Last updated: July 2019
OK, so what the HELL? What’s with the bloat all of a sudden? I used to be able to say that I had most of the IBS symptoms, but I somehow avoided the bloating. Uh, not now. In the last three months it’s gotten worse and the worse it gets, the worse the cramps get. I wrote an article a few months ago about the incredibly painful cramps I was getting at night. They eased for a while but with the increasingly distended belly, they have slowly, excruciatingly returned. Oh, I know it’s mostly gas. I’m not stupid…or blind. You notice though, that I didn’t say it’s JUST gas, because gas pain both in my stomach and my chest has caused some of the worst pain I’ve experienced in my entire life.
The effects of bloating
The bloating itself is not necessarily painful but I have not been this consistently uncomfortable for this long in a while. From participating in this website I know how many of us struggle with bloating and the toll it takes on so many aspects of our lives. We deal with cramps, diarrhea, constipation and stomach pain. Add a swollen stomach that feels like someone pumped you so full of air that the stomach is tight as a drum, and you have a recipe for something awful. We hold it together, we weather the flare-ups and try to maintain our drive to find some respite and peace. When additional symptoms are added (like bloating) the toll on our comfort and self-esteem can be devastating. My self-esteem was affected greatly by new Santa Claus look and I knew I should do something to try to help myself out.
Managing bloating and IBS
I struggle with constipation as well as diarrhea flare-ups. So while many of the ‘bloating cures’ suggest reducing fiber, I really can’t at certain times because of the constipated episodes. The one list of things to avoid bloating said, ‘Avoid Constipation’…ugh…ok, I’ll avoid it :-/. All that said I have used these strange things called yoga and swimming that have helped me more than I ever thought possible. I altered my exercise plan to spend more time on stretching and yoga. I even started taking a Tai Chi class. The swimming has always been helpful for my IBS and it continues to be helpful especially with my new bloated friend.
As with most things IBS related, a holistic approach seems to work best for me, at least. I have gotten medication from my doctor, made some minor alterations to my diet and have used spearmint, cumin, and apple cider to see if I could loosen the old tummy just a little bit. It has been about a month of actively trying and I have seen some results. I guess it’s just one more IBS symptom I will have to deal with. As you can probably tell…I’m thrilled ;-).
Which of the following symptoms of IBS do you experience most frequently?