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banner_val_weeks_healthValecia Weeks is a Professional Licensed Massage Therapist through the state of Texas as well as a Birth Doula. She is a licensed ZUMBA instructor and a certified personal trainter with NESTA.

When we feel as though we may literally “bust a gut," follow these simple steps to help you resolve that extra bloating.

If your waist band feels a little snug after that great meal, the worse thing you can do is go lie on the couch and be a “couch potato."

Instead, go outdoors for a brisk walk. The worse thing you can do on those “fat days” is not exercise at all. Exercise can significantly improve bloating.

Instead of sleeping your bloating troubles away, breathe them away. When you are anxious, your body produces cortisol and adrenaline, hormones that stimulate your digestive system. The result of this over stimulation of your digestive system is bloating, gas, and more bloating. Stress can also sometimes cause us to over eat, in particular…over eat the WRONG thing. Sit in a quiet space, close your eyes, and inhale through your nose for a count of 10. Focus on breathing deep and sitting tall. Exhale through your mouth in a controlled, purposeful fashion for 10 counts. Repeat 10 times.

Be careful with this one and don’t “get caught” in the switch, if you know what I mean; but another way to alleviate the bloating in your digestive system is to Switch your birth control. Oral contraceptives contain estrogen, which causes your adrenal glands to produce fluid-retaining hormones. Some women don't notice an increase in bloating, while others feel themselves puffing up within days of starting a new pill. If you fall in the second camp, talk to your ob-gyn about trying another brand.

Now this one comes as a great surprise to me because I was taught to stay away from certain foods that may cause gas such as cabbage, broccoli, and beans.   But studies show that if you eat these foods daily, your digestive system is more apt to adjust to breaking them down adequately. I know it sounds strange and totally against what most of us have been taught, but you never know…it just may work.

Sometimes bloating can be the sign of something more serious. Some conditions to be

aware of that may have symptoms of bloating are IBS (irritable bowel disease), Ovarian Cancer, and Celiac disease. If you try some of the above remedies and are still feeling the symptoms of bloating, consult your medical doctor for further testing.

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