolerance)
I usually recommend that you keep a food record with what you eat as well as any symptoms you are getting. This can help to identify the culprit.

Tips to deal with intestinal bloating:

1. Start by eliminating the most common culprits including gassy vegetables and legumes
2. Go through the above list of foods and eliminate them one by one to see if your symptoms improve
3. Eat slow. Eating fast can contribute towards swallowing air which can cause gas
4. Limit chewing gum. This can also cause gas
5. Try eating smaller more frequent meals
6. If you still have a bloating and pain in the intestinal area, I would recommend that you check in with your doctor to rule out a medical cause
7. Try beano
8. If you are lactose intolerant, try lactaid milk or take a lactaid pill prior to eating a lactose containing pill

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