The Bloat Cure: 101 Natural Solutions for Real and Lasting Relief

The Bloat Cure: 101 Natural Solutions for Real and Lasting Relief

by Robynne Chutkan


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The Bloat Cure: 101 Natural Solutions for Real and Lasting Relief by Robynne Chutkan

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! 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781583335789
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/19/2016
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 348,489
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.
Cruciferous Vegetables
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

Introduction xiii

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

Index 197

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