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The must-have A to Z manual to banish your bloat for good, from the author of Gutbliss and The Microbiome Solution
If you’re bloated and looking for relief, you’ve come to the right place. In her medical practice The Digestive Center for Women, Dr. Robynne Chutkan has helped thousands of women get back into their skinny jeans, and she can do the same for you. Understanding what’s behind your suffering is the key to deflating for good. The Bloat Cure helps you identify the root cause of your bloat, whether it’s the artificial sweeteners in your sports drink, the cough medicine you’re taking, an undetected thyroid problem, or one of the other 101 common causes.
Once you pinpoint your condition, Dr. Chutkan offers a clear plan of action to stop whatever’s triggering it, rehabilitate your system, and get your GI tract running like a well-oiled machine. Get ready for immediate relief and start feeling like yourself again!
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Robynne Chutkan, M.D., is one of the most recognizable gastroenterologists working in America today. Dr. Chutkan has a B.S. from Yale and an M.D. from Columbia, and is a faculty member at Georgetown University Hospital and the founder of the Digestive Center for Women. An avid snowboarder, marathon runner, and Vinyasa yoga practitioner, she is dedicated to helping her patients live not just longer, but better, lives.
Read an Excerpt
If you’re bloated and looking for solutions, you’ve come to the right place. In my gastroenterology practice, the Digestive Center for Women, I’ve helped deflate thousands of women and get them comfortably back into their skinny jeans—and chances are I can do the same for you.
From air swallowing to yeast infections and everything in between, there’s always a reason for why you’re bloated. Some require just a simple fix, such as switching to a cough medicine that doesn’t contain codeine, giving an underactive thyroid a little bloat-busting boost, or identifying a soy allergy that’s filling you up with gas. Others are more complex, such as figuring out how to repair a damaged intestinal lining that might be leaking, rebalancing out-of-whack gut bacteria, or speeding up transit time through a sluggish colon. Understanding all the different factors that conspire to bloat you—and having a toolbox of integrative solutions to deal with them—is the key to banishing your bloat for good.
Most of the things that bloat you are benign and fixable, but knowing the signs and symptoms of more worrisome causes that require immediate medical attention is also important. You’ll find essential information about those serious sources of bloating here, too.
The good news is you’re just a few pages away from identifying the root cause of your bloating. By the time you get to the end of this book, you should be as flat as a pancake. Let’s get started!
It’s normal to swallow a little air when you eat or drink, especially if you’re drinking carbonated beverages such as seltzer, beer, soda, or champagne. But as the day progresses, if you feel like the Michelin Woman and fantasize about deflating your stomach with a pin (not a good idea!), you may be swallowing large amounts of air on a regular basis—a condition called aerophagia, which can lead to a massive buildup of gas in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract and major bloating.
Aerophagia is incredibly common but very underdiagnosed, and it’s frequently confused with conditions such as ulcers, gallstones, and bacterial overgrowth that can also cause abdominal discomfort and bloating. Most people with aerophagia complain of three main symptoms: bloating, burping, and a tense, distended stomach that feels like an overinflated tire. If you have chronic sinus problems, a deviated septum, or a history of allergies or asthma, you may be a mouth breather rather than nose breather, which predisposes you to aerophagia. Chewing gum, sucking on hard candy, smoking, eating too quickly, talking when you’re eating, drinking lots of liquids with your meals, or holding your breath when you’re anxious can all cause aerophagia.
Eventually most of the air you’ve swallowed will get burped up or make its way through your GI tract and exit via the other end, but not without causing a lot of bloat in between.
If you’re bloated and think you may have aerophagia, try these tips:
• Spit out the gum and hard candy.
• Eat slowly and mindfully.
• Don’t talk on the phone while eating.
• Save drinking liquids for the beginning or end of the meal.
• Drink flat, not bubbly, water and beverages.
• Try some meditation if you feel anxious.
• Practice taking deep breaths that expand your lungs, not your stomach.
• If you’re still feeling bloated, a speech pathologist may help you identify whether the problem is related to your speech, swallowing, or breathing patterns.
Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills (BCPs) contain various forms of estrogen that can be very bloating. If you’re on a high-estrogen BCP, deflating your midsection may be extremely challenging due to fluid and salt retention as well as weight gain. These pills are associated with insulin resistance, a condition that can interfere with your ability to lose weight, especially if you eat a lot of carbohydrates.
If you already have a tendency toward insulin resistance or are prediabetic, you may be more likely to become bloated and gain weight from BCPs.
Weight gain of more than 5 percent of your total body weight after starting BCPs may be a sign of insulin resistance and should prompt a discussion with your doctor about a glucose tolerance test to diagnose it. Using an alternative nonhormonal form of birth control or choosing a BCP with the lowest amount of estrogen possible makes sense if bloating, weight gain, or insulin resistance is an issue. Ironically, going off BCPs can lead to temporary bloating and constipation due to ovulation starting again, especially if you’ve been on the pill for a long time.
