Chronic Abdominal Bloating and Pain

Posted by geb @gloriaeb, Aug 17, 2015

I am a relatively healthy person with a problem “bloated belly”. My belly gets bigger as the day goes on; doesn’t matter if I eat, drink only water, my belly still gets more bloated. The bloat continues up the abdomen into the midriff area…I have to loosen bra or put on a bigger one. This happens everyday. Pretty good in the morning.

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@keysgull

Another similar option is eating low FODMAP foods. A study by researchers at Monash University in Australia has defined and listed problem foods for those with IBS symptoms. Kate Scarlata is a great source. Look her up on FB, Pinterest, Google. I have become completely intolerant of garlic and raw onion and found this elimination diet, food diary and re-introduction of foods to be very helpful. Most Registered nutritionists can help you follow the plan.

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As the liver turns. A sensitive soap opera.

@uneeq1

Hi Guys-
As a person who has suffered from IBS and is now almost 100% symptom free, I would like to tell you how I got better. The first thing I did was change my diet to Paleo, but that didn’t solve everthing. I did start to feel better though. First of all, I stopped going to my GP for IBS and went to an Integrative Medicine Dr. (in Fort Wayne, IN) who also has a nutritionist. The GP only treated symptoms, not the unlying causes. Next, I kept a food diary and wrote down how I felt after every meal/snack for one month. I took the food diary with me to the nutritionist and she looked at what I was eating and also how it made me feel. Then, I was tested for food allergies and sensitivities. The nutritionist gave me specific lists of food I needed to avoid and foods that I needed to incorporate more. The next visits were with one week food diaries and my diet was further tweaked based on the results of testing and reaction to foods on my list. I have other reasons for some of my food eliminations, so I won’t go on about exactly what I eat, because it will be different for everyone. Our bodies tell us what they don’t like, we just need to listen!

I am now dairy free, sugar free, gluten free (Gluten affects Antibody associated with Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism), and yeast free with carbs in moderation. The biggest take away is that I no longer take medicine for IBS (Prilosec 20mg twice per day). I no longer get bloated, unless I eat things that I should not be eating. My stomach is healed now, so eating a little bit of the bad food has a less dramatic effect on my body. Lastly, I lost 15 lbs and have successfully kept it off and continue to lose at a very slow rate as time goes on.

I recommend that everyone seek out a good Integrative medicine doctor who treats patients with both prescription and holistic medicines, and one who tests beyond the normal laboratory tests. I take the probiotics that some have mentioned. These are also individual, you have to find the ones that work for you. If you can find the root cause of your discomfort, you will feel so much better!

Thanks for listening,
Lisa

Edit* I am also pain free, I no longer take arthritis medications, because all of the swelling was causing me joint pain as well!

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Thank you, this is great information. My sister in law is doing this exact thing, she is seeing an alternative doctor who had recommended removeing these items from her diet as she has Crohns. I have colitis but both cause inflammation. Bloating is my biggest issue.

@luladavis

Greenery is my kale and spinach with maybe grapes watermelon, I choose apple juice, blended and drink.. Tryin to get my veggies&fruit in every day that way my stomach might be happy and shrink..my PlasticSurgeon said I need to lose the fat then he would cut the excess skin off…Really!!! Why not jus cut it all off now..I think I have tried it all and all I’m doing is just depriving my self from the delicious food my stomach still gonna win..since it looks at me and say “na na na na”lololololol its a shame.. Mostly I just stay at home and let it all hang out.. The others parts of my body I can deal with, just haven’t figured out whats up with this belly..anyway I wish u the best..Godbless gn

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Did you “give up” any other food groups?

I also gave up dairy.

Hi Geb and everyone, I am curious about all the good suggestions in this post. What has worked? I know we all have different circumstances. Mine is unique as well. Just around my menstrual cycle, I get abnormally bloated, looking like I am nine months pregnant. This has been going on since 2007. No significant changes to diet or lifestyle. Always been a vegetarian. Been to multiple specialists, had several exams and tests – all the normal suspects (IBS, cysts, ulcers) are all negative. Pictures show day before period and 1st day of period. Any suggestions or advice?

