Fibromyalgia and Bloating

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A build-up of gas in the stomach and intestines is known as bloating. Here are a few theories on bloating/abdominal distension According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information:

  1. > Intra-abdominal volume displacement is altered (abdomino-phrenic theory)
  2. > Increased sensitivity of intestinal stimuli (sensory dysfunction or psychological factors)
  3. > Luminal contents are increased (gas, stools, liquid or fat)
  4. > Abdominal emptying is impaired (e.g., faulty propulsion, hindered evacuation)

 I finally understood why this was happening after reading the causes of bloating. Fibro bodies are always inflamed. Because of the inflammation our bodies work overtime. So it should be no shock that my Buddha-belly protrudes quite habitually.

Fibromyalgia and bloating

Everything from joint, nerve, and muscle pain, to constant tiredness, sensory overload, and never-ending uneasiness there are a lot of fibromyalgia symptoms. I thought I had done enough research to understand what my body would experience because of it, but it is still a mystery to me. To my disappointment, I awoke one morning with what felt like a basketball coming out of my stomach.

To evaluate my situation I bolted to my bathroom mirror. I’m not pregnant but I looked six months pregnant, so what is happening here? I caught the face of a unfamiliar person in the bathroom with me as my eyes floated upward. She has the same hair color and style and was the same height as me but with a super flabby face-oh my god–MY FACE!

I saw the last straw (or the last sausages, really) after raised my hands to my bulging cheeks in horror. My finger with my wedding ring turned white from poor circulation because it had blown up so big. Feeling frightened, shocked totally like being sucker-punched, I stood there in front of the mirror.

What was happening to me? I couldn’t memorize anything out of the norm when I considered what I’d eaten in the last 24 hours. This huge ball in my belly was confusing although I knew that some of my medications (Lyrica) cause weight gain. After a lot of research I came across a side effect of fibromyalgia that formerly evaded me.

Will the side effects of Fibro ever end? It’s bad enough that we are in pain every waking (and sleeping) moment. Getting dressed is already unbearable, but fitting into clothes for my “other self” whose eight pounds lighter is just absurd. Not to talk about the emotional damage just as I thought I had a handle on this condition, I’m clotheslined by bloating.

Possible causes or contributors to belly bloat

  • >Persistent consumption of foods that irritate your digestive system(i.e., food allergies, foods sensitivities, food intolerances, etc.)
  • >Hiatal hernia
  • >Chronic stress
  • >Smoking(seems this applies to women more than men)
  • >Nutrient-deficient diet (lots of packaged foods, fast foods, and empty-nutrient foods)
  • >Infection (H. Pylori, E. coli, candida, amebiasis (parasites), etc.)
  • >Toxin exposures(toxins including heavy metals are stored in fat cells, and I don’t have to tell you where fat cells collect)
  • >PMS(premenstrual syndrome)
  • >Long-term grain consumption (for men in particular, this means beer)
  • >Sugary diet (consuming sugary foods and packaged foods that metabolize quickly into sugar such as bread, pasta, tortillas, cereals, crackers, chips, pastries, etc.)
  • >Low fiber diet
  • >Dehydration
  • >Diet high in acidic foods / low in alkalinizing foods

 

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How to reduce bloating?

There’s no quick fix for bloating, but there are some choices we can make to help fight it. Here are my coping mechanisms and tips to reduce bloat.

Probiotics

Yes, you read about them all the time, and that’s for good reason. Probiotics are one of the few fundamental supplements that should be taken regularly by most of the population. A probiotic helps to establish healthy gut flora in your digestive system. Since the health of your body, as a whole, depends on the health of your digestive system, this one change can significantly help to support your mood, energy, immune system and more.

Finding a good one probiotic is important if you’re looking to take a daily probiotic to keep your gut ecology in check. Quality is crucial if you’re looking to overcome symptoms of bloat and discomfort. If you’re currently taking an antibiotic or have recently done so, then the quality of your probiotic is critical. A quality probiotic is all about live bacteria and cultures (no, you can’t get this from yogurt). So, make sure you’re getting a product that has not been in a hot warehouse, shipped in giant trucks, or been on a shelf for who knows how long.

In other words, I’d rather purchase my probiotic from a company whose reputation for quality and freshness is on the line. If the company sells probiotics and other quality supplements, that’s great. If the company sells supplements, TVs, cell phones, diapers, and truck tires, then I would at least question my purchase. 

Reduce sugar intake

Talk about a sore subject. In the dark world of Fibro Sugar has brought me much happiness. When I’m hurting most–mid-flare It’s been by my side, on the floor, waiting for it to all end. Unluckily, sugar promotes swelling, as well as fatness, heart disease and much, much more. Putting any of these suggestions into action undoubtedly will improve your capability to cope with Fibro bloat. When I’m easy on myself and make small changes I have the most success, a little at a time.

Related:

Water

As mentioned in the first list above, dehydration can play a significant role in belly bloat. Food needs liquid to eliminate efficiently. Picture your city gutters filled with leaves, dirt, and various debris when there’s no rain to wash things down the drainage systems. Proper hydration helps the body do what it’s designed to do obtain the nutrients it needs from your food, and eliminate the rest. When increasing healthier foods (including veggies with wonderful fiber), it’s even more important to stay properly hydrated. Click Here to Read more on effects of dehydration on fibromyalgia patients 

 

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References:

  • Role of inflammation in fibromyalgia by MG Rana,MD via Fibromyalgia Resources
  • 4 Ways to Help Relieve Fibro-Bloating via Fibromyalgia NLO
  • National Institutes of Health (Bloating and functional gastro-intestinal disorders: Where are we and where are we going?)

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