BLOATING: AN UNCOMFORTABLE TOPIC
Like taxes, it happens to most of us from time to time. It is also just as unwelcomed, more intolerable, and less expected (at least with taxes, we know when the date is and can prepare!).
I am, of course, talking about stomach cramps caused by bloating.
This is a strangely delicate topic for many of us. Despite the fact that bodily processes are natural and inevitable, we feel that discussions of such are inappropriate and taboo. This may be true to some extent; bloating and stomach cramps may not be the best topic of choice for a first date or the next company potluck. It may, however, be necessary to talk about at some point when you are suffering from them. To break the ice on the awkwardness of this topic, please read on.
Has your stomach ever felt like it was extended to its limit, or to the point of feeling tight and painful? That is bloating, an abnormal swelling or increase in diameter of the abdominal region. If it comes without logical explanation (i.e. pregnancy, obvious weight gain, etc.), it is very likely due to bloating.
There are many reasons for bloating and abdominal discomfort, such as foods containing high fiber or certain starches. If you experience chronic bloating, though, you may need to consider the fact that it could be due to a food intolerance.
No, this does not refer to your distaste for anchovies on your pizza.
Also known as non-IgE mediated food hypersensitivity or non-allergic food hypersensitivity, food intolerance means that your body has trouble digesting certain foods. Other symptoms of food intolerance may include increased gas, alternating loose stools and constipation, and nausea.
These reactions can be triggered by any number of foods, with those containing lactose and gluten being among the most common. Lactose is a type of sugar found in milk, and gluten is a protein mixture found in wheat and other grains. Your problems may be with different foods, but this is a good place to start looking in your quest to find the cause of your discomfort.
Want a couple of suggestions on how to find relief? The first is to start keeping a diet journal. Making a record of your food intake can help you track any patterns of symptom flare-ups. The second suggestion, which is most effective after having mastered the first, is to start an isolation diet. If you suspect your problem may be with dairy, try avoiding milk-based products for a month. This process of elimination may be the key to pinpointing the problem.
At Grand Rapids Allergy, doctors are waiting to help you with this process. They are as intolerant of food intolerance as you are, and are more than willing to assist you in the investigation of the cause of your symptoms. Though bloating and stomach cramps may be an uncomfortable topic, don’t feel uncomfortable asking for Grand Rapids Allergy’s help.
All information, content, and material in this email is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.