One of my clients literally felt like she was 5 months pregnant as a result of severe bloating after eating meals.
Not only was this affecting how she looked (try wearing a fitting dress or tight jeans when you blow up like a balloon after meals!), it also caused stomach pain and discomfort.
She had been dealing with this for a long time and could actually trace the start of her symptoms back to a severe case of food poisoning while on vacation in Malaysia years earlier.
Antibiotics had helped a few times but it was usually only a short while before digestive symptoms returned. She had noticed that travel made things worse and that certain meals were more aggravating than others but she had not been able to identify exact trigger foods.
By the time she spoke to me she was desperate. After 5 years of dealing with bloating and reacting to food she was ready to get to the root cause and finally resolve her digestive issues and feel normal again.
Most people occasionally feel bloated and gassy especially after eating certain foods (remember the rhyme: “beans, beans the musical fruit, the more you eat the more you toot?”). When bloating becomes excessive and when you deliberately start wearing clothes that can expand along with your belly, you have a problem. A problem that points at underlying digestive imbalances that need to be resolved.
Expats and frequent travellers are especially susceptible to digestive issues because of frequent transitions, the related stress and overwhelm and exposure to new environments, hygiene conditions, climates and food.
Many of my clients can in fact trace the onset of their digestive symptoms to a relocation, or a case of food poisoning. As was the case with my client.
What we did was shift her to a 30-day diet low in fermentable sugars (aka carbohydrates). The combined elimination of foods such as legumes, grains, dairy and sugar and other inflammatory foods such as refined vegetable seed oils and processed foods quickly helped resolve her bloating. After the 30-day elimination diet we reintroduced certain foods one by one while closely monitoring her symptoms to help identify her unique trigger foods.
After working with her for 3 months she was feeling great, no longer bloated, back to her ideal weight and able to wear her favorite jeans to dinner.
I would like to point out that digestive issues can have many different underlying causes and things aren’t always as straightforward but diet is always a perfect place to start.
So if you are bloating up like a balloon after meals, try reducing your intake of carbohydrates like the ones I mentioned. After a period of 30 days, begin to reintroduce the foods you miss the most, one by one, while noting any reactions. If a particular food causes you to feel bloated, you know you need keep it out of your diet until you have fully healed and repaired your digestive system.
If you need help getting this handled, get in touch here and let’s see if I can help.
P.s. If you’re like me and were traveling away from your expat home this summer, travel belly can rear its ugly head. Here’s where you can read more about that.