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Abdominal Distention?

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:ph34r: Hi, I'm new to the forum and fairly new to the disease. For quite some time, the main problem I am having is with abdominal distention, like my belly sticks out, its not body fat, it fluctiates in size, and it NEVER goes away. It's not gas, it's not like normal bloating. It gets worse when I'm gassy or bloated, but it's just sort of ALWAYS like this. And it's been for almost a year I guess. It causes a lot of problems because it's uncomfortable, makes me really self consiece, and pulled out all the eating disorder tendencies I have always had and threw it full blown in my face. Mostly from this belly, but there'smore that Idon't need to get into cuz its a different topic to discuss with differnet people. The point is, is that the distension is cause so much problems for me, and no matter what I do, it doesn't go away. I haven't really been able to see a doctor because I don't have insurance, but I think I am going to see one soon. Not Specialist because iI cant affordd that, just my family doctor. But I see that as a symtpom EVERYWHERE, yet nobody I have talked to or asked about it has any idea what I'm talking about. I wanted to know if there's anyone else who experiences this, if anyone knows what it is or what causes it, or how to get rid of it? Out of ALL the symptoms, this one is the one that never goes away, and the one that Ijust can't cope with

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I feel your pain. I have the same problem even though I've been gluten free for almost 2 years now. I've always (up until going gluten-free) been disgustingly skinny with a HUGE belly. I think it may have something to do with nutritional deficiencies, but I'm no expert. I look like one of Sally Struthers' starving children... I still have the distended belly, but since going gluten-free have gained 40 pounds. It evens it out a little bit, but it sure is hard to find clothes to fit a 5'3" 125 lb. woman with what looks like a pregnant belly sticking out.

Any info on how to get rid of this would be greatly appreciated as I too am embarassed about my appearance.

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:blink: Hello all,

This is my first post, but I have been reading for months. I have always had the flattest stomach, even when sick. Since going gluten free in July 05 I am bloated all the time. It never goes awaycompletely. Everything I eat cause me to bloat (some more than others). I am taking a digestive enzyme that helps a little. I measure and my stomach expanded three inches after one meal. That can happen after just a tiny bit of food. Why would this be happening after going gluten free intead of before? It is bringing up all kinds of yucky feelings aroung weight and self esteem (I am thin). Feelings from past eating issues have emerged. Has anyone had this happen only after going gluten free?

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Guest kim07
:blink: Hello all,

This is my first post, but I have been reading for months. I have always had the flattest stomach, even when sick. Since going gluten free in July 05 I am bloated all the time. It never goes awaycompletely. Everything I eat cause me to bloat (some more than others). I am taking a digestive enzyme that helps a little. I measure and my stomach expanded three inches after one meal. That can happen after just a tiny bit of food. Why would this be happening after going gluten free intead of before? It is bringing up all kinds of yucky feelings aroung weight and self esteem (I am thin). Feelings from past eating issues have emerged. Has anyone had this happen only after going gluten free?

Hello loraleena! Welcome, I am a newbe to this post as well! The bloating of the stomach for me is probably the most annoying symptom of having Celiac Disease. I know there are symptoms out there that make you 'feel' worse physically like more Painful symptoms, but this symptom is hard on you emotionally.

Right before I was first diagnosed with Celiac Disease, my stomach bloated up so large, I hated it! I was always pretty small framed as well around 128-130 and I felt really self-conscious and embarassed because my stomach looked so darn huge. Now my pants are always a much larger size to accomidate the swelling of my stomach than the rest of my clothes. Its frustrated, I know how you feel. To be honest, my swelling hasn't gone down that much, but you have been gluten free for much longer than me.

This is an annoying symptom of Celiac Disease, but I would try to stop measuring yourself, just try to stay physically active to maintain your weight, and try and give yourself a break! Taking care of yourself by watching what you eat and staying off of the gluten entirely, and making sure that your eating an otherwise healthy diet is most important, in time the swelling of the stomach will go down!

Anyways, good luck and welcome,

Kim07 :)

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I know how you feel. Bloating has got to me the most aggravating of this for me. I can handle feeling sick, but I hate being bloated. I'm 5'7", about 115, yet sometimes lood 6 months pregnant.

I find that not eating gluten is the only thing that has had ANY effect on it at all. Right now, I eat pretty blandly (baked potatoes, banana with gluten-free cereal, steamed veggies, etc) and it seems to help. It's not painful anymore, which is good. I also had an eating disorder a couple of years ago, so I do have my battles with how it makes me feel, but I deal with it. B)

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I had abdominal distention really bad for a while. It takes so long to recover from this disease, so don't get too frustrated when it doesn't go away ASAP. I know what you are going through... just stick in there!!

