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Dr. Jill

Distended Abdomen

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A distended abdomen has been my most frustrating and uncomfortable symptom. I'm recently gluten-free and hoping this will help, but no change yet. Anyone else have this problem? Did it get better after going gluten-free? How long did it take?

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A distended abdomen has been my most frustrating and uncomfortable symptom. I'm recently gluten-free and hoping this will help, but no change yet. Anyone else have this problem? Did it get better after going gluten-free? How long did it take?

I have noticed a direct correlation for me between milk intake and my belly size/distension. I have stopped drinking milk entirely for about 2 weeks, and within a week it was much better. I made the mistake of having a bowl of cereal last night...and my belly is hugely bloated again. I feel fine but my stomach is like 2 times the size it was the day before. I seem to be able to still eat yogurt (greek) and cheese without as much affect.

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I noticed a marked improvement almost straight away, but I did have lots of flare ups. I am still very sensitive to tummy bloat after 9 months gluten free. At first I found I was very sensitive to corn. Now, I'm okay with some products containing corn, but not others. I think it may depend, for me, on the quantity of corn in the product. I have just discovered by a nasty incident that codex 'gluten free' wheat starch (used in some prescription available food products)is also a problem for me.

Good luck, things will get better.

Blessings - FS xx

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A distended abdomen has been my most frustrating and uncomfortable symptom. I'm recently gluten-free and hoping this will help, but no change yet. Anyone else have this problem? Did it get better after going gluten-free? How long did it take?

I'm in the same boat as you. I didn't have many GI symptoms, other than the big C all of the time but the worst was that my stomach would get so distended I thought it was going to blow up and I had terrible back pain from the pressure on my other organs. I actually got stretch marks from it happening on and off for years. Anyway, I'm 3 weeks gluten-free and I think I've noticed a slight difference. But I was hoping for a miracle recovery and I've realized I have to be more realistic and patient. I think that the other poster has a good suggestion - it could very well be from another food. Elminiation diet of the common offenders could help. For me, I'm just going to give it more time. As a gluten-free vegetarian, I find eating can be challenging so it's not the right time for me to try the elimination diet.

Please post if you notice any change, or if something else worked...I'll be interested to know! ;)

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Thanks for the responses. Yes, milk has been a problem for me too so I've eliminated milk and cheese. I'm not completely dairy free though. I'm new to this so I'm going to be in a trial and error period for a while. As for the elimination diet...I'm starting that on Friday (and start a probiotic)! I'm hopeful it will have good results over time. I'll keep posting my progress.

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Yup. My belly totally flattened out on the GAPS diet after going gluten-free. I had been bloated since after having my son 11 years ago. I've been doing a gluten challenge the past 2 months and my normally flat belly is now frequently distended. I look like I'm 5 months pregnant half the time.

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Yup. My belly totally flattened out on the GAPS diet after going gluten-free. I had been bloated since after having my son 11 years ago. I've been doing a gluten challenge the past 2 months and my normally flat belly is now frequently distended. I look like I'm 5 months pregnant half the time.

I am so confused. The gluten challenge caused your belly to become frequently distended. I look more like I am 10 months preg. I am on a gluten free diet and it hasn't improved. What is this GAPS diet?

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I'm 48 and have had a belly my whole life.

I am one year gluten free.

My belly is flat...let me say that again.

My belly is FLAT!!!

And my abdominal muscles are miraculously appearing from nowhere.

Now I have an empty potato sack of skin...but I'm telling you...the belly is gone!

I hope this happens to you too.

It was an absolute miracle to find out about Celiac.

I'm so happy now I cry from joy!

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I am so confused. The gluten challenge caused your belly to become frequently distended. I look more like I am 10 months preg. I am on a gluten free diet and it hasn't improved. What is this GAPS diet?

GAPS is the Gut and Pyschology Syndrome Diet. It was based on the Specific Carbohydrated Diet.

GAPS is a protocol aimed at restoring a healthy balance of flora in the gut, and reducing gut permeability. (Leaky gut) It involves, diet, detox, and supplementation.

The diet takes a phased approach, starting only with the most nutrient dense, easily digested foods. The basis of this diet is stock made from pasture raised animals. Then it adds in naturally probiotic foods, and slowly introduces the other foods which are allowed on the diet. In about 2 years, foods which are not allowed on the diet become acceptable in moderation.

