View Full Version : Severe bloating, etc please help
04-09-2010, 09:35 PM
I know people have talked about bloating, but I did search the forum. I am just so frustrated and don't know what to do! It makes me want to just give up and eat brown rice and sea vegetables all day or something crazy. I LOVE fresh fruits and greens and such and like I LOVE being a raw foodist and I really want to stay raw. But my digestion is TERRIBLE, absolutely terrible, terrible. and I just don't know what to do anymore! I thought the bloating would eventually go away, but now my stomach is SO distended (so distended that its disgusting. while I thought it was just bloating, idk I am starting to think maybe its just the way I am now! and it looks terrible). Like I went through periods where my stomach would be flat and stuff and the hard part is I am 93-100 lbs and 5'4 or 5'5 and I don't want to get skinnier because my arms and neck and back are already boney and I am built small to begin with.
I just wish there was something I could try, some way of eating or something until my body can heal and I can listen to it again.
Here are some symptoms I am experiencing or experience on and off:
-fatigue here and there/general lack of vigor and vitality
-dry skin on face
-extreme bloating (to the point where its hard to breathe sometimes)-oddly I have really good abs but I am just totally bloated, like there is a balloon and rocks in my stomach. It really looks like I pregnant but without the glow and the beauty of a baby beneath, instead it looks grotesque!
-a feeling as if my rib cage is going to explode
-restless sleep and occasional night sweating
-a feeling of extreme heaviness in my middle
-sometimes inability to focus my energy fully/lack of concentration
-odd look to face
-tired but difficulty sleeping and wake up at least once during night
-constant urge to urinate, sometimes it accelerates suddenly (once I even urinated in my pants :( )
-pain in groin area
-overall extreme discomfort in midsection (I know I already said this, but its so bad)
I am only 18 years old (soon to be 19--aghh that's scary) and should be experiencing prime health and vitality! I really want to do what's best for my body but just don't know. I figured if I waited raw out long enough I'd be fine, but things only seem to be getting worse and worse. I know people will say its just detox and such but I really don't think its ONLY that at this point.
Your experiences/advice/insight/support/etc. would be GREATLY appreciated. Thank you all so much in advance!!
04-10-2010, 12:12 AM
Hi Lunar*Fey -
I am so sorry you are so uncomfortable. Given the history you have discussed on here, I am wondering if you are eating enough. Your weight looks low (BMI 15.5), a healthy BMI with your health history is at minimum 20(depending on the doctor/nutritionist). Most of your symptoms sound connected to a body not getting enough nutrition. The dry skin could be lack of fats. The urination issue could be a urinary tract infection, not drinking enough water, or not paying attention to your body when you first need to urinate. Have you seen a doctor for any of this and/or talked with your parents?
04-10-2010, 12:00 PM
thanks so much for responding :) It's nice to hear from you
I eat around 2000 calories a day (ranges from like 1800-2200) and doing that is severely painful, but I force it. I always think if I have a problem a good idea is to eat more/healthier but then it only seems to complicate my digestive problems further and I wonder if I am even absorbing all that I am eating anyway when my stomach is in such discomfort. It hurts even to touch it. I don't look super boney or anything (except my arms are scrawny) but like I have gone through some changes in my body ("became a woman" a couple of days before I turned 18, my mom got her period at 17 too), then all this year have started to notice changes in my body...more hips etc. I even had horrible breast pain and thought something was wrong, turns out I am just going through growth in that area, according to the doctor. So idk if that is indicative of anything in terms of nutrition, you know, the fact that I am maturing and such rather than being held back from that. Sometimes I even think I overeat in that I push myself far past and I eat no matter how much pain I am in because I am always afraid of not eating enough. I am basically never ever hungry any more though. Sometimes I think i overeat because I am not drinking enough water too.
