Friday, September 11, 2009

IBS pain/bloating

So, getting my gallbladder removed truly made a huge difference in my life. The biggest one is that my chronic constipation is gone. The next is that my list of forbidden foods is significantly shorter.

Unfortunately, with POTS and EDS messing up my digestion, I still do have abdominal pain and bloating about half the days. My theory is that due to my dysphagia, I probably swallow a lot more air than I need to when I eat and drink. It makes sense, because I often inhale my food or water. This is another flaw of the same mechanism. I also strongly believe, after a year of food journaling, that for the most part, it doesn't matter what I eat! I already avoid foods high in fat. And I still follow some of my old rules about how to eat insoluble fiber safely.

If I liked tea, I know that fenell tea would help me greatly. Since I can't stand it, I do take fennel capsules (from a vitamin store) when the bloating is severe.

In addition, I always know that a heating pad can really help reduce the pain of intestinal spasms or bloating. And my gas pains can be quite severe.

So, I'm writing to say that I've found a couple additional methods of relieving abdominal bloating pain. They work for me, but I make no promises that they will work for you.

#1 Abdominal massage. You can google this to learn more about it. But really, it is what is sounds like. When you have trapped gas, it often feels like a very hard and tender spot in your abdomen. It really helps to relax your abdominal muscles and massage these spots. But there are specific ways to do it. There's a good demonstration video on YouTube:

#2 Yoga. Certain yoga positions are really, truly beneficial for bloating. They can be done right after meals, if you've eaten too much, or you feel the bloating coming on. They can also be done whenever else you feel bloating pain. The main poses that are helpful include bends, twists, and inversions. Here are a couple of links about yoga for digestion:
I really think these methods are helpful. They are just so logical. If you keep your abdomen sedentary, it will take a lot longer for the gas to dissipate. If you move your core around in different positions, you are bound to help things get moving in there. Even if you can't get rid of all of the gas or pain, there should be a noticeable improvement. If not, at least it was worth a try.

Hope this is helpful to someone. I know it has become of useful part of my daily routine. With medications, you often can't tell if they are helping or not. But these methods seem to show drastic improvements, almost immediately. These can also help you avoid needing to take extra medications for stomach upset (although sometimes, nothing beats MiraLax!)

*I am not a doctor. This is not a substitute for actual medical advice. Just some extra things you can try to make your life a bit easier. If they don't help, make sure to talk to your doctor!