I'm 4 months Paleo. My diet consists of poultry, eggs, meats, veggies and fruits. I don't eat enough seafood, but working on it. Currently in my life I have a lot of extra stress and don't know when things are going to cool down. However, I've noticed I'm looking bloaty even though none of my clothes fit (everything's huge on me now) and the number on the scale is smaller than it's ever been before. My measurements are smaller, so I've lost weight but I just want to know why I look so bloated? Is it the stress? Or could I have food intolerances? I almost don't want to know I have food intolerances because I'm still really trying to perfect eating Paleo and getting enough balance of fat and protein. So to take something out or change this here, might really confuse me. Can anyone help?
Stress can definitely affect your digestion (and thus bloating). Just think how when you're in a hyper-stressful situation how your belly feels. The saying that you have butterflies in your stomach when your nervous.
I was fit and 'healthy' before finding and going paleo, the most revealing part of this journey for me has been the realisation that we're not just a bag of connected organs and tissues all doing there separate functions, but an extremely complex integrated system.
How is your sleep? If you're not getting enough sleep or sleep quality is poor this will add to your stress (cortisol) levels, and then you're just in for a downward spiral. i.e. can't sleep well due to stress, can't rectify cortisol issues due to lack of sleep.
Stress can increase corstol release which can contribute to extra belly fat and may cause your kidneys to hoard salt which would cause you to retain water and feel bloated. Can't say for sure that that's your problem, it is could be reasonable. Try to get more sleep if you can and see if that helps.
Stress can cause so many things.
Still, I think its more likely that you have too low of stomach acid and/or various digestive enzymes to be able to digest all the protein in a Paleo diet. This is quite common.
You might want to try some HCL and see if that helps.
Oh and stress lowers the amount of stomach acid you produce so... vicious cycle.
I always feel bloated when I'm stressed. Probably due to those short, shallow breaths I take when I'm under pressure along with cortisol levels that are likely through the roof.
I'd have to say that plenty of high quality sleep helps more than anything. This is something I had heard my entire life but never believed it (or took it seriously) until I started reading PaleoHacks. Really, that is one of the best things I've learned on here.
Short answer: yes! I've been struggling with this for about a year. My bloating is gas (non-odorous) and I burp a lot. I would recommend trying out acupuncture as not only is it good for stress, it can also identify underlying "imbalances" that you can sort out.
In Chinese medicine stress creates the largest burden on the liver. Liver qi "stagnation" results from stress and this will make you feel bloated and often as if you have a ball of air or pressure right underneath your ribs. It can also give you back ache, shoulder ache etc. As far as my own experience goes, the bloating has nothing to do with diet as it's random and can be there after certain foods some times and then not the next time I eat it. Deep breathing, yoga etc can help... unless the bloating is retained water, not gas? In any case, I would recommend checking out alternative medicine, as this is something conventional doctors do not seem to address.
I would also second Rhubarb's comment that "we're not just a bag of connected organs and tissues all doing there separate functions, but an extremely complex integrated system." Amen to that. Also, when you are stressed and lots of cortisol and adrenaline are being released, your digestion basically stops. Adrenaline tells your body that something more important is going on, and that can lead to bloating and trapped gas as the stomach and intestinal muscles basically stop.
IF it makes you feel better I am having the same problem. I keep losing weight on the scale but my tummy looks like it is expanding! Before eating Paleo, I was intaking a lot of Sugar and my doctor and dietitian said I have an intolerance to Candida which is a yeast that is feeding off of sugar and carbs. The Yeast keeps feeding and expanding, so my tummy looks bloated and is hard. So hopefully by eliminating that and essentially being Paleo my tummy will start to go down, but I have yet to see those results. I ran into this Post because I too have an enormous amount of stress currently, So I wonder if that is the real problem here.
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