I don't know. I try to talk to my mom but its hard because she has no idea and is more likely to just say that I just need to "eat normally" and it would be better. Plus she just gets upset that I always have "so many problems", and I can understand that she would feel that way. I finally decided to suck it up and pay to see a Dr. He's supposed to be really good. He said I might have gastroenteritis and that he needs bloodwork done and then he will see about what I should do/what herbs to use for healing and such. But I haven't been able to get the bloodwork done yet so I am still waiting on that. In the meantime the bloating and pain is especially horrible lately so I was just wondering if anyone had any ideas/experiences or things I could just try in the meantime
04-10-2010, 12:34 PM
Good morning Lunar*Fey -
What does a typical day's intake look like for you? Please give foods, quantity and time eaten.
04-10-2010, 03:19 PM
Here's what I'll do, I'll keep a food diary for the next couple of days and then I'll post it. What and when I eat changes and also depends on what I can get ahold of foodwise/what I have in the house. I wonder if pesticide/chemical load might be a contributing factor too. I wish I lived somewhere where I could eat wild food, pick the bananas and mangos right off the tree/plant and such, you know? someday lol
thanks so much for helping!!!! :)
04-10-2010, 03:35 PM
Have you checked into fructose malabsorption? I am struggling with the same issues. I have severe IBS, and trying to find my way out of the mess. I have gas and bloating as well. While trying to find out why I couldn't tolerate so many fruit, I came on to this. Even drinking lettuce juice gave me bloating. Here is a site that gives foods that may cause bloating and gas for individuals with this problem. http://health.glam.com/blogs/healthypecom/low_fructose_diet_in_fructose_malabsorption.
Now I am trying to get my ph high enough to restore my digestion, so I can eat all raw. I can tolerate wheat grass, and spinich juice. So in the meantime, I am eating some rice and whatever I can juice and digest. Grapefruit is also low fructose.
My daily chant is I beleive. That I can recover!
04-10-2010, 08:55 PM
thanks for sending me the link. I would be sooo sad if I had this :(. Where you diagnosed with it or how did you find out you had it? How would I know for sure? argh that would be so horrible. I hope you heal quickly and things get better for you soon! :(
04-11-2010, 09:39 AM
sorry you are hurting -
sounds like a thyroid issue at the root - the calcium imbalance=osteopenia, the posture=muscle and bone issues, groin pain could be ovarian, incontinence could be either ovarian or inflammation or both, which leads us back to the thyroid/hormone regulating, brain fog=thyroid.
the liver has to metabolize all the hormone in the body, and if it is blocked, not working up to par, or diseased, you can have extreme pain and bloating in the rib area. if the pain radiates to the back on the right, it is an indicator of gall bladder. if it is mostly front, it could be liver.
have you been checked for any ovarian issues? do you do actual cleanses? do you take any supplements? do you do self-abdominal massage?
it sounds like you could have entered raw eating with some deficiencies that could be causing you to not be able to assimilate nutrients now. but i would really like to know that there is not an ovarian issue going on.
i am curious to see the food diary, too. please keep us updated!!
04-11-2010, 08:56 PM
thanks for the ideas. I considered that it might be a thyroid problem and researched it...but its so hard to tell. It could be a number of things and like the same symptoms that mean one thing could easily indicate a different problem and so on! I wish I could just figure it out. If it were a thyroid issue, I wonder what it would be exactly and what I should do about it. It could make sense since my metabolism seems to have decreased with all this.
In terms of the osteopenia, I don't know why I included that really, since my doctor said I had it about 4 or 5 years ago, before I was raw, and likely derived from a period of malnutrition I experienced when I was 14. My more recent bone scan (about a year ago) showed a small increase in bone density, and I hope that trend has continued. But who knows because in the winter I was experiencing bone pain. I seem to feel so much stronger when there is strong sunlight and warmth. Perhaps it has to do with vitamin D.
The bloating, lately, is always in the lower abdomen (colon region I would assume) and often beneath the ribs as well, basically the entire midsection. On top of that, my build=relatively small torso with long legs. Lately its really just all extremely bloated and in pain (in the front, and radiating around the right side, if you mean my anatomical right).