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Hello @mcray and welcome to Mayo Connect. I am sorry to hear of this very uncomfortable symptom that you are describing – from your post, it sounds as if this is a regular monthly problem. Is that correct? Here is an additional discussion on Mayo Connect regarding bloating, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/stomach-bloating-digestive-issues/.

Just some ideas to consider as you try to sort out your symptoms: During this time, do you have other digestive symptoms or urinary symptoms? Have you tried any remedies (supplements, etc.) does exercise or physical activity make it worse?

Teresa

@hopeful33250

Hello @mcray and welcome to Mayo Connect. I am sorry to hear of this very uncomfortable symptom that you are describing – from your post, it sounds as if this is a regular monthly problem. Is that correct? Here is an additional discussion on Mayo Connect regarding bloating, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/stomach-bloating-digestive-issues/.

Just some ideas to consider as you try to sort out your symptoms: During this time, do you have other digestive symptoms or urinary symptoms? Have you tried any remedies (supplements, etc.) does exercise or physical activity make it worse?

Teresa

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You may want to read up on histamine intolerance and see if those symptoms sound familiar. It can be tricky having any food sensitivity, intolerance, etc. wheat dairy sugar histamine high foods etc are just a few of the categories.

Histamine is tricky too because your body produces it, some foods contain it and some foods are histamine releasers and many folks have issues clearing histamine from their gut and it causes bloating, constitpation diarrhea symptoms similar to IBS. What Is interesting is the list of foods high in histamine are scattered throughout different food groups so it’s very hard to detect until you do an elimination diet and avoid foods high in histamine. I was shocked how well limiting these foods and taking histamine scavenger with food worked for me.

@mcray

Hi Geb and everyone, I am curious about all the good suggestions in this post. What has worked? I know we all have different circumstances. Mine is unique as well. Just around my menstrual cycle, I get abnormally bloated, looking like I am nine months pregnant. This has been going on since 2007. No significant changes to diet or lifestyle. Always been a vegetarian. Been to multiple specialists, had several exams and tests – all the normal suspects (IBS, cysts, ulcers) are all negative. Pictures show day before period and 1st day of period. Any suggestions or advice?

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Hi @mcray,

I’d like to add my welcome to Teresa’s; thank you for sharing your symptoms.

I’d encourage you to view this discussion in the Women’s Health group on Connect:
My stomach makes me look pregnant: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/my-stomach-makes-me-look-pregnant/

Meanwhile I’d also like to invite @foreverhaefish @luladavis @allenjane14 @shoregal45 @esteya76 @gloriaeb @upnorthnancy @nicole14 @boogirl @citygirlannie @keysgull @jigglejaws94 @Steph38 @shah to join in with their thoughts and insights.

@mcray, what explanation have the doctors given you?

@jrwilhelm

I am an 85-yr old male whose only known digestive problem is an almost constant, and painful, abdominal distension due to bloating, which is worse immediately following food or drink and in the morning upon awakening. C-scans reveal a small hiatal hernia in the esophageal area but no blockages. I have stopped on dairy and grains for extended periods without relief. Probiotics and supplements of various kinds have been useless. I have taken anti-reflux medications for years; these were originally prescribed to remedy a perceived weakening of the esophagus (throat closed up once 15 years ago). However, I have never consciously suffered from acid reflux. My best theory is that there is some causal relationship between the hernia and the bloating; I am aware of two undocumented cases where repair of hernias seemingly cured this kind of abdominal problem.. Does anyone have some suggestions that might help me? Thank you…

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Hello @jrwillheim. Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Thank you for posting this topic to the Digestive Health group. Mayo Clinic Connect is a community of people who share past medical experiences. We are not medical physicians or medical professionals so can not give you a diagnosis or medical advice but we can connect you with other members here discussing similar situations.

I’m sorry to hear you are experiencing such issues. Have you spoke with your primary doctor and asked if testing for food allergies would be beneficial? or have you thought about having hernia surgery to repair and hopefully feel better? have you made significant changes to your diet? Have you noticed whether there are certain triggers that bring on your symptoms?