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I am glad to hear in one sense that I am not the only one who has this but then again it is so bad I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I have been gluten-free for 3 months now and it seems like it has been years, but I still have abdominal distension pretty bad. I thought it would go away faster now that I am exercising, but my legs keep getting smaller and my stomach is still the same.

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I really started to get "better" when I eliminated processed foods from my diet. Eating fresh fruit, vegetables and good lean meat really eliminated this problem. (Yogurt as well)

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I don't know if this will work for any of you but try to stay away from ALL flour. That usually gets the best results for me..I could be wrong about this but I think what happens is that a normal small bowel looks like a series of sausages that are hollow. Each section is supposed to expand only when the one prior contracts to push food along. With a celiac they may all open up, meaning the proper contractions are not taking place..I wouldn't take that to the bank but I think it might be close to accurate.

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:ph34r: Hi, I'm new to the forum and fairly new to the disease. For quite some time, the main problem I am having is with abdominal distention, like my belly sticks out, its not body fat, it fluctiates in size, and it NEVER goes away. It's not gas, it's not like normal bloating. It gets worse when I'm gassy or bloated, but it's just sort of ALWAYS like this. And it's been for almost a year I guess. It causes a lot of problems because it's uncomfortable, makes me really self consiece, and pulled out all the eating disorder tendencies I have always had and threw it full blown in my face. Mostly from this belly, but there'smore that Idon't need to get into cuz its a different topic to discuss with differnet people. The point is, is that the distension is cause so much problems for me, and no matter what I do, it doesn't go away. I haven't really been able to see a doctor because I don't have insurance, but I think I am going to see one soon. Not Specialist because iI cant affordd that, just my family doctor. But I see that as a symtpom EVERYWHERE, yet nobody I have talked to or asked about it has any idea what I'm talking about. I wanted to know if there's anyone else who experiences this, if anyone knows what it is or what causes it, or how to get rid of it? Out of ALL the symptoms, this one is the one that never goes away, and the one that Ijust can't cope with

Being new to the gluten-free diet, it may take a while for it to go down. However, the human body *naturally* has some "abdominal distention" in the sense that it isn't flat from rib cage to illiac crest. The intestines take up space, and there may be a small bulge there as par for the course. Every body is slightly different, but depending how severe it is (and you can't really tell for yourself, unless you've objectively viewed quite a large number of normal people ;-) ), it may not be a problem. Is it different than *your* normal, is the key question to ask.

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Thanks for adressing this issue b/c I thought I was alone. I have been battling with my pregnant belly for almost a year. I been gluten-free for about 3 months and I am not sure if it even helped any. One suggestion, that my doctor made, is to stay away from dairy products. So just last week I eliminated dairy from my diet, Ill let you guys know how that goes! <_< I also had disordered eating before being diagnosed w/ celiac disease and the pregnant belly aint helping my recovery, it just contributes to my poor body image. Its weird b/c I am really skinny where in some stances you can see my ribs, but then there is that big fat belly- looks very weird :angry: But I just want to feel better, so I am trying to focus on that. Good luck guys -renee

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Hi Rae: I KNOW celiac belly bloat influenced my negative body image (feeling 'fat' at 5'4" and 105#) which kept me focussed on calories when I should have been avoiding GLUTEN. Over 19 months ago I learned I had celiac disease. Then Enterolab tests also indicated DAIRY intolerance and trying to substitute soy for dairy indicated SOY intolerance. After I tried to eliminate all 3 I had less belly bloat (plus less gas and cramping pain), but everytime I had accidental contamination, I was back to square one with belly bloat. PLEASE BE PATIENT WITH YOUR BODY. I'm not sure how long you had undiagnosed celiac disease damage, but mine was 50 years. I have not been absolutely gluten/dairy/soy free, because I've had those 'accidents', but I have MUCH less bloating than I did before I learned I had celiac disease (and then dairy and soy intolerance). I suspect the bloating is related to inflammation, malabsorption and other celiac effects on our intestines. Take digestive enzymes with every meal. Take probiotics daily. Observe what other food sensitivies (besides gluten) you might have and avoid those. Get some elastic waist, stretchy waist/tummy area clothes for really bad belly bloat days. Above all, treat you body lovingly. It has suffered enough over the years. It will heal and lose the belly bloat in its own good time.

BURDEE

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I have this problem with ANY grains and starches. If I stick to a grain-free diet (plus dairy/soy free for me too, since I'm intolerant to them), then my stomach is fine. Fruit, meat, fish, veggies, nuts and seeds. That's all I eat and I feel fantastic. Anytime I stray (gluten free bread, rice, potato) I get abdominal distention, acne, stomach trouble, lethargy... just not worth it. If I eat caveman style I can eat as much as I like and maintain a healthy weight (114 lbs, 5' 4") plus have loads of energy. :)

I have this problem with ANY grains and starches. If I stick to a grain-free diet (plus dairy/soy free for me too, since I'm intolerant to them), then my stomach is fine. Fruit, meat, fish, veggies, nuts and seeds. That's all I eat and I feel fantastic. Anytime I stray (gluten free bread, rice, potato) I get abdominal distention, acne, stomach trouble, lethargy... just not worth it. If I eat caveman style I can eat as much as I like and maintain a healthy weight (114 lbs, 5' 4") plus have loads of energy. :) However, one iota of gluten, dairy, soy, yeast, grains or starches (phew!) and the belly is back.

