No matter what I do, I'm always feeling bloated and have that 'over-full' feeling.
I drink plenty of water and herbal tea. I eat several small meals a day that consist of fruits and veggies, a small amount of carbs (like crackers), low-fat dairy and nuts.
I avoid artificial sweeteners, I try to eat balanced.
Why do I always feel like I've eaten a holiday meal?
There are different reasons behind why people can feel bloated. Perhaps there is something in your diet that you are unable to digest (like lactose, or the sugars in fruit), you are getting too much sodium (which causes water retention, thus bloating) or maybe the vegetables you are consuming happen to be ones of the gas-producing variety (dark green leafy produce, beans, etc). Bloating can also occur after long periods of starvation, through a diet of insufficient protein intake (it seems like the only protein you are getting is from nuts?), electrolyte imbalance...there are a million reasons, but it is really difficult to say which one of these could be affecting you! Is the problem chronic or rather recent? Perhaps there are lifestyle changes, emotional stresses or simple things like menstruation which are causing you to feel so full...
It's frustrating because I feel like I've just started trying to balance things out more.
The sugar and lactose problem could be valid as I've always been sensitive to dairy (yogurt being the exception) and refined sugars (though I'm not eating much of that right now).
Not big on sodium, except for occasionally in the evenings (when I eat with my boyfriend, his foods of choice being ... "man foods" and fast food).
I've been eating quite a bit of vegetables (mostly carrots and celery) but I've never had problems with these in the past.
As for protein, I think I'm doing okay, I tend to have about 2 oz of almonds a day, plus the protein in my dairy and usually a serving of meat in the evening. I actually worry about eating too much protein.
I've always struggled with digestive problems, have had ulcers and chronic nausea for years, though now it seems to be changing into bloating and frequent diarrhea.
Maybe it's time to go to the doctor? I really wanted to avoid that if possible. *sigh*
Why avoid going to a doctor? That's like having a flat tyre and avoiding going to a garage....
You don't sound like you eat very much and if you can't digest your food properly because you're feeling ill and you're getting bouts of diarrhoea then you're probably malnourished and that can lead to a host of problems... some quite serious if left untreated.
So see your doctor for a physical check. And, to make diagnosis easier, keep a food & symptom diary until you get there. Record what you ate, when and what reactions you got. That will help the doctor.
gi-jane, I was hoping you would answer! You always have great information and suggestions for people.
I feel like I'm eating plenty. I eat about 3 small (200-300 calorie) snack-meals a day while at work and then something of my boyfriend's choosing for dinner. I feel like the foods I eat in the evening are totally killing me, which is why I'm restricting during the day. (For example, last night we had bento, I had about a cup of white rice, a serving of beef and teriyaki sauce.)
The reasons I try to avoid the doctor is (1) I feel like I'm always in there for one reason or another, (2) the cost of my health care is skyrocketing (3) I'm not really a fan of physicians as it is, so the visits tend to be unpleasant and anxiety-inducing for me.
I'm not underweight, so I doubt I'm malnourished. In fact, in recent weeks I've been gaining quite a bit (went up 5.5 pounds in about ten days).
I'll keep logging my food, trying to figure out what factors might be causing these problems. Any suggestions of what I could change in my diet to avoid problems like this?
Malnutrition doesn't automatically mean you're underweight, it just means you're getting a poor diet and at risk of deficiencies. You can be malnourished and obese, quite easily.
I'd suggest you 'front-weight' your food intake.... try eating more at the start of the day when you're more active and eating more lightly in the evening. White rice and other refined starchy foods (crackers?) give a lot of people feelings of bloating. As do certain fruits and vegetables..... Fruit being high in sugar and often acids. Many vegetables (especially the cruciferous kind) and things like beans can also be bloating - made worse if they're raw or undercooked. Even nuts can cause gas because they're quite tough for the digestion to break down.
Instead try simpler, more easily digested foods.... soft boiled eggs, broths/soups, fish, chicken, oatmeal, yoghurts, cooked fruit, well-cooked vegetables, oils, butter.... and choose small amounts of wholegrains over the simple starches.