3

votes

Can stress cause bloating?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 24, 2011 at 10:44 PM

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?

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on August 10, 2012
at 03:18 AM

I think by "stopping digestion" what you are referring to is that with stress, production of stomach acid (and thus digestion) is significantly altered.

04293f705870e1837b8670d3c1cd5f67

(2261)

on August 10, 2012
at 02:47 AM

HCL supplementation will help you. You can buy that at Super Supplements. We are supposed to be relaxed to eat, in a parasympathetic state, for digestion to be optimal.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on August 10, 2012
at 02:27 AM

Have you tried HCL/Betaine or digestive enzymes? Many people do not have the optimal amount to be able to digest all the protein.

166f449979d83186bd876e8f466d0a69

(1317)

on May 26, 2011
at 12:07 AM

Obviously I don't know what you're going through, but I think it's likely that while the thing that's causing you stress isn't going away, you could find an outlet for that stress that would help you deal with it better.

166f449979d83186bd876e8f466d0a69

(1317)

on May 26, 2011
at 12:01 AM

It doesn't stop entirely as the body needs to know what to do with the food- but it's severely compromised! I suffer from the same problem basically, and although I've always been told to slow down, eat at a table with cutlery, don't wolf down your food, don't read/ use your phone while eating etc, I used to ignore it. I've just started changing that and it makes a difference- BUT overall stress goes beyond just being calm at mealtimes. Find something-yoga, acupuncture- that works for you.

Bf417f0ad3560adb1a5d1c155246831a

(193)

on May 25, 2011
at 09:59 PM

digestion stops? that could be why I feel worse after I eat. I now only feel okay after I eat after CF prob bc my stress levels are low. Yeah, I'm hoping the current stuff in my life that's causing this stress will go away soon. until then I have taken everyone's advice! Thank you everyone! You've all helped a lot!

Bf417f0ad3560adb1a5d1c155246831a

(193)

on May 25, 2011
at 09:54 PM

My sleep has definitely been affected by the stress.. can't sleep bc i'm stressed and can't rectify stress levels due to lack of sleep. I'm trying to get more sleep to help improve things. I started taking naps in the afternoon whereas never had to when I started Paleo. The stress in my life isn't going away anytime soon, so just trying to do everything I can to reduce stress. thanks for all your advice!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 25, 2011
at 12:27 AM

8 hours is always good

Bf417f0ad3560adb1a5d1c155246831a

(193)

on May 24, 2011
at 10:44 PM

Thanks in advance!

  • Bf417f0ad3560adb1a5d1c155246831a

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6 Answers

1
4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

on August 10, 2012
at 02:29 AM

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.

04293f705870e1837b8670d3c1cd5f67

(2261)

on August 10, 2012
at 02:47 AM

HCL supplementation will help you. You can buy that at Super Supplements. We are supposed to be relaxed to eat, in a parasympathetic state, for digestion to be optimal.

1
B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on May 25, 2011
at 02:26 AM

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.

Bf417f0ad3560adb1a5d1c155246831a

(193)

on May 25, 2011
at 09:54 PM

My sleep has definitely been affected by the stress.. can't sleep bc i'm stressed and can't rectify stress levels due to lack of sleep. I'm trying to get more sleep to help improve things. I started taking naps in the afternoon whereas never had to when I started Paleo. The stress in my life isn't going away anytime soon, so just trying to do everything I can to reduce stress. thanks for all your advice!

166f449979d83186bd876e8f466d0a69

(1317)

on May 26, 2011
at 12:07 AM

Obviously I don't know what you're going through, but I think it's likely that while the thing that's causing you stress isn't going away, you could find an outlet for that stress that would help you deal with it better.

1
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on May 24, 2011
at 11:08 PM

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.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 25, 2011
at 12:27 AM

8 hours is always good

0
882ff9981dc2fceb43113ba18a7e0927

on August 09, 2012
at 11:21 PM

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.

0
166f449979d83186bd876e8f466d0a69

(1317)

on May 25, 2011
at 04:23 AM

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.

Bf417f0ad3560adb1a5d1c155246831a

(193)

on May 25, 2011
at 09:59 PM

digestion stops? that could be why I feel worse after I eat. I now only feel okay after I eat after CF prob bc my stress levels are low. Yeah, I'm hoping the current stuff in my life that's causing this stress will go away soon. until then I have taken everyone's advice! Thank you everyone! You've all helped a lot!

166f449979d83186bd876e8f466d0a69

(1317)

on May 26, 2011
at 12:01 AM

It doesn't stop entirely as the body needs to know what to do with the food- but it's severely compromised! I suffer from the same problem basically, and although I've always been told to slow down, eat at a table with cutlery, don't wolf down your food, don't read/ use your phone while eating etc, I used to ignore it. I've just started changing that and it makes a difference- BUT overall stress goes beyond just being calm at mealtimes. Find something-yoga, acupuncture- that works for you.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on August 10, 2012
at 02:27 AM

Have you tried HCL/Betaine or digestive enzymes? Many people do not have the optimal amount to be able to digest all the protein.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on August 10, 2012
at 03:18 AM

I think by "stopping digestion" what you are referring to is that with stress, production of stomach acid (and thus digestion) is significantly altered.

0
Bec6cd64f30f4ea940f79d9003a16a91

on May 25, 2011
at 01:08 AM

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.

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