How To Deal With Bloating And Digestion Issues (Part 3/3)

This is the third and final video of the 3-part video series about bloating and digestion issues in recovery.

  • In the first video, we talked about the reasons why you are having issues with bloating and your digestion.
  • In the second video, we discussed some key steps you should take to overcome these symptoms.
  • And in today’s video, we will talk about how to deal with these symptoms.

Disclaimer

And before we start I wanna say that I don’t recommend you to recover alone and always seek professional and medical advice.

And everything I share in this video is for general information purposes only.

We are all different and what is right for you and what YOU should do for your recovery is something you must discuss with your doctor.

 

So now let’s talk about what are some things you can do to deal with bloating and digestion issues in recovery.

1. Wear comfortable clothes.

The first one is maybe obvious but still worth mentioning – and that is to wear comfortable clothes.

When you are already dealing with the uncomfortable symptoms with bloating and your digestion then wearing clothes that are too tight will just make you feel worse.

This is why in recovery rather wear close that are more stretchy, looser, and flowy.

For example, things like leggings and loose shirts. Dresses, flowy skirts, peplum style shirts that are wider on the waist. And don’t wear clothes that are too tight or fitted until the symptoms pass or get better.

And also remember that your body is not wrong for experiencing these symptoms but its just part of healing and recovering. And you don’t need to fit into clothes but the clothes have to fit to YOUR body.

2. Use hot water bottle or take a hot bath

Another thing that can ease the symptoms is to use hot water bottle or take a hot bath.

Putting something warm against your belly has a soothing effect and it helps to relax our stomach muscles and ease any digestion discomfort.

I personally love taking a hot bath, especially when I have period cramps. And I like to add some magnesium salt to my bath water that helps to relax muscles. And magnesium also promotes good sleep and helps to reduce stress and all of these things help with our digestion.

But if you don’t have a bath then taking a hot shower can feel very good or using a hot water bottle against your belly.

3. Eat foods with probiotics

Another thing I can recommend is to eat foods that contain natural probiotics. Because these foods can help to build up healthy gut bacteria and restore the gut microbiome.

  • For example, foods like natural yogurt with live active cultures.
  • Also kefir that is a fermented probiotic milk drink.
  • And sauerkraut – but make sure it’s the unpasteurized sauerkraut because pasteurization kills the good bacteria.
  • Another thing you can try is kimchi
  • Or pickles

But also, don’t overdo it. Maybe add some of them as a side dish or more like a supplement to your meals, not as a full meal.

And since we are already talking about probiotics you could also try taking some probiotic supplements or prebiotics or digestive enzymes. But, as always, first consult your doctor.

I personally didn’t take any supplements in my recovery and my digestion got better just following what I have already recommended you, but these are just some suggestion you can consider.

4. Drink warm and soothing herbal teas

For example:

  • peppermint tea
  • chamomile tea
  • ginger tea

And there are more examples but I think these are the most common ones you can try.

But again, don’t overdo it, don’t start to drink tons of tea all of a sudden. A little bit goes a long way.

And don’t drink tea with your meals to not dilute the digestion juices, but drink rather between meals. And drink with small sips at a time and drink it slowly.

And of course, avoid all the “skinny teas” or any “detox teas”. I definitely don’t recommend any of those and they are very harmful.

And it’s best to avoid or limit any caffeinated teas and also coffee in general since it can cause more irritation to your stomach and make digestion upset worse.

5. Minimize triggers

We can’t completely avoid triggers in recovery but we can at least minimize them.

When you are dealing with bloating and digestion issues and you already feel discouraged by the symptoms then you don’t want to be exposed to any negative messages, like messages from diet culture or comparing yourself to others.

So limit things like social media. Unfollow people who are triggering to you or make you feel bad about yourself.

An instead, follow accounts that make you feel good about yourself or even accounts that have nothing to do with recovery or your body and focus on something else entirely. For example, accounts about funny animals, arts and crafts, or travel.

And also stop weighing yourself. In general, you should not weight yourself in recovery unless it’s needed for a medical reason and even then you can do it in your doctor’s office and ask to do a blind weight-in.

The best approach is to just get rid of the scale, throw it out completely because it’s just an unnecessary trigger.

And also, quit habits like body checking.

It’s normal to see yourself in a mirror, for example when you are getting ready in the morning. But if mirrors are contributing to body checking and more anxiety over your body then you must stop this behavior.

