We all see lots of magazines promising to “Beat the Bloat” or how to get a flatter tummy in ‘x’ number of days. I used to buy all of those magazines hoping to help with my bloat problem, but none ever seemed to have the answer I needed. I have personal experience with it and even with my ‘health professional’ hat on, I was still struggling with bloating.
First, I read everything I could–some “experts” blamed coffee, some blamed sugar, some suggested different diets–and I tried them all. Finally, out of frustration I turned to my doctor, who scratched his head, ran lots of tests and suggested I might have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). My frustration came from wanting answers, and they were not forthcoming overnight. Don’t get me wrong, the bloating–blowing up like I was six months pregnant–did not happen daily, but it seemed to increase in frequency. I needed answers.
One tip I did pick up is that our faster pace of life affects our eating habits. The tip was to eat slower, putting down your cutlery in-between mouthfuls. This is intended to make us chew more, so we swallow less air. As you take more time to eat your meal, your brain sends the signal that you are full (usually after 20 minutes), so you eat less. I actually lost weight!
Maybe I was slow eating too much, or maybe I was having too much coffee or alcohol. Soon, I began watching what I both ate and drank.
In a society that promotes high fiber, low-fat eating, I tried cereal for breakfast and maybe a slice of toast, a small slice of pizza with salad for lunch, and pasta for evening meal. Slowly, the penny dropped and nothing worked.
What do all these foods have in common? WHEAT!
I put my suggestion to him about wheat, which lead to more tests. There is no test yet for wheat, but I was told that there are tests for Gluten intolerance and coeliac disease–an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine. It’s a simple blood test to rule this out. Thankfully, mine was negative but I still had no answers. The bloating was becoming painful and even progressed to unpleasant adverse bowel effects. I now had two sizes of clothes: bloated and non- bloated.
One day, we had a really busy day at our house. What do you do when it’s late and you want to eat quickly? You opt for takeout. That night, we ordered a large pizza. Not only did I have bloating, but I still felt ill the next day. It was then that I realized that wheat really was the culprit. So, I told myself to stop eating wheat!
It’s not easy, but you need to try both Gluten-free products (unfortunately, not all of them are very tasty) and wheat-free.
I discovered other types of flour– spelt flour and rye flour–that have different proteins to regular flour. Corn flour, potato flour and rice flour also all have different qualities and you need to experiment with which works best for you. I now make my own bread in a machine with spelt and rye flour–very tasty, not the dry and tasteless type I had endured with Gluten-free.
Additionally, use these flours to make your own items like pizza crust and pasta. We now make corn pasta that the whole family enjoys, too. The family still orders wheat in takeouts, I just avoid bread and pasta if eating out. I also enjoy wheat-free at home without having to battle the bloat anymore.
The good news is that there are lots of tasty meals and you can eat and develop new recipes.
So, if you think this is you, give wheat-free a try (after you have ruled out all else, of course)!
[author] [author_info]About the Author
Lesley is a mother and step-grandmother who enjoys all types of writing. However, her areas of expertise are health and cooking. She has published her first ebook on pain management, using hints and tips to empower the reader to Take Control of Their Pain. When she is not writing, she is cooking something in the kitchen. Read more of her at http://www.sloanwriter.com.
Image Credit: Kevin Rosseel