Managing bloat symptoms for those with lung disease is a tricky situation to say the least. Lung disease like COPD can exacerbate bloat and can become a serious issue. Our oversized lungs have even less room to expand and that can cause us to have a greater shortness of breath. The connection between bloat and COPD was a long and winding road of misinformation and misunderstanding for me. After all, I was taught to be a big eater by a bunch of big eaters. Being Irish meant that we ate heavy meals, topped with gravy or butter. We practised very little physical exercise after dinner because it was basically TV time and we were coach potatoes.
Managing Bloat or Edema with Lung Disease
Sometimes bloat is mixed up with a retention of water called EDEMA. Dictionary.com describes edema as “A condition characterized by an excess of watery fluid collecting in the cavities or tissues of the body.” Most of all, see your doctor is you believe you are retaining water with these symptoms.
This retained fluid can gather in the heart and lungs and because they have less cavity room their function is diminished and oxygen and blood supply cannot reach vital organs. As the heart becomes less efficient it can’t pump enough blood to the kidney. With the kidney in a diminished state it can’t eliminate salt and water from our bodies. The heart begins to pump harder and faster in an effort to get blood to the kidney so they can eliminate this extra water and because your heart is working harder your lungs will be less efficient causing shortness of breath.
Mainly edema affects the ankles, feet but can affect hands, wrists or even your girth. It can affect all of the above at the same time. Suffers of edema are sometimes recommended to keep your feet in an elevated position with knees higher than hips. Laying down med day for about ½ hour helps your kidneys to grab that water and eliminate it.
Reduce salt intake by removing the salt shaker from the table and keep water intake to 1.5 litres per day. That should include all liquids including soups and reduce eating canned or processed foods or cold cuts as they tend to be full of salt.
Everyone with lung issues knows Noah Greenspan and has read his Pulmonary Wellness page. He has some interesting information on Edema in the following video. Please watch to the end and follow his expert opinion.
Foods to Avoid….when you are sure it is only bloat
Being aware of what we eat and keeping a food tracker, for at least 1 month, can help aid us in our quest to relieve bloat by eliminating the foods that cause its reaction. It is commonly recommended that we eliminate white bread, white rice and high carbohydrates foods because they metabolize as carbon dioxide, a poison gas that is hard for our sick lungs to eliminate. Reduce caffeine and alcohol use and replace it with water, preferably with lemon. Follow the article below from my Pinterest board on Bloat and Lung Disease. Managing Bloat and Lung Disease
Managing Diet and Portion Control
Eating a little less and being mindful of what we eat can be the key to soothing my lungs and the symptoms of bloat. Very shortly after having my first exacerbation, I came to the sad realization that my big eating days were over. Not only did I need to rethink my diet, I also needed to start practising appropriate portion control.
Stretch It Out To Reduce That Bloat
Now, as person with lung disease, when I feel the pangs of bloat approaching I can be found stretching and moving my body. I do this by standing upright and leaning against the back of a kitchen chair, walking or using my peddler. This helps to keep my body in motion and in an upright position. It eases my immediate bloat symptoms, eases the stress from my lungs and gets the digestion part started.
Gas: A Natural Process of Bloat
Don’t fence me in! Isn’t that how the old song goes? Well, that same is true of gas and flatulence. Let’s face it; we all have gas and a need to ease up and let it go. This leaves more cavity room for our ailing and oversized lungs to function better.
Anti Bloat Foods
Do choose high protein foods like that found in eggs and lean meats along with high potassium foods like bananas, cantaloupe, tomatoes, celery and asparagus. Eat fruits with skin on to increase intake of fibre. Include natural diuretics such as peppermint and chamomile tea, celery, cucumber, watermelon, lemonade, garlic and ginger. Brewing teas with flax seed, parsley and dandelions decrease water retention because they are a natural diuretic.
Managing Bloat Symptoms To Ease Your Ailing Lungs
- Gently massage your belly in a clockwise motion
- Relax, meditate and preform relaxation techniques like listening to ocean waves or thunderstorms.
- Having a bath with Epsom salts is a good way to relax as it relieves pressure off of your body.
- Eating 6 small meals per day instead of 3 big meals