And limit and avoid engaging in diet-talk. Talk to your family and friends about recovery and what you need from them, tell them how they can support you and what conversations are not helpful for you.

So make your environment as trigger free and as comfortable as possible.

6. Try some meditation and breathing techniques

You can try meditation and some breathing techniques for digestive health.

Because as we talked about through this video series that stress takes a huge toll on your digestion.

And if your mind and body are in state of anxiety and constant stress then it will affect our digestion.

So this is why it’s important to incorporate some practices that help to ease the anxiety and bring you back to balance.

For example, you can try my free meditation called “Guided Meditation For Overthinking and Anxiety”. See HERE.

In that specific meditation, I guide you through a specific technique called Yoga Nidra. 

And Yoga Nidra technique is all about relaxing your entire body, from the top of your head to the tips of your toes and that also includes your stomach. And Yoga Nidra is a very effective meditation for good digestion and gut health.

And secondly, what you can incorporate is a deep belly breathing practice. Because if we are anxious and stressed we tend to breathe from our shoulder and upper chest area but it’s only a surface-level breathing that is not very effective to reduce anxiety. So what you can start practicing is this belly breathing or diaphragmatic breathing technique.

And you can do it by placing one hand on your chest and one hand on your belly. And when you breathe in, then breathe through your belly and notice that the hand on your belly starts to rise and fall as you breathe in and out. And notice that your chest is almost not moving as you are breathing through your belly. And you can practice this for 5 minutes every day, 3 times per day.

 

So try the meditation and the breathing and incorporate them as a daily practice and they will both really help to calm the body and the entire nervous system. And as a result, it will have a positive effect on your digestion as well.

7. Find healthy distractions

The next tip is to find some healthy distractions.

Because sometimes there is not much you can do about a situation but to just wait it out.

And instead of just dwelling on the uncomfortable symptoms, researching endlessly about the symptoms (that can actually further increase your stress levels) then instead find some ways to distract your mind while the body’s recovery happens in the background.

Maybe you can spend your time in learning something new or reading something. Maybe you can find some new hobbies like writing or doing some DIY projects.

Find something else to do that will engage your mind so you can think about something else and not just keep focusing on the symptoms.

And also, if there is not much you can do physically to speed up the recovery process then maybe you can instead focus on your mental recovery. There are so many books and videos about body positivity, self-love, and how to change your mindset. So maybe start focusing more on your mental recovery because it’s all connected as we have talked about.

8. Be ready that it takes time

And lastly, know that it will all take time as well.

Because even if you are doing everything the best you can in recovery then it doesn’t mean the symptoms will stop overnight.

Your body is in a process of healing and this simply takes time and this is the part where you must learn to trust your body and wait it out.

The symptoms are signs that the body is working very hard right now and you must give your body plenty of time to do it.

You cannot rush your body to do it quicker than it can. Because healing takes time.

I told myself in recovery: “I’m willing to do whatever it takes, as long as it takes”.

One thing that recovery taught me was to be patient and to trust my body and also to let go of control. To let go of trying to control it or force it to happen. And instead, I learned to surrender to the process and just be willing to do whatever it takes, as long as it takes. But know that in time things will start to improve and get better as well.

So keep doing what I have suggested in this 3-part video series, be consistent, but also let go of control, give it enough time to work, and let your body do its own part however long it takes.

Conclusion

So this is the end of this video series. I really hope you have found it helpful!

And if you want to know more about recovery and how to do it step by step then please read my book “BrainwashED”

If you wish to work with me one one one, then I offer 12-Week Recovery Coaching where I can help you go through your recovery step by step and offer support and accountability. Read more and apply HERE.

8 thoughts on “How To Deal With Bloating And Digestion Issues (Part 3/3)”

