Tummy Troubles

I have some serious tummy troubles.  Sad smile

They’ve been going on for about 5 years, and it’s impossible to tell when they’ll flare up or why they occur.

I’ve been to several specialists, been tested for allergies, had a colonoscopy (worst experience EVER!), and taken countless medications.

I’ve tried herbal remedies, prescriptions, and over the counter meds.  I’ve eaten Tums and Rolaids like candy.  I’ve changed my diet.  And changed it again.

Sometimes, one “cure” will help one time, and the next it’s useless.  The same goes for food.  I could eat oatmeal every morning, prepared the exact same way every day of my life.  One day, I’d be fine.  The next, a huge mess.

Oooh, and sometimes, I get this awesome Buddha belly thing going on.  That’s super hot.

buddha

I do not look nearly this happy when this happens.

Over time, none of the doctor recommended remedies have done much of anything for me.  And strangely, none of these doctor types seem to be able to give me any explanation as to why this is happening.  Super frustrating?  You bet.

With a generic diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), I have yet to find a doctor who can explain the cause or find a reasonable course of treatment that actually works.  By and large, this means I’m on my own.

After much trial and error, I have found a few things that do seem to help, and I’m all for sharing info—especially on this topic!  If you have regular—or even occasional—tummy troubles, read on!

Flaxseed Oil

Flaxseeds have a ton of omega-3s and antioxidants, but they’re also natural laxatives.  Since my IBS leans that way, flaxseed oil supplements have been pretty helpful to me.

I get my flaxseed oil in capsule form from Trader Joe’s.  Twice a day, taken with lots of water before a meal, this has evened things out considerably for me.  You can also get a similar benefit from simply adding flaxseeds to your diet because they’re very high in fiber.  Unfortunately, seeds are hard for me to digest, so I go the oil route! Winking smile

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**Store flaxseed oil in the fridge to keep it fresh!

Probiotic Supplements

You’ve probably seen various yogurts advertised with probiotics in them.  For a lot of people, these work great.  For me, I need a little more help.

Since I’m terrible about taking pills, I found probiotic gummies!

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Probiotics basically even out the bacteria already present in your digestive system to keep everything balanced and working properly.  Combined with the Flaxseed Oil, these have also made a big difference for me!

Yoga

I know what you’re thinking . . . Yoga for digestion?  Seriously?

Seriously.

A few months ago, while surfing the web for something to help relieve my tummy woes, I came across a site that recommended a couple of different yoga poses for improved digestion.  Utilizing the pressure points in your feet, these 2 poses relieve stomach discomfort with the added benefit of stretching out your feet!  Betcha never even thought about stretching them out! Smile

Prepare yourself for some ridiculous pictures of me demonstrating.

Ready?

Good.

Deep Toe Bend

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Please excuse my awkward expression.

What we’re doing here is a low squat on tip-toes.

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You want to bring your weight forward so that you are putting pressure on the underside of your toes.  Hold it as long as you can.

Foot Criss Cross

Sit on your knees and criss cross your feet beneath you.

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Then, sit back so that you are resting on your top heel.  The top foot should be pressing on the arch of the bottom foot.  It’s not especially comfy, but it sure is effective!

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Not a strange or awkward photo at all, right?

Hold it for as long as you can stand, then switch sides and repeat.

These yoga poses have actually helped me quite a bit!

Anyone else out there with the elusive IBS diagnosis?  Or just tummy troubles in general?  What helps you?

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15 thoughts on “Tummy Troubles

  1. I definitely have similar issues (without a diagnosis). I just know that exercise always helps. I haven’t been willing to try giving up dairy but I know that foods with more soluble fiber seem to be better for me than insoluble fiber. I hate the Buddah belly and totally get it too – and it’s unpredictable!

  2. I have tummy problems but have never been diagnosed with anything. I feel like it’s only started in the past 8 months or so. I’ve tried probiotics and I think they make me worse but my personal trainer swears by them. I might have to try the flax seed oil. Haven’t given that one a shot yet.
    I’d try yoga but it’s too boring for me. I think that’s another reason I don’t stretch enough. But I seriously need to change that!

    • This yoga isn’t “real” yoga, though. I do it in front of the TV. Try setting the self timer on your camera & doing the poses before it goes off–that makes it much less boring! 😉

  3. I have had tummy trouble over the past two years and it is related to dairy. I am not lactose and tolerant but have a hard time digesting full fat dairy like butter and cream. I am okay with things like greek yogurt and low fat cheeses so I have to stay away from anything dairy with a high fat content, which is best anyways!

  4. Lindsay says:

    I also have a diagnosis of IBS. I think the diagnosis is total BS-basically it’s a doctors way of saying, “well we have no clue what’s wrong with you, so here is a label” and they send us on our merry way. I have had the diagnosis for about 8 years now 2 things really help me: 1) do anything that keeps stress levels down (if I get stressed, I instantly get excruciating stomach cramps) so running, yoga, naps, and a glass of vino also never hurts. And 2) I have found in the last year that reducing the amount of gluten I eat is very helpful. Almost all of my symptoms go away when I cut out gluten. However, the problem is that I love foods with gluten so I tend to cut it out of my diet Monday-Friday and be more flexible on the weekends. Just reducing the amount helps a lot and it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be.
    I loved your comment about the buddha belly! When mine gets that way I love to scare my boyfriend and say “Look, I’m pregnant!” It really is amazing how huge it gets.

    Good luck!
    -Lindsay

    • I totally agree, Lindsay! TOTAL BS!!! My symptoms definitely get worse with stress, too. Have you had the test for Celiac’s disease (gluten intolerance)? It’s a simple blood test. Might be worth looking into! Good luck to you, too! 🙂

  5. Melissa,

    What a great post! I am so sorry to hear that you have such lingering tummy troubles but it sounds like you’re handling them as well as you can. I also have had IBS type symptoms over the years and also had a colonoscopy and endoscopy. For me it turns out that they were most likely triggered by stress and anxiety as now that I have a great antidepressant, I no longer suffer from the GI symptoms. Weird!

    I think your methods for dealing with the symptoms are wonderful and yoga is a fantastic way to deal so many health issues. Thank you so much for sharing! 🙂 I hope you have a great start to your week! 🙂

  6. That is so frustrating that the docs are unable to help you. I feel your pain – I have similar issues with my heart. It is pretty awesome being a medical mystery, especially when you live a healthy lifestyle…

    I love that you showed the blog world the deep toe bend! That stretch has definitely become one my favorites as a runner!

  7. I struggled for over 10 years with a gluten allergy that countless doctors and specialists never diagnosed me with. I listened to my mom, eliminated gluten from my diet, and seriously started living again. It’s such a shame how doctors are supposed to have the answers but if the clipboard doesn’t spell it out, they don’t help at all.

  8. Susan says:

    Glad to read this blog. My new daughter-in-law has been having some undiagnosed troubles. I’ve sent this to her. Never know what might help. Just talking to other young women with tummy problems might help her figure it out!

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