I have not been checked for ovarian issues. I haven't done any intense cleanses because I fear losing weight as a consequence and also not functioning optimally in classes. I sometimes will just eat fruit and green smoothies, well combined. and drink water in between. My diet is pretty clean otherwise, the only other additions would be soaked raw nuts or seeds, coconut, or avocado. Very occasionally sprouted buckwheat and rarely a larabar (though I have not eaten either of these last two within the past couple months at all). I recently ordered the "grow bone" supplement by Garden of Life, Vitamin Code. It is expensive, but I figured its worth it to try to improve my bone density while I still possibly can. Once or twice a month I will take a vegan liquid vitamin B-12 supplement from Now Foods. Otherwise, no current supps. I sometimes try massaging my abdomen. It occasionally helps ever so slightly, but not really. It also hurts, it really hurts to touch my stomach even. My stomach hurts even just sitting here.
Here is what I ate today. It's not really how I always eat but it was how it went today, because I was all over the place and its just how it worked out. What I eat may not be optimal, but I get what I can with the food available to me and my budget. I was lucky to get some organics this week (I get most of my produce from the reduced rack). Also, I know it was kind of a lot squished in late at night, like I said it was a little crazy today.
9:00 am: 1 cantaloupe (yielded about 8 cups perhaps)
12:00 I took two raw calcium supplements
12:30: 1 large ripe banana, 1 over-ripe plantain, 4 cups organic collards, 3 large stalks celery
3:30: 3 huuuge organic apples
4:30: 3 large organic apples
7:00: 2 over-ripe plantain, 4 cups organic collards, 3 cups romaine
9:00 pm: 1/2 large avocado, romaine, a little kelp powder
Total calories: approx. 2060
Also, I wanted to add that the dry skin has actually gotten a LOT better since I lowered my fat intake a little as winter ended. Perhaps it was just the winter weather. I also have purple under my eyes that was never so prominent when I was younger, but that could be factors not linked to diet.
I noticed one thing I have been consistently lacking in FDA recommended quantities is selenium. And sodium I tend to get around half of what they recommend.
04-12-2010, 11:09 AM
more questions and stuff to think about for self-care:
1. do you get acupuncture? some things you mentioned (bone pain in winter, dark circles/eyes, calcium metabolism, the groin pain) is directly related to the kidney meridian. please take a look. if you can't see an acupuncture or shiatsu practitioner for any reason, please at least gently press on these 23 points, beginning with the sole of the foot and move upward. do this a couple of times a day, especially once around 6pm http://www.yinyanghouse.com/acupuncturepoints/kidney_meridian_graphic
2. we can all eat clean, but we have to be in tune with which specific raw foods work for us. for instance, i really like apples, but if i eat them, i get incredibly bloated and feel like i might as well have eaten a burger!!! so, can't do apples. most recently, i noticed an issue with celery - which i always include in my green drinks and never noticed an issue, but when i was munching a monomeal of just celery i realized my body was really suffering! so i tried a couple more times, and celery still had that effect, so no celery for now!
3. produce off the day old bin may have some extra critters growing - this may not affect someone with a robust immune system, but in a weakened state, just use a little extra awareness...
4. calcium. you may very well not have the necessary mineral balance to assimilate the calcium you are taking. so supplemental calcium, even blends, may not be of much help if you don't have proper levels of magnesium, d, boron, etc. when you can't use calcium in your body, it will go to weak areas and store it. people who ingest calcium they can't assimilate can end up with kidney stones. also, rotate the greens - all those raw collards can inhibit calcium if you take them day after day.
5. selenium. i'm sure you already know brazil nuts are the highest source for us. and think about the standards of the RDA - they have to be a one size fits all, so may not even be appropriate for you - and if that is a case and you are low on their standards, you may be REALLY low for your own body's standards.
i hope some of this helps or gets you thinking about what to try next... it would be great if you had a holistic physician or acupuncturist who could help. please let us know how you are doing so we can continue to support you!
04-12-2010, 11:32 AM
I have not read all the replies, but I have heard of raw foodists running into issues because they need colon cleansing after being raw awhile. Have you tried a colonic?
04-12-2010, 01:10 PM
Hi Lunar*Fey -
thanks for the journal.
I have some more questions.
