Night Bloat
January 29, 2015 6:44 PM   Subscribe

Why am I bloating so badly at the end of the day?

For the last two weeks, I have been experiencing EXTREME bloating in the evening... post dinner and late into the night, even early morning some (miserable) days.

In thinking back on my food intake, there is no consistency to what I eat before the bloating occurs. It has been every night for the past 12 days, whether I consume wheat, dairy, or neither. We recently did a Whole30 and have kept most of the "clean" habits up, so I have been eating pretty well. In reintroducing foods, I have eaten wheat/dairy/sugar/etc. during the day and had zero effects within 3-5 hours. I have suffered bloating at night when my dinner has been totally clean... and no effects after a morning of chocolate milk and donuts. Timing of dinner doesn't seem to matter either.

So why am I suffering severe bloating & gas only at night time, regardless of what I eat? It is majorly affecting my sleep. My usual remedies (simethicone, peppermint tea, gas-releasing yoga poses) aren't touching the discomfort.

posted by raspberrE to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I had problem feeling bloated, one thing I take now that helps me tremendously is Phillip's Colon Health, 1 capsule a day. I also take two Metamucil Fiber Capsules a day too.
posted by just asking at 6:53 PM on January 29, 2015

Best answer: I'd need much more detail to even pretend to accuracy (age, gender, allergies, etc.), but since I'm not your doctor I can work with what you've offered.

I'm zeroing in on your recent 'Whole30," which I had to look up. Aha. You just spent a month literally modifying your entire gut flora, followed by reintroducing foods that you formerly ate with some measure of routine.

My first suggestion would be to try an OTC probiotic before your next day of meals and see if that gives you any measure of relief. I can make some inferences from the timing that your bloating is coming when the bulk of your day's consumables are within your lower digestive tract, spawning a boon of bacterial metabolic waste products. At the very least, a probiotic is unlikely to cause you harm and so is a relatively uncomplicated test point.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 6:54 PM on January 29, 2015 [3 favorites]

Best answer: If you're sensitive to some type of food, and you eat it, your gut can get irritated and inflamed. That active inflammation can make your gut reactive even to things that you don't technically have a sensitivity to. That's one way the "it doesn't matter what I eat" effect can happen.

Another way it can happen is if there is more of a delay in symptoms that what you seem to be allowing. Sometimes the reaction isn't felt within a few hours. With some sensitivities, a day or even two can go by before you really feel the worst of it. Closely tracking the meal immediately previous to the most severe symptoms could throw you off; the problem food could have been two (or three or four etc.) meals prior.

Consider a FODMAP elimination diet. To some extent it overlaps with the Whole30 which might explain why you weren't feeling as bad while doing the Whole30 (I'm kind of reading that into your post, sorry if I misunderstood). But it's not based on any of the common ways that most people think of likely trigger foods, which again might be why you're getting an "it doesn't matter what I eat" effect.
posted by Bentobox Humperdinck at 7:27 PM on January 29, 2015 [3 favorites]

I had this problem when I started developing lactose intolerance.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 7:33 PM on January 29, 2015

I get this when I am not staying on top of my probiotic supplements. I don't know why it seems to intensify towards the end of the day either, but I do know that the probiotic lessens this considerably.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:48 PM on January 29, 2015

It can take an average of 40 hours for food to travel through your system.

I'm lactose-intolerant, and if I eat yogurt for breakfast (including a Lactaid supplement), I'll have digestive problems 6+ hours later, followed by eczema on my face the following day.
posted by invisible ink at 8:45 PM on January 29, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I had this problem when I started developing fructose malabsorption syndrome. It took a while to figure out, since some totally healthy things like apples and pears are culprits, while doughnuts and Gatorade are just fine.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:02 AM on January 30, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I had this with a benign ovarian cyst. Just didn't notice the pain and bloating until later in the day. In other words it could be completely unrelated to your diet; at some point a medical consult would be advisable.
posted by Jesse the K at 7:49 AM on January 30, 2015

It's hard to say without more details. There are a lot of things that can cause that level of discomfort. Could just be a delayed reaction to something you ate earlier in the day. Any new medications? When you say you're eating "clean" dinners, what exactly does that mean? If you're eating a lot of foods you normally don't, especially foods high in fiber, it could be the cause of your discomfort. Are you adequately hydrated and are things, um, "moving" properly? It could even be something as simple as swallowing a lot of air while chewing gum.

There are a lot of foods besides sugar, wheat and dairy that can cause bloating in some people. Check out this list of causes for bloating, including foods like broccoli, brussels sprouts, beans, artificial sweeteners, and even high-fiber non-wheat grains like oatmeal. It's possible there's something else in your "clean" diet that just doesn't agree with you. If you can, go back to whatever you were eating 2 weeks ago before this started, and add foods back one at a time until you identify the culprit.
posted by geeky at 10:47 AM on January 30, 2015

I hypersalivate when I get acid reflux and this causes me to swallow a lot of air. If that's also the issue for you, peppermint could actually make it worse (for some reason it tends to exacerbate reflux) and you should take a Zantac (or etc.) instead.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:58 AM on January 31, 2015

Response by poster: It sounds like probiotics and trying to avoid fructose/FODMAPs might be the way to go for now. I also may look into ovarian cyst as a cause, as I was recently diagnosed with PCOS (although my doctor acted like it shouldn't be causing me physical symptoms in terms of pain/pressure).

Lack of fiber or water is not the issue, nor is constipation (unless it is possible to be constipated while also having regular bowel movements?)... I don't think reflux is either, because I have always had reflux issues but never this severity of bloating.

Just hoping it is relieved soon!
posted by raspberrE at 7:08 PM on February 3, 2015

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