All foods are carefully sourced to be organic, pasture raised, real (not industrially processed) foods. All grains, starchy vegetables, soy and most forms of sugar are eliminated. Some honey and fruit is allowed. Many foods are soaked or fermented prior to eating them.

We supplement with fermented cod liver oil, trace minerals, and therapeutic strength probiotics, and take epsom salt baths. Some people chelate as well. According to this protocol, I should have my fillings removed and chelate, but I've not got the money for all that dental work. Sigh.

Going on gluten for my challenge really messed with my digestive system and mental health. I'll be going back on GAPS intro tomorrow, and am really looking forward to so many symptoms going away - the bloating is just one of many!

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A distended abdomen has been my most frustrating and uncomfortable symptom. I'm recently gluten-free and hoping this will help, but no change yet. Anyone else have this problem? Did it get better after going gluten-free? How long did it take?

It takes time. Everyone is different.

If you are newly DXed, you may wish to cut out dairy as it is often a secondary (and hopefully, temporary) intolerance and causes bloating, among other symptoms.

Try that before you start cutting out all kinds of foods.

Best wishes!

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Not formally diagnosed but distention is one of my biggest issues and reason for trialling gluten-free diet. I've been gluten-free for almost 3mos. I do still get occasional bloating but on a day to day basis my stomach is much flatter. It definitely took at least a month to start noticing a difference.

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I'm 48 and have had a belly my whole life.

I am one year gluten free.

My belly is flat...let me say that again.

My belly is FLAT!!!

And my abdominal muscles are miraculously appearing from nowhere.

Now I have an empty potato sack of skin...but I'm telling you...the belly is gone!

I hope this happens to you too.

It was an absolute miracle to find out about Celiac.

I'm so happy now I cry from joy!

I am so happy for you! You give me hope! Even as a small child I had a big belly. But it's so huge now that I struggle to find cloths that fit. Small shoulders and a huge belly ....

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It takes time. Everyone is different.

If you are newly DXed, you may wish to cut out dairy as it is often a secondary (and hopefully, temporary) intolerance and causes bloating, among other symptoms.

Try that before you start cutting out all kinds of foods.

Best wishes!

Thanks! I've been dairy free since the end of November. I don't get the cramps that I used to, but no change in the belly yet. I love milk and cheese, so hopefully I will be able to tolerate it in the future.

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It probably took about 3 months to really start noticing that the belly was disappearing. It can happen. In second grade I looked at all the other little girls and wondered why they had no belly and I had a huge belly. We ate the same things. I also have had a Flat butt my whole life with no muscle tone at all. Guess what girl? I have a butt now too! I look normal for the first time in my life. Still working on muscle tone, but gluten free plus Paleo is some kind of miracle for me! You hang in there...pretty soon you will be looking at a new you if gluten is the problem. It's amazing.

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It probably took about 3 months to really start noticing that the belly was disappearing. It can happen. In second grade I looked at all the other little girls and wondered why they had no belly and I had a huge belly. We ate the same things. I also have had a Flat butt my whole life with no muscle tone at all. Guess what girl? I have a butt now too! I look normal for the first time in my life. Still working on muscle tone, but gluten free plus Paleo is some kind of miracle for me! You hang in there...pretty soon you will be looking at a new you if gluten is the problem. It's amazing.

So there's potential that I could have hair (I'm at 1/4 of the hair I used to have), a flat belly, and a butt!!! Best news ever!!!! I'm forever doing squats and feel like nothing's changed. Maybe being gluten-free will help with my muscle tone too! :D:D:D

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Thanks! I've been dairy free since the end of November. I don't get the cramps that I used to, but no change in the belly yet. I love milk and cheese, so hopefully I will be able to tolerate it in the future.

I understand! I missed cheese more than I missed gluten! :) I asked my doc "what's up with the lactose? Why can some people put it back in their diets without trouble a few months after their villi heal?" He said "You answered your own question---your villi are not healed yet. You're going to take a while" ah. I was DXed late in life. I can tolerate some dairy, but not a lot in one serving or I get instant belly bloat and discomfort!