All gas and bloating is not created equal. Beans and cruci ferrous vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and broccoli contain potent cancer-fighting compounds and lots of healthy fiber, but they also contain a starch called raffinose that your body can’t fully break down and digest. Bacteria in your colon ferment raffinose and produce methane, which you may experience as bloating accompanied by smelly gas. This is what I consider good gas, though, because it’s accompanied by the health benefits that eating those foods confer.
I never recommend completely eliminating the “good gas” foods, because they contain lots of nutrients, but here are some things you can do to cut down on your gas when eating them:
• If you haven’t been eating foods such as broccoli, kale, and cauliflower, start with a small amount and gradually increase your serving size to let your body get acclimated to them.
• Add lemon juice to your good-gas veggies to stimulate digestive enzymes.
• Soak dried beans overnight before cooking.
• Avoid canned beans, which tend to cause more gas and may also contain a chemical called bisphenol A in the can lining, which has been linked to cancer and other conditions.
• Cook beans with a sea vegetable such as kombu (found at Asian markets and health food stores), which makes them more digestible because it contains the enzyme needed to break down raffinose.
• Take Beano or Bean-zyme at the start of a meal; both contain a plant-derived enzyme that breaks down raffinose.
• Eat a pinch (about ⅛ teaspoon) of fennel seeds or chew on a stalk of raw fennel at the end of a meal to benefit from its gas-reducing oils. You can also make fennel tea by steeping a teaspoon of crushed seeds or fresh fennel bulbs in a cup of boiling water for ten minutes, or you can add it to salads or cooked dishes.
Table of Contents
1 Acid Blockers 1
2 Aerophagia 3
3 Alcohol 5
4 Anatomical Differences 7
5 Anismus 10
6 Antibiotics 13
7 Appendectomy 21
8 Artificial Sweeteners 23
9 Ascites 25
10 Belly Fat 26
11 Birth Control Pills 29
12 Bowel Obstruction 31
13 Caffeine 33
14 Cancer 35
15 Candida 36
16 Carbonated Drinks 38
17 Celiac Disease 39
18 Chronic Intestinal Pseudo-obstruction 42
19 Clostridium Difficile 44
20 Codeine 46
21 Colitis 47
22 Collagenous Colitis 48
23 Colonic Inertia/Dysmotility 50
24 Constipation 52
25 Crohn's Disease 56
26 Cruciferous Vegetables 58
27 Dairy 60
28 Dehydration 62
29 Depression 64
30 Diabetes 65
31 Diverticulosis 66
32 Diverticulitis 68
33 Dysbiosis 69
34 Eating Disorders 73
35 Ectopic Pregnancy 74
36 Endometriosis 75
37 Estrogen Dominance 77
38 Fatty Foods 79
39 Fatty Liver 80
40 Fibroids 82
41 Fructose Malabsorption 84
42 Gallbladder Problems 86
43 Gastroparesis 88
44 Genetically Modified Food 91
45 Giardia 93
46 Gluten Sensitivity 95
47 Helicobacter Pylori 97
48 Hepatitis 99
49 High-Fiber Diet 100
50 Hormone Replacement Therapy 102
51 Hysterectomy 103
52 Infection 105
53 Inflammation 106
54 Interstitial Cystitis 108
55 Irritable Bowel Syndrome 110
56 Lactose Intolerance 112
57 Late-Night Eating 114
58 Laxatives 116
59 Leaky Gut 118
60 Low-Fiber Diet 122
61 Lymphocytic Colitis 124
62 Meat 125
63 Megacolon 127
64 Menopause 129
65 Menstruation 131
66 Microscopic Colitis 133
67 Multiple Sclerosis 135
68 Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs 136
69 Opiates 137
70 Ovarian Cancer 138
71 Ovarian Cysts 139
72 Pancreatic Cancer 140
73 Pancreatitis 141
74 Parasites 143
75 Pelvic Inflammatory Disease 146
76 Polycystic Ovary Syndrome 147
77 Pregnancy 149
78 Processed Food 150
79 Radiation 152
80 Rectocele 154
81 Salt 156
82 Scar Tissue 157
83 Sedentary Lifestyle 159
84 Sexually Transmitted Diseases 160
85 Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth 162
86 Smoking 165
87 Soda 167
88 Soy 169
89 Sports Drinks 171
90 Steroids 172
91 Stomach Cancer 174
92 Stress 175
93 Sugar 178
94 Surgery 181
95 Thyroid Problems 183
96 Ulcerative Colitis 185
97 Urinary Tract Infections 187
98 Uterine Cancer 189
99 Wheat Allergy 191
100 Yeast Overgrowth 192
101 Z-Pak 194