Do You or Someone You Know Experience Bad Bloating/swelling?

Updated on July 19, 2010
I.T. asks from Bakersfield, CA
8 answers

I wake up with my normal pooch (looking about 2 months pregnant) and by evening, sometimes as soon as I eat, I look like I'm 6 months pregnant. I have been complaining to my doc- have had labs run, and have attempted to treat with pills (omeprazole and ranitidine) nothing has worked...:(

Id love to hear from those with similar experiences- especially if they've ever been diagnosed/cured.

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answers from San Francisco on

My daughter experiences bloating to the degree that she has been offered seats on the bus by people who thought she was pregnant. After lots of tests and doctors, she was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and GERD (severe acid reflux). The constipation from the IBS aggravates the GERD and visa versa. As do several other posters, she takes omeprazal every day for the GERD. For a long time she also took Metroclopramide before each meal (helps speed movement of food from stomach). She also takes Acacia fiber mixed with water before each meal; this is a gentle, soluble fiber that really helps with intestinal cramps and bloating (see She also periodically take probiotics. For diet, she focuses on soluble fiber foods (produce less bloat-causing gas), drinks lots and lots of water, avoid sodas, limits fatty foods, red meat and cheese. Her symptoms are now under control and the bloating mainly happens when her schedule is disrupted (travel, finals, and such). So now she has to stand up on the bus!

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answers from Boston on

YES YES I HAVE. Oh my gosh. I went through 3 primary care docs and a gastroenterologist before realizing I had to do my own research. I know the feeling of being so bloated you feel pregnant. Sometimes I would vomit in the evening it was so bad. One time I had to go to the hospital for a partial small bowel obstruction. Most painful thing ever, by the way. I have 2 suggestions for you and I really hope you will take them. The first is to rule out Ovarian Cancer (if your doctor hasn't already done so). The second is to check one of the following two books (or both!): The Fourfold Path to Healing, Dr. Thomas Cowan; and Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon. The former is a naturopathic/holistic reference for all kinds of medical conditions. THe latter is by far the best book on nutrition ever written. Creating the right gut ecology is first and foremost. Either one of those books will help you understand how to do that. Microbes are your friends! Let them get rid of the bloat for you and you won't need those meds (they don't work anyway, right?!). Resist the temptation of taking Pepto or Tums, they will make things worse in the long run. best of luck. Personal message me if you want to chat about it, I've been there.

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answers from San Francisco on

Do you also have swelling in your ankles and legs? Or is it just your abdominal area? I had swelling everywhere and dismissed it as "being pregnant" but that, along with other symptoms that were misdiagnosed as other issues individually, when all put together was preeclampsia with a side helping of HELLP syndrome. It was the cause for my daughter's premature birth. I was treated for a urinary tract infection (because they found protein in my urine) that I didn't have, I was prescribed Tylenol for my lower back and abdominal pains, and the swelling... they told me to put my feet up. They also discovered my blood pressure was kinda high but they didn't put all the pieces together and I didn't know these illness even existed.

Two weeks later the pain was unbearable and my pee was brown because my kidneys and liver were failing and I was rushed to the ER at four am for an emergency c-section.

Any swelling scares the bajebus out of me now.

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answers from Portland on

I've had a similar experience. After the first round of tests that were negative I was referred to an allergist, With scratch tests, I learned that I have several food allergies. I'd already found that I was lactose intolerant. By avoiding diary products and the foods to which I'm allergic I've been bloated less often.

I was also eventually diagnosed with IBS, irritable bowel syndrome, which also causes an upset stomach, diarrhea or constipation, and bloating. I also have GERD which is greatly helped by taking omeprazole. If omeprazole doesn't help there are other medications which require a prescription that might help.

Diagnosing the cause of digestive issues is complicated and takes time. During the process I had several tests and tried different medications. Hang in there and you and your doctor will eventually figure it out.

Now that I'm retired, my daughter is grown, and I have less stress. I'm mostly free of irritable bowel. Every once in awhile I deal with an upset stomach and diarrhea but not very often. I am able to eat cheese and yogurt. When I eat ice cream I take a supplement that makes my symptoms tolerable. The little discomfort I have is worth eating ice cream. I still take omeprazole daily for GERD and an acid stomach.
I also take an anti-depressant which also influences how my digestion system works. I also take probiotics which makes a positive difference.



answers from Seattle on

Another vote for trying to do without dairy for 6 weeks. I had huge bloating/cramping issues, though I never considered myself dairy intolerant, but once my Naturopath put me on a no-dairy diet to see if it would help my asthma, I noticed a tremendous reduction in bloating.
I'm now slowly adding some yoghurt/cheese back, but staying on the soy milk for now. Can't hurt to also try some probiotics (find them at your supplement store, they need to be refrigerated). Good luck!



answers from Sacramento on

I agree with getting tested for dairy/lactose allergies. My sister has had a similar problem and has fixed it by eliminating dairy. I would also have your doctor run tests for celiacs (an allergy to wheat and gluten). You have to be pushy with docs because they just seem like they can't be bothered.



answers from Minneapolis on




answers from San Francisco on

I second getting tested for celiac disease. My daughter looked like a little Budha with chicken legs before her Celiac diagnosis. Bloating is one of the more common symptoms of celiac disease. Google celiac symptoms and see what you find. Also ask your doctor to refer you to a GI doctor. Oh and untreated celiac can cause lactose intollerance and just a general carbohydrate intollerance because of damage to the small intestine which can go away with a gluten free diet.

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