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We’ve shown before the connection between feeling bloated and breathing. Bloating puts pressure on the abdomen and the diaphragm, making breathing more difficult. Bloating is primarily a gastrointestinal issue related to what you eat and how your digestive system reacts. But nothing in your body happens in isolation, as one system can always affect others. In this case, it’s the digestive system impeding the respiratory system. When breathing can already be difficult with COPD, added stress to your system is the last thing you need.
It’s important, then, to always know what foods and ingredients pose the threat of bloating.
Foods and drinks that cause bloating cannot be easily identified with one descriptor such as “greasy” or “acidic.” It’s a more complex issue than that, so it’s important to be knowledgeable on this front so that you are not breathing heavily after a meal and wondering why.
One ingredient to be wary of is Raffinose. Raffinose is a carbohydrate that is digested poorly and known to cause bloating, and a by-product of the digestion of this carbohydrate is carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide ultimately needs to leave your body, and too much of it in your system could have negative effects on your breathing and overall health. Raffinose is found in broccoli and cabbage, among other foods.
Sodium is another ingredient to keep an eye on. Salt in your body creates water retention, which in turn creates a bloated feeling.
The key thing to note is that unhealthy and healthy foods alike can qualify as causing bloating, so it’s important not to assume that just because a food is traditionally considered “healthy”, that you are safe. According to the Cleveland Clinic:
Everyone is different, so it’s important to just learn what foods cause you to be bloated, and eat those at your own risk.
Be sure to perform breathing exercises if breathing becomes complicated. Ask your physician about over-the-counter drugs that will help in digestion or limit bloating.
Photo Credit : Broccoli, Flickr, Steven Lilley