Have you ever eaten and then felt (and seemed) six months pregnant? Swelling is a common digestive complaint that affects most people at one time or another. And it's not just about appearances. The swelling can be uncomfortable and even painful until it calms down a bit or resolves.
When you experience regular episodes of swelling, there is likely to be a reason behind this.
Most cases of swelling are reduced to something you ate or a digestive condition. As a nutritionist, I can tell you some of the most common causes and how to solve this frustrating condition.
A common but little known cause of swelling is constipation. Most people assume that if they go to the bathroom regularly, they are not constipated. That is not always the case. You may have a bowel movement regularly and still show signs of constipation if:
Regularly has small bowel movements
They are hard, small or pebbled.
You have to strain or force too much to produce a bowel movement
You are dehydrated
The ideal would be to go to the bathroom effortlessly. Your intestines should give you the signal and you should be able to go. Many factors can influence how well this process works (or does not work). Stress, excessive processed foods, excessive dependence on laxatives or lack of fiber can lead to a recurring problem with poor bowel elimination and regular episodes of bloating after meals.
How to fix: Don't just take laxatives and hope that solves the problem. It is important to address constipation and intestinal health from a whole body perspective. Start by increasing your water consumption and eating more fiber. Add a fiber supplement if you don't get enough (start with a quarter of the recommended dose and increase). Do not ignore when your body sends you "go" signs. No one likes to go to public restrooms, but ignoring the impulse can lead to chronic constipation and suppression of the way intestinal muscles are supposed to work.
02. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome is a collection of symptoms that include bloating, gas and intestinal cramps. Sometimes, the result may be bouncing between constipation and diarrhea. You may experience IBS for long or short periods of time, in response to other health conditions or as a result of stress. If your intestines seem moody and you never know what you are going to expect, but you have regular episodes of swelling, consider the other factors that affect your health. Excessive stress, poor diet choices, lack of sleep or even seemingly unrelated problems, such as thyroid problems or hormonal changes, can contribute to IBS.
How to fix: Depending on the severity and duration, it may be time to consult with your doctor. Even if you feel apprehensive when mentioning them, it is always good to share your digestive symptoms with your health care provider. Keep in mind that your doctor will not perform unnecessary tests, and if you decide that a colonoscopy (for example) is a good idea, it is better to rule out any serious problems. Most doctors will first try low intervention methods to detect signs of IBS, such as diet modification, so even if you want to avoid a larger procedure, don't be afraid to talk to your health care provider about your intestinal problems.
03. Bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine (SIBO)
Bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine, or SIBO, is a condition in which bacteria that belong to the large intestine migrate to the small intestine. While most people think of the large and small intestines interchangeably, they have remarkably different functions. The small intestine is primarily the site of digestion and absorption, while the large intestine houses the microbiome, produces some nutrients and eliminates waste.
When the bacteria of the large intestine, even the "good" type, ends up in the small intestine, it can cause severe swelling and discomfort. SIBO is more common in people who already have other intestinal disorders, have recently undergone surgery or have trouble digesting food properly. Excessive use of antacids, for example, can cause poorly decomposed foods to leave the stomach and remain in the small intestine for too long. This can contribute to the development of bacterial imbalance.
Excessive consumption of alcohol and certain medications can also lead to SIBO. Common medications that can interfere with the functioning of the digestive system include antacids and antibiotics.
How to fix: Because SIBO is a situation in which bacteria are in an area to which it does not belong, most doctors will depend on short cycles of antibiotics to kill the bacteria and remove them from the small intestine. However, other doctors will use certain strains of probiotics to address small bowel imbalance, including Bacillus coagulans or lactobacillus casei. SIBO is not easy to correct quickly, so it is important to work with a diet professional. It is very difficult to treat for yourself (or diagnose) this condition.
04. Allergy or food sensitivity.
It is also possible for adults to have problems with certain foods and not know it. Swelling, gas or digestive discomfort are common signs of mild allergies or food sensitivities.
Frequent triggers include:
Lactose and dairy products.
Gluten (including celiac disease) or grains in general
How to fix: If you suspect that one or more of these foods could be problematic, try eliminating them for one or two weeks and see if the swelling improves. Add it again, and if it is a problem, you will probably feel bloated and uncomfortable almost immediately. The exception here is celiac disease. If you have other autoimmune conditions or any family history of autoimmunity, consider having your doctor examine you for celiac disease. prior to eliminating gluten After you have passed gluten-free, you will not be able to get an accurate diagnosis of celiac, even if you have it.
05. Eat too many gaseous foods or drink too many carbonated drinks
While this is probably the simplest, it doesn't happen to everyone. Eating too many foods that can have gas production results in the body can cause chronic bloating problems. These foods may include:
Onions and garlic
Highly processed foods
Corn syrup or derivatives
How to fix: If you suspect that your diet may be too high in foods with a lot of swelling, try to eliminate most of the above list and focus more on green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits, poultry and beef, seafood and vegetables that are easier to digest as Sweet potatoes, green beans, sweet peas, carrots and parsnips. If your swelling improves during this challenge, you may only need additional enzymes to digest gaseous foods, or your digestive system may be easily overwhelmed. Try to balance them with non-gaseous foods and eat less frequently.
While finding the source of your swelling problem is always the best path to your overall health, there are some things that can help mitigate the symptoms of swelling regardless of the cause. Try to eat smaller meals, chew food more thoroughly and do not drink excessive amounts of liquid with your meals. Walking after eating can also help speed digestion and reduce symptoms. Finally, taking a digestive enzyme supplement before each meal can help reduce swelling. Whatever the cause of your swelling, the good news is that with the right approach, it doesn't have to be part of your life forever.
Aimee McNew is a nutritionist and author who focuses on all aspects of women's health. She loves dark roasted coffee and wants to be a Gilmore girl when she grows up.
. (tagsToTranslate) digestive health (t) Health (t) Physical health (t) health and wellness