Burdee, your story could be mine, and we're the same height! Are you my secret twin? :lol:

Edited by cornbread

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Wow, lots of replies. Did anyone have the bloating start after going gluten free like me? I was 5'9" and 117 way to skinny, but immediately got bloated within a week of starting. I have always had a flat or even concave stomach, even at my biggest weight of 150 several years ago. I know weigh 133, and am still thin, but a good weight ( I keep telling myself that). The stomach is the same size as it was at 118 though - bloated. It sound like a lot of you have had eating disorders like me. I wonder what role this has played in our illness?! This bloating is bringing up lots of old feelings that I thought I had gotten over.

In reply to the suggestions to eat caveman and not eat processed foods, I do that mostly. I get huge bloat even from an apple or an egg. I eliminated all starches, sugar, fruits, and wheat before going gluten free ( this was an anticandida diet) That is how I lost so much weight (130 t0 117 in 2 months) I was wasting away! I need some starches. The gluten intolerance did not cause weight loss for me. I did go dairy free before the gluten diet as well. Now I only eat raw cheese and buffalo milk yogurt. Raw dairy has the enzymes still in it so you can digest it better. I only seem to have problems with regular dairy. Hopefully this will eventually go away, because I look 5 months pregnant at times!!

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So nice to see I am not in this alone. I get bloated from any kind of starch as well. Even all fruiits. so I stick to meats and vegetables and NO processed foods. Then I feel pretty alright. I also always feel so self concious of it as before all my problems started 3 years ago I had a really flat tummy. I just hope it goes away.

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Loraleena, where do you find Buffalo yogurt? Do you make it yourself?

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Wow, lots of replies. Did anyone have the bloating start after going gluten free like me? I was 5'9" and 117 way to skinny, but immediately got bloated within a week of starting. I have always had a flat or even concave stomach, even at my biggest weight of 150 several years ago. I know weigh 133, and am still thin, but a good weight ( I keep telling myself that). The stomach is the same size as it was at 118 though - bloated. It sound like a lot of you have had eating disorders like me. I wonder what role this has played in our illness?! This bloating is bringing up lots of old feelings that I thought I had gotten over.

In reply to the suggestions to eat caveman and not eat processed foods, I do that mostly. I get huge bloat even from an apple or an egg. I eliminated all starches, sugar, fruits, and wheat before going gluten free ( this was an anticandida diet) That is how I lost so much weight (130 t0 117 in 2 months) I was wasting away! I need some starches. The gluten intolerance did not cause weight loss for me. I did go dairy free before the gluten diet as well. Now I only eat raw cheese and buffalo milk yogurt. Raw dairy has the enzymes still in it so you can digest it better. I only seem to have problems with regular dairy. Hopefully this will eventually go away, because I look 5 months pregnant at times!!

Hey Loraleena

I believe this illness had everything to do with my eating disorder. Before celiac disease, I never cared about how much food I was eating nor did I care about my weight (b4 i was 5'0 at 115, during my ed 98, but now i am 103) When my stomach started feeling crappy, thats when I started unhealthy eating habits and becoming uncomfortable with my body. It really sucks that at my age I am worrying so much about something so stupid as my body image. When I was younger I felt so comfotable in my skin, but now I am very self-conscious. This really sucks- I feel like crap and in my eyes I look like crap. Anyone experiencing this?

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I was bloated some before I was diagnosed as celiac along with many other symptoms. But now that I am gluten free, if I get cross contaminated or accidently glutened, I bloat out horribly, way worse than before. I'm not thin, I'm about 165 lbs and 5'7" so I have a belly, but when this happens I also stick out 3 to 4 inches extra. I cannot fit into my normal clothes and it seems to take almost 2 weeks to go back down for me. Extremely hard to deal with since I work in a retail store. Someone mentioned taking digestive enzymes, will this help me? When I asked my gastro 7 months ago when diagnosed he said enzymes weren't necessary.

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Loraleena, where do you find Buffalo yogurt? Do you make it yourself?

You can find buffalo yogurt at Whole Foods. Also the company is called Woodstock and is in Vermont. Just type in Woodstock buffalo yogurt and you'll find the site. You can order it. The best is the maple flavor.

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You can find buffalo yogurt at Whole Foods. Also the company is called Woodstock and is in Vermont. Just type in Woodstock buffalo yogurt and you'll find the site. You can order it. The best is the maple flavor.

