Tummy Wars: Bloat & Gas vs. Stress Poops?
Does this Sound Familiar?
After a long day of work filled with meetings, rushing around and not really eating a decent lunch, I finally get home from picking the kids up from day care and grab some crackers, chips or whatever fruit is nearby in the kitchen to start snacking. The rumble in my tummy sets off a frenzy to snack while I prepare dinner. Within an hour I am sitting down and ready to eat with my husband and two children. We say a prayer of thanks for our food and then we dig in.
I am happy to connect with everyone and hear about their day. We have a tradition in my home, and we ask the same questions each night as we eat: What was the best part of your day? What was the worst part of your day? How did you help someone else today? How was God evident in your life?
As we discuss these questions, it can sometimes get noisy and chaotic with young children at the table. It's exactly the most peaceful meal but we do our best to enjoy each other’s company.
The meal is over in about 15 minutes (it amazes me that it takes roughly 1 hour to prepare the meal and my crew only a few minutes to eat it?!?) and then everyone participates in clearing plates and cleaning the kitchen. Within 20 minutes or so, I will start to feel the expansion of my belly filling with air. The dreaded bloat and gas will soon be upon me. It is uncomfortable and will last for the next few hours and will hopefully subside by the time I go to sleep. Why do I look 2 months pregnant after I eat every night??
That was me and my digestive system for MANY years and still plagues me to this day, although I have gotten MUCH better. Gas, bloating, chronic constipation and abdominal pain post meals is NOT normal and is a sign of a deep imbalance in the digestive system. I would sometimes turn to Gas-X or Beano which only provided temporary relief. I was not at the source of the issue.
What I did not realize at the time is that I had too much internal dryness in my digestive system and I needed to heal that on a deeper level in order to rid myself of chronic gas and bloating. I also did not recognize that the pace of my life and not slowing down to have regular, peaceful meals was wreaking havoc on my internal system.
Or maybe this sounds more familiar….
Bloating, constipation and gas isn’t your issue, instead it’s the loose stool dilemma. Interestingly enough, I have suffered from both intense internal dryness AND TOO MUCH HEAT in the GI tract. Too much intensity and heat in the digestive system can look like:
Eating certain foods that aggravate the system and trigger loose stools
Hearing bad news or dealing with heavy stress loads at work or in your personal life that cause “stress poops”
Dealing with hemorrhoids on a regular basis
Getting hangry and shaky when too much time passes between meals
Eating spicy, fried or difficult to digest foods that triggers acid reflux or a burning sensation in the upper small intestine area
Drinking too much caffeine, alcohol or anything else that heats up the digestive system
Since it has been scientifically proven that 80% of our immune system is found in our gut, we want to get our digestion working optimally. If we want radiant health, we have to heal our digestive systems – there is no way around this truth.
How to Heal it?
An initial step towards healing your digestive system is quite simple but often difficult to implement. Ready for it….
The next time you prepare to eat, make sure you are sitting down in a peaceful environment. Take a deep breath and give thanks for the food in front of you and slowly and peacefully eat.
And if you are not doing this, simply notice the patterns you are caught up in. Do you eat on the go? Are you standing while you eat? Are kids and family members being loud and distracting you at every meal? Is it possible to eat at least one meal a day in a quiet, peaceful environment? What kind of mental and emotional energy do you have as you eat?
Your answers to these questions affect the process of digestion.
Making small changes often start by simply noticing what you are doing now.
Healing digestion is a big undertaking that takes time and a lot of patience. Start with experimenting with the small habit of eating one meal a day in a quiet/peaceful environment.
You might start to notice something new about yourself.