But as my friend EATMEAT4GOOD says, you'll be surprised at the changes that take place as your gut heals and you absorb food properly. Before I lost a dramatic amount of weight from malabsorption, I was overweight for 10 years and had a huge belly. No matter what diet I tried, it would not budge.

When I was emaciated from weight loss and I had lost massive muscle mass and tone, I had a flat droopy butt (that hurt so much to sit on) :( and stick legs and arms (that I could barely use or move) and believe it or not, I still had a puffed out abdomen. :blink:

Now, I have my figure back (the good one from 20 years ago :) ). Curves where they belong, a butt with some "oomph" again and an "almost" flat abdomen. I still have a ways to go though as I am rehabbing all my muscles. They took a huge hit from celiac.

But I am inspired by those who started healing before me. They tell me be patient, it will come. So, I am. :)

Hang in there! You will see changes in the coming months.

Best wishes.

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I have found that a digestive enzyme supplement has helped reduce the balloon belly, but it hasn't eliminated it. Sticking to foods which are more easily digested helps too. Funny thing is, for me the bloating only appeared after being gluten-free for quite awhile.

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So there's potential that I could have hair (I'm at 1/4 of the hair I used to have), a flat belly, and a butt!!! Best news ever!!!! I'm forever doing squats and feel like nothing's changed. Maybe being gluten-free will help with my muscle tone too! :D:D:D

Your hair should grow back! I lost a ton of hair, too. It is starting to grow back in and thicken up. It's from malabsorption and vitamin deficiencies. Make sure you have your thyroid levels checked, too, okay?

I do not know how ill you were before DX, but "forever doing squats" may not be the best thing for you right now. Your muscles may need some gentle coaxing ?

Or course, if you are in great shape, go for it, :) but if you have been ill for some time, you may need to work up to it. IMHO I tried to keep going to the gym, working out and swimming when I was ill and I made things worse. My body would not respond and I was in agonizing pain and even when I was having parasthesia, I kept pushing myself. Not good. I am starting from scratch and I am very weak. Just be careful, okay.

The people in the sports/fitness section may be better able to give you some tips! :)

Best wishes to you!

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It probably took about 3 months to really start noticing that the belly was disappearing. It can happen. In second grade I looked at all the other little girls and wondered why they had no belly and I had a huge belly. We ate the same things. I also have had a Flat butt my whole life with no muscle tone at all. Guess what girl? I have a butt now too! I look normal for the first time in my life. Still working on muscle tone, but gluten free plus Paleo is some kind of miracle for me! You hang in there...pretty soon you will be looking at a new you if gluten is the problem. It's amazing.

LOL ! My daughter asked me years ago if I held in my butt or was I born that way.

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LOL ! My daughter asked me years ago if I held in my butt or was I born that way.

:lol: ROLFL :lol:

I can relate to that!!

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Hi

I am a 52 year old guy. Distended abdomen is my main symptom with I.B.S. BUT I am not fat I eat light and work out-in fact I have a faint six pack! I used to do TONs of situps to flatten it-didnt work just built up the muscles! I look like a typical old guy with a belly till I take my shirt off.

Is been a month and am starting to see a bit of shrinkage-belt in one notch. I think it could take a year. My Dad and uncles were the same probably undiagnosed gluten intolerance.

Keep at it!

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You mean I might have a butt someday? !!! :D

:lol: ...well, you have one already, hon-- otherwise how do you sit??---or did you mean you want "some junk in your trunk"? :lol:

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Hi

I am a 52 year old guy. Distended abdomen is my main symptom with I.B.S. BUT I am not fat I eat light and work out-in fact I have a faint six pack! I used to do TONs of situps to flatten it-didnt work just built up the muscles! I look like a typical old guy with a belly till I take my shirt off.

Is been a month and am starting to see a bit of shrinkage-belt in one notch. I think it could take a year. My Dad and uncles were the same probably undiagnosed gluten intolerance.

Keep at it!

Good to know. I too am very active...a distance runner. So I'm thin and muscular, I thinks that's why the distention looks so odd and out of place. It's been a few weeks of no gluten and two months of no lactose and I'm starting to see a faint difference...or at least that what's I'm telling myself.

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:lol: ...well, you have one already, hon-- otherwise how do you sit??---or did you mean you want "some junk in your trunk"? :lol:

Oh no, some of us really have no butts. Just legs that go up to the trunk, nothing in between!

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