Thank you so much, although I just got my Enterolab results today and am definitely casein sensitive. :(

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Hey Loraleena

I believe this illness had everything to do with my eating disorder. Before celiac disease, I never cared about how much food I was eating nor did I care about my weight (b4 i was 5'0 at 115, during my ed 98, but now i am 103) When my stomach started feeling crappy, thats when I started unhealthy eating habits and becoming uncomfortable with my body. It really sucks that at my age I am worrying so much about something so stupid as my body image. When I was younger I felt so comfotable in my skin, but now I am very self-conscious. This really sucks- I feel like crap and in my eyes I look like crap. Anyone experiencing this?

I don't feel it cause my eating disorder. I never had stomach problems until after the eating disorder. I wonder if the damage I did to my body could have triggered the gluten intolerance. Either that or my pregnancy. Thats when the stomach stuff started. Followed by a cascade of other unexplained illnesses. My first dabblings in eating disorders started at 13 when I first developed hips! It became full blown in college. At 35 I had been feeling ok about my body for some time. This bloating and rapid weight gain (even though I needed to gain it back -stopped getting periods because so skinny), has made me feel gross.!

My boyfriend thinks I am thin and that I look great. He doesn't get why I feel this way. Its the old ghosts coming back to haunt me.

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I don't feel it cause my eating disorder. I never had stomach problems until after the eating disorder. I wonder if the damage I did to my body could have triggered the gluten intolerance. Either that or my pregnancy. Thats when the stomach stuff started. Followed by a cascade of other unexplained illnesses. My first dabblings in eating disorders started at 13 when I first developed hips! It became full blown in college. At 35 I had been feeling ok about my body for some time. This bloating and rapid weight gain (even though I needed to gain it back -stopped getting periods because so skinny), has made me feel gross.!

My boyfriend thinks I am thin and that I look great. He doesn't get why I feel this way. Its the old ghosts coming back to haunt me.

I agree with this. The majority of my GI problems didn't start til after my stay in treatment. I wouldn't be surprised if the hell that I put my body through caused some of these problems to arise. I also feel the bad thoughts coming back sometimes--you're told for so long to accept your body and convince yourself you are happy and comfortable with it, but then you feel like you're own body is turning against you after you tried so hard to overcome it.

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I have this problem with ANY grains and starches. If I stick to a grain-free diet (plus dairy/soy free for me too, since I'm intolerant to them), then my stomach is fine. Fruit, meat, fish, veggies, nuts and seeds. That's all I eat and I feel fantastic. Anytime I stray (gluten free bread, rice, potato) I get abdominal distention, acne, stomach trouble, lethargy... just not worth it. If I eat caveman style I can eat as much as I like and maintain a healthy weight (114 lbs, 5' 4") plus have loads of energy. :) However, one iota of gluten, dairy, soy, yeast, grains or starches (phew!) and the belly is back.

Burdee, your story could be mine, and we're the same height! Are you my secret twin? :lol:

Make that triplets. I think this fits me, too. When I was sticking to a very strict no-grain, no dairy diet, my abs were wonderfully flat and well developed due to my workouts. After so many years of looking like a pregnant refugee, I was elated. Even planned to get my belly button pierced to celebrate.

Because I was feeling so well, I gradually started eating a lot of sugary, carby crap again and am now back where I started. I'm hoping to get back to that flat belly by bikini season.

P.S. I'm 5'3" and currently about 115.

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just read this and have to add my 2 cents--

my whole life i have had long skinny limbs and a big bloated belly! i still have it, even now that i am (mainly) gluten free. when i lose control and eat gluten, though, my belly swells way up for days (like today-- could not resist the pastries and xmas goodies yesterday at work).

in addition, it is uncanny to me how many of us celiacs either have or have had eating disorders. (i am in that camp as well.) i wonder what the relationship could be-- how they are correlated, or if one can cause the other... i looked for some scientific research on this topic, but i couldn't really find any.

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just read this and have to add my 2 cents--

my whole life i have had long skinny limbs and a big bloated belly! i still have it, even now that i am (mainly) gluten free. when i lose control and eat gluten, though, my belly swells way up for days (like today-- could not resist the pastries and xmas goodies yesterday at work).

in addition, it is uncanny to me how many of us celiacs either have or have had eating disorders. (i am in that camp as well.) i wonder what the relationship could be-- how they are correlated, or if one can cause the other... i looked for some scientific research on this topic, but i couldn't really find any.

Wow, if you are celiac, you really shouldn't be eating that stuff at all. You will only continue to damage your body. I can't imagine cheating. when I have an accidental glutening, I get chills, fever , nausea, shakes, rapid heartrate and feel like hell. No food is worth that!!

Anyway, it is weird how many of us have or had eating disorders. Someone should do research on that!!

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