  1. Thank you so much Elisa. Your content is so helpful. It is so hard to recover, I have finally let go after more than 20 years of dieting / restricting / binging / overeating / clean eating / excluding… after my first pill ( for acne and Accutane ) made me gain a bit of weight and I was put by my doctor on an extremely restrictive low calorie diet.
    But it is so hard as I am an athlete and also not low weight at all. I have hidden my scales but I have put on so much weight during lockdown ( when I chose to start recovery and intuitive eating ) I checked my weight and constantly body check and I feel I am going crazy, my clothes do not fit anymore and my BMI is usually around 20, now I am 22 and I feel so bad. I felt so much better when I was lighter, healthier…
    So I started counting calories and macros on an app ( so obsessive ) but after 2 days of restrictive mindset I started binging again – it had calmed down a little.
    Sorry this message is so long but it is a big step for me to testify and I hope this will help others.
    I am in the middle of that discomfort you talk about and I cannot wait to feel my satisfaction and eat what I need, sensibly and intuitively.
    Thank you so much for your work and your non-nonsense book.
    By the way, at times in my life I have had months ( usually when in times of excitement and positive change ) when I have felt free to eat whatever I wanted and never overeating, and I felt good in my body, so light, energised and these were the times when I was the thinnest – eating milk chocolate and Nutella by the spoon and peanuts and bananas and cookies and bread and cheese… among salads, fruits and pizza and occasional beers… I want to get back to this state but I feel stuck. So thanks a million for your videos that help me not fall back on a low carb diet ( I am a flexitarian, I just find it hard to eat meat and fish, so I rely on many carbs and my diet mindset keeps telling me carbs make me fat and will give me diabetes…). It is hard to let go of the weight loss goal. I just cannot accept my identity as a BMI 22 when I feel like myself at a BMI 19 or 20…
    Thanks a lot again..keep safe and take care.

    1. Hi! I’m glad you are on this recovery path now as its the only way to freedom long term. and don’t make your identity about your weight or BMI, this will always keep you unsatisfied with yourself if the identity is based on external. and even when you felt better at a lower weight, we cant choose the weight our body wants to be in and its the fight we can’t win, at least not healthfully. So see the positive aspect of recovery and don’t see only the weight gain, what are the reasons you want to recover? You are not just the weight, and feeling happy and healthy is not just about the weight. A person can be lower weight but also feel crazy around food and have so many other issues that come with this constant restriction. and recovery can feel very uncomfortable but it will also get better and normalize, so it’s not how you will feel for the rest of your life. it’s temporary. I’m glad my content and book help!

      1. Thank you so much, your answer means so much to me, to keep as a reminder among your other helpful resources. I am really touched you took some time to answer. Thanks again and take care.

        1. hi eliza 🙂
          i’m really struggling with my “recovery” and the bloating and digestion problems. i say “recovery” as i have never actually been diagnosed with an ED but i did restrict myself for quite a long time and sadly very highly restrict myself for around 2 weeks. now i’ve come to the conclusion i just want to be healthy in the body i was given, my abdomen has become SO extremely bloated, and constantly is. before my high restriction i always got bloated at the end of the day as i’m pretty sure we all do, but now i wake up every morning looking as bloated as i used to before i went to bed! so you could imagine how huge my stomach gets at night time. it’s something that is really weighing on me and making me think if this is even worth it, but thank you for all these tips and reassurance! i am so totally willing to wait this out and become the better version of myself.
          I just have one question about exercise, i really enjoy it and it’s kind of a stress reliever for me, so not doing any during this “recovery” process is very difficult for me to handle. is there any form of exercise i can do that won’t effect this?

          1. I’m glad this post was helpful for you! with exercise I would say rather do light yoga and stretching, light walking, noting strenuous or long. Just general body movement is ok.

  2. I had an eating disorder 20 years ago, I wasn’t severely underweight, but I mostly ate sandwiches and not much else. It felt safe to eat, so I didn’t excactly get what I needed. Problem is, I still struggle a lot with bloating. It’s moslty warm food (exept for fish for whatever reason). Fiber is great (from grain and fruit, not beans and stuff). Its a bit frustrating, is it possible that my digestion still struggles 20 years later? The only thing that makes a difference is dried apricot. Probiotics helps generally speaking, but then I have to drink it every day, and its not my favourite food, kinda fed up with overnight oats 😉

    Thoughts?

    1. its hard to say based on a single comment, it might be the ED yes as I understand you still struggle to eat lots of foods and haven’t introduced them? but bloating can also be worsened because of stress, anxiety etc. If you suspect a food intolerance then of course get medical advice, but its also common that food intolerance symptoms can happen if a person has excluded or limited some foods from their diet and the body stops being able to properly digest them, our stomach can lose digestive enzymes if we stop eating certain foods for example.

  3. Thank you for answering, I eat most foods, but most warm foods make me bloated. I think I’ll try to vary how I get probiotics, miso might be worth a Try😊

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