When you’re bloated, it’s hard to look or feel good. If you avoid dehydration, problem foods, yeast and menstrual imbalances, it stands to reason that you’ll avoid the bloating.
This article contains information about how to manage and avoid the major causes of this problem.
There are dietary causes. Food that congests your body, like excessive proteins, mostly meat and fish, stress the kidneys. This can result in water retention and inflammation. Cheese is suspect #1. Like all other dairy products, it has a tendency to cause you to produce a lot of mucous. Mucous congests the fluids in the body and impairs lymphatic drainage. This is most obvious when you have a cold or flu. If you eat cheese, you’ll feel like you’re drowning in your own mucous. It’s quite unpleasant. It’s not as noticeable normally, but for many people it’s an ongoing problem. How much dairy you can tolerate without this predictable response varies with the individual.
A very common cause of bloating is an overgrowth of yeast, fungus or mold within the body.
A telltale indication of this problem is bloating very shortly after eating, particularly if the meals consumed have starchy carbohydrate foods. When you eat sugars and/or carbohydrates, you feed the yeast. Then the yeast produces CO2 gas within your body. This gas makes you bloat like the Pillsbury dough boy or girl. Due to a common addiction to comfort foods and/or sugar, a significant portion of the population find themselves in this condition. We have written a 3 part series of blog posts outlining the causes, indications and an herbal remedy for fungal, yeast and mold overgrowths.
It may seem illogical, but dehydration causes you to bloat.
If you only occasionally have problems with dehydration, you won’t have this response. On the other hand, if you are chronically in a state of dehydration, you will convince your body you’re trying to cross a large desert with a small canteen. In response, your body will hold onto every drop of water it can, storing it between your cells and in the fat cells, which are capable of holding a lot of water.
A good way to insure dehydration is to consume diuretics like caffeine and alcohol.
We have gone into depth about hydration in a previous blog post. Salt sulfites, MSG, “other natural flavors” cause you to retain a great deal of water. These bloat-causing substances are abundant in processed foods. Because processed foods are prepared months before you see them, some extreme measures are needed to make them taste good. One of the most common tactics is to include compounds that occur in extremely small concentrations naturally in the food supply. MSG (monosodium glutamate), sodium benzoate, and most things we have enough sense to stay away from, are legally disguised as “natural flavors.” The problem is, the food processors frequently use these compounds in literally thousands of times greater concentration than they naturally occur.
We don’t have to tell our female readers that the menstrual cycle can cause some pretty dramatic bloating. The part of the cycle between ovulation and the menstrual period is referred to as the luteal phase. A prolonged luteal phase is also known as PMS (premenstrual syndrome). In some cases this stands for “probable murder suspect,” but not always.
Low output from the thyroid can magnify the symptoms caused by female hormone imbalances during the menstrual cycle. One of the many indications of thyroid problems is an inability to warm up when you come in out of the cold.
Now that you understand the common causes of bloating, here’s how to remedy the problem:
Pumpkin seed oil capsules, when either taken on a regular basis, or as needed during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, are usually quite effective. Not only for addressing the bloat, but also to get you off the hormonal emotional roller-coaster.
For others, krill oil works better than pumpkin seed oil. A little experimentation of which one is better for you, or in fact a combination of both, is advised.
Eggs, dairy, coffee, caffeine, chocolate, black tea in excess along with food preservatives, are estrogenic. They are not estrogen, but mimic estrogen, resulting confused female cycles which result in bloat and many other complications.
We point out that some foods and substances are mentioned more than once so far as trouble-makers – these should be especially avoided or minimized.
What should you do when you notice you’re starting to bloat? Drink lots of water, probably a little more than you desire or are comfortable with. This will alleviate any dehydration and help flush out caffeine, sulfites, etc. Obviously this is not a good idea before a long car ride, a night at the movies, or any other circumstance that separates you from the plumbing.
Fiber to clean out the lower G.I. tract, as well as the phytochemicals from dark green vegetables will help normalize the bloat situation. So eat a big salad, avoid dairy-based dressings, oil & vinegairettes being the best.
Another good way to get the excess water out of your system is to SWEAT. There are several strategies for this. The gym, yoga, sauna, or sex. But not necessarily in that order or combined.
Go forth and bloat no more. We pointed out some of the problems and solutions. If you act upon these guidelines, you’ll look better, have more energy and be more comfortable in your clothes.