How to look and feel pregnant when you’re not!

Man holding his big distended bloated belly.

I’m pretty sure this guy isn’t pregnant, but bloating can get this bad!
© Can Stock Photo

A bloated belly and gas are two awful symptoms of IBS that often come together. The pain from trapped gas, the pooched out belly and swollen, full feeling each cause their own kinds of misery. Clothes don’t fit and the gas can cause abdnominal spasms that can make you WISH you could pass out!

What is bloating?

Well, there can be many causes of bloating (stomach flu, menstruation, etc.). Since this is an IBS website we’re going to be talking (or reading) about the abdominal bloating that’s part of IBS. That’s when your belly swells up and makes you feel miserable for no apparent reason :(.

If you have the gas that often causes or accompanies abdominal bloating then you can have terrible belly pain. Another reason people become bloated is due to an inflamed colon. Blood fills up the tissue of the intestinal tract causing it to swell, often causing abdominal pain and discomfort.

And I’m not kidding when I say it can make you bloated enough to look pregnant.

What causes a bloated belly?

Businesswoman With Exercise Ball Like She Had a Bloated Belly

A bloated belly can make you feel like your belly is going to pop your clothes.
© Can Stock Photo

In the case of IBS, a bloated belly may be caused by food sensitivities that irritate your intestines, or foods that cause you to have excess gas.

In either case finding out which foods cause your bloating are your first priorities! A food elimination diet or a food sensitivity test can go a long way to help that. If your body is sensitive to certain foods, it’s sure to cause and inflamed colon at some point.

Lactose intolerance, a sensitivity to milk products is one of the most common causes of belly bloating, but there are many others.

How can I prevent this kind of bloating?

Well, assuming you’ve been to your doctor, and ruled out other problems like inflammatory bowel disease, etc., I think you should try cutting back on foods that give you gas (Beans, dairy and broccoli for me; heck, beans for just about everyone!). You could also try the food elimination diet link above to see if there are foods that you are sensitive to. Also, I’d check out the food sensitivity section of this site.

A quick list of foods that may cause a bloated belly would include:

As always make sure you’ve checked with your doctor to make sure there’s nothing serious going on!

I hope it helps.

Shawn