I would like to introduce you to other members on connect that have all discussed GI esophagus complications @lobste @ntp01 @yyyy @lorettanebraska @julier123 @stephieisabella @saucy @ptfitzy. Hopefully they will be willing to share some insight with you.

@jrwilhelm

I am an 85-yr old male whose only known digestive problem is an almost constant, and painful, abdominal distension due to bloating, which is worse immediately following food or drink and in the morning upon awakening. C-scans reveal a small hiatal hernia in the esophageal area but no blockages. I have stopped on dairy and grains for extended periods without relief. Probiotics and supplements of various kinds have been useless. I have taken anti-reflux medications for years; these were originally prescribed to remedy a perceived weakening of the esophagus (throat closed up once 15 years ago). However, I have never consciously suffered from acid reflux. My best theory is that there is some causal relationship between the hernia and the bloating; I am aware of two undocumented cases where repair of hernias seemingly cured this kind of abdominal problem.. Does anyone have some suggestions that might help me? Thank you…

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Hello @jrwilhelm

I would like to add my welcome to you as Jamie just did. In following up on Jamie’s idea of noting triggers for your symptoms, I would suggest keeping a journal of symptoms and daily activities and food/drink intake. It might offer some clues that you can share with your doctor. Allergy testing, as Jamie suggested, might be worth discussing with your doctor as well.

Teresa

@pticurious

For almost a year, I have this condition, where with swollen stomach I have frequent pains and limited food intake. Went thru’ X-Ray, cat scan, MRI (???) no diagnosis. The local GI experts unable to diagnose nor treat.

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Hello @pticurious, So glad that you found Mayo Connect. Sorry to hear you are having such terrible issues and what makes it worse, no answers why.
I really hope they can get to the bottom of this soon so that you can start feeling better. I know what it’s like to not know what is causing your pain and no answers or treatment.

How long have the GI doctors been working to find out why this is happening? Other than the diagnostics are they treating your condition in any way?

Hope you feel better soon, looking forward to your reply,
Von

@pticurious

For almost a year, I have this condition, where with swollen stomach I have frequent pains and limited food intake. Went thru’ X-Ray, cat scan, MRI (???) no diagnosis. The local GI experts unable to diagnose nor treat.

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Hello @pticurious, Let me add my welcome to Mayo Connect as well.

I would also invite you to look at a previous Mayo Connect conversation on abdominal bloating, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/my-stomach-makes-me-look-pregnant/ and also https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/abdominal-bloating/. As you can see from looking at these posts this is a problem that many of our Members have faced. I hope that you are able to find some help.

In reading your post, I was wondering if the swollen abdominal and limited food intake are a constant problem or does it come and go? If the problem is intermittent rather than continuous have you been able to find any correlation between food intake, exercise, etc?

Teresa

@luladavis

@gloriaeb My prayers are all is well with u..I’m still suffering with the IBS and don’t kno what else to do..I just say it’s something I got to live and deal with. I basically just wanted to touch basis with u. It’s been a while so I just wanted to say hello..Godbless

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@luladavis I have been having been having problems for awhile. My Dr. has been of little help. I have put myself on a mostly soft diet. No citrus no pinapple, tomatoes,no spice,No peppers No sugar wheat No caffeine.I can eat fish eggs and lots of rice, steamed veggies. The IBS symptoms have gone away. Bloating a little less. I still have indigestion if I eat to much. I do get very hungry and mess up. The evening is the worst because I have a long day with my drive to work. I don’t weigh very much. I took myself off Prilosec because it can diarrhea. I keep antacids with me that work well. These are good because I also don’t eat dairy and have calcium in them. I am hoping this will work and maybe be able to eat some tasty food some day again.

@luladavis

@gloriaeb My prayers are all is well with u..I’m still suffering with the IBS and don’t kno what else to do..I just say it’s something I got to live and deal with. I basically just wanted to touch basis with u. It’s been a while so I just wanted to say hello..Godbless

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Welcome to Connect, @sarahg. Thank you for joining this group and sharing your insights.
Do you have to avoid certain vegetables completely? Have you tried any of the probiotics that some Connect members have suggested? We look forward to getting to know you, @sarahg

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