1) How long has this bloated feeling being going on? Is it constant? Worse sometimes than others? Has your diet changed since before it started?
2)How often are you having bowel movements? What are they like when you have them? How were they before you started having problems? Details are good here.
3) How much water do you drink and when?
4) Are you foods blended are eaten as is?
5) Are you taking any enzymes?
04-14-2010, 05:16 PM
thanks for all the info and the link! I am going to try applying pressure to these points.
I have never gotten acupuncture. The dr. I recently switched to is an acupuncturist too, so maybe if I talk to him he would let me give it a try. I have only seen him once, money is tight.
And you are right, I really need to listen to my body more. It's difficult when I love by myself without a car and am always walking back and forth to classes, it can be hard to get to the store every time I need to. Additionally, i am a college student with very little money, what I do have is going to school. Therefore its often hard to justify buying extra or more expensive foods, but I am (slowly) learning to convince myself that health and energy is more important. Sometimes I have to jsut have whatever is on the reduced produce rack. So if I end up eating 10 apples one day, I have done it even if it makes me sick, jsut because that is what I have and I don't want to be calorically deficient you know? But I know that is wrong and I need to learn to get whats best for my body at this time.
I do rotate greens to the extent that they are available to me. Mostly I eat kale, collards, celery, romaine, parsley, chicory, and lately, occasionally, dandelion since I can pick it outside on weekends. Lately I have been avoiding kale and collards due to my digestion. What do you suggest I do about the selenium?
Thanks for all your advice and info! It's helpful to hear everyone's input.
What is a colonic? I haven't tried a colon cleanse or anything. I think it def could have to do with my colon though, since that area is the most frequently swollen and pained area (lower abdomen-colon). Thanks for the idea :)
well I have been suffering with digestive issues for about 5 years now. I initially became malnourished when I completely lost my appetite and would feel physically sick every time I ate/experience debilitating stomach pain. People thought I had anorexia and my teenage life, and, to some extent, my health, basically spiraled down from there.
It seems that no matter what I eat, I experience digestive problems. Although it seems complete mono-eating helps a tiny bit. The bloating pretty much comes and goes and has done so for the past 4 or 5 years. It is much worse lately and is constant. Even when I wake up in the morning, I look like I am about to give birth and feel like there is a balloon filled with stone inside me. all the time. It is not always 100% constant, but for weeks at a time it is, especially this past week.
2. I have a BM, on average, once a day or every other day. Again this changes. Some weeks I'll not go for a few days at a time, other weeks I have multiple small BMs throughout the day. for instance lately it is the latter. Sorry for details but lately they are sort of goopey and thin-ish. They are light green with a sort of whiteish color. Sometimes there is a little like mucous sort of thing in them. When I was a younger kid i was constipated a lot.
3. water varies. I used to not drink much at all, which was not good. I found that that was probably why i was a bit spacey at times. So lately I have been trying to drink at least 10 cups a day. Trying to up that to 15 as I have found drinking more is helpful. I drink throughout the day but generally not close to a time I have eaten because it upsets my digestion to drink right after eating.
4. I forgot to say that the times when I included collards in the food diary are green smoothies. I generally have both smoothies and whole foods as is throughout the day. I find it is easier to get more calories in through smoothies so they tend to predominate.
5. Many days I take acidopholus
thanks Veganman!! :)
04-15-2010, 02:50 PM
Hi Lunar*Fey -
have you ever seen a gastroenterologist? I am thinking there is a connection between how you feel and how often you have a bowel movement. Also, the mucus and white coloring is a concern. I really think it would be good to see someone about this, as it could be related to hydrochloric acid, irritable bowel, or something else. Have you tried enzymes?
04-15-2010, 04:16 PM
Thanks Veganman, its been helpful to have someone to talk to about this. I am corresponding with my doctor about how I am feeling and he asked me to give him a call so I am going to do so and hopefully get this all figured out once and for all so I can move on and focus on living my life to the fullest :)
04-16-2010, 12:23 AM
you are quite welcome. I hope things get better soon for you. Please keep us posted.:)
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