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Guila
July 16th, 2009, 06:02 PM
Not the most pleasant subject, I know. I have found some advice, but not a lot about this. What do you think, especially if you are a distance or open water swimmer?

After swimming hard or for more than a mile in the open water, I'm left with the most bloated feeling! I WANT to (let's put it politely) FLATULATE, but just remain bloated for up to 4 hours. I have a feeling this has to do with not exhaling completely, thus compounding the air in my stomach and gut.

When I really pay attention to expelling all the air as I swim, I get winded!!

I have tried Gas-X after swimming, but it doesn't really work. I just have to wait for the air to "filter out" over time. It can be painful!

Do particular foods create gas? Should I hold to the old dictum of never eating less than 2 hours before swimming? Is this something that plagues older swimmers more than young ones?

What's going on with me? I'm a 54 year old woman.

THANKS!

bamueller
July 16th, 2009, 07:09 PM
I would recommend speaking with your doctor about this. I cannot say I have ever experienced the issue you are describing. Are you swallowing the air you are breathing? Perhaps add coffee to your pre-swim routine, that always helps my digestion.

As for this
Should I hold to the old dictum of never eating less than 2 hours before swimming?I would say no. You need to eat and hydrate before, during, and after swimming (depending on the distances).

Again, I would speak with your doctor, or talk to a nurse if you don't want to set an appointment.

ddl
July 16th, 2009, 08:56 PM
Doesn't keep it inside make you more buoyant?

Brian Stack
July 16th, 2009, 09:25 PM
Doesn't keep it inside make you more buoyant?

Looks like a poll topic! :drink:

swimshark
July 17th, 2009, 07:11 AM
I have had this after long swims or lots of sprints. Try taking some Tums before and see if that helps.

Rykno
July 17th, 2009, 08:05 AM
Doesn't keep it inside make you more buoyant?

if you are wearing a wetsuit and let it out if might make your bouyancy shift.

and if you have a full body wetsuit, the only real place it can escape is your neck......

quicksilver
July 17th, 2009, 12:41 PM
Is this something that plagues older swimmers more than young ones?



Not necessarily. Gulping air while swimming can occur at any age. (I have a teenager who's pretty adept at sounding off after practice.)
This is most likely your cause.

http://triathlon.competitor.com/nutrition/stomach-upset-something-every-triathlete-battles/


Intestinal bloating and flatulence: There are two reasons for this: swallowing air and ingesting a high concentration of simple sugars. Air ingestion occurs most commonly while swimming. Once in the stomach, air can pass into the intestines. Having significant quantities of air in the bowels causes uncomfortable bloating and cramping. The best way to avoid this problem is to encourage belching to expel any air that you have ingested while swimming.

Your stomach might not completely absorb simple sugars in high concentrations. This too can cause uncomfortable bloating and cramping. The best way to avoid this problem is to minimize the concentration and amount of simple sugars ingested.

srcoyote
July 17th, 2009, 02:39 PM
Yeah. I do this all the time. Anything over 3000 yards, and I'm burping while I swim.

Guila
July 17th, 2009, 06:08 PM
Thank you, Quicksilver. I knew this would be cause for joking and appreciate your taking it seriously!

Happy swimming-

GM

fanstone
July 17th, 2009, 07:07 PM
I'm getting old. Oh for the bygone days of anonymous message boards and forums. Back in 1996 this girl posted something similar about passing gas after eating power bars or equivalent, this while running. She posted the question on Runnersworld.com a very busy running internet forum. I couldn't resist and came out with a long post titled: "The Art of the Fart". This was about the same time the Trump book, the art of the deal came out. I recall mentioning "after burner" effects, where using a match might make you go faster, and many many other humorous takes. The only time I can actually see a problem in the water farting department is when being in a big tub without bubbles and your partner might see the bubbles coming up. Or if aside from "air" you are also passing a lot of methane, where the smell will get you. An odorless fart in the wetsuit might not be bad, but it is like farting under the covers: do you want the fart to stay under, or are you opening part of the cover to let the thing out, or are you hoping it will die away and be reabsorbed ?....

jim thornton
July 17th, 2009, 07:58 PM
Guila,

At first I found it very difficult to believe that swallowing air could, in point of fact, lead to flatulence. So I did a little bit of Internet searching and found that most sites seem to agree with Quciksilver's Triathlete article.

The phenomenon is called aerophagia, and it looks like you can also get it from chewing gum.

Fats and proteins tend to produce little gas. Perhaps if you know you are doing an open water swim, you might eat something like eggs before the swim.

The other thing I wonder about is not the production side of things, which might be accounted for by both diet and air swallowing, but the elimination/escape element. It wouldn't be a problem if the gas could get out, but it sounds like it's caught in your digestive track.

Interestingly, you could cut your intestines in half with a pair a scissors and feel almost no pain. But if you distend the intestines slightly with air pressure, the pain of cramping can be very intense. An odd little quirk of intestinal nerve physiology I learned while undergoing a "virtual colonoscopy" at Harvard, a procedure which involves inflating the intestines with carbon dioxide like adding air to a bicycle tire.

In any event, I wonder if the various sphyncters that regulate the passage of things through the digestive system might somehow be clamping down, perhaps from nerves, perhaps from the cold water, perhaps from the physical activity itself?

Good luck and let us know if you find a solution. It's probably not safe, but if you could find some sterilized aquarium tubing....

quicksilver
July 17th, 2009, 08:21 PM
...this would be cause for joking and appreciate your taking it seriously!

Happy swimming-

GMYou're very welcome. ;)


Jim...this is no laughing matter. Apparently it's cause for disqualification by FINA.

http://www.totalprosports.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/flavia-zoccari-swimsuit-rip-1.jpg

SolarEnergy
July 17th, 2009, 08:50 PM
Haha what a funny thread :D prouppp

Reason why I'm laughing is that I used to have the same issue. I remember after some ld workouts, sometimes, in the showers, I would deliver some 1minute long bombs. It was pretty amazing.

In my case, the cause was very simple. I was swallowing little too much water while breathing, and some air would find its way down to my stomach along with the water. When you think about it, it is pretty obvious that with the little time we have to breathe, if we swallow water, it is very hard to conceive that no air passes along with the water. After all, making sure no air passes would probably translate into missing a breathe. Either you drink air along with water, either you drink the water without breathing.

No more complicated than that. These gas aren't really gas other than O2.

There's a good thing, and a bad thing with this problem.

Good thing is that it means that your throat is making great job in making sure none of the water you glup mistakenly ends up in the lungs.

Bad thing is that it denotes that you often swim with some water in your mouth, which in turn means that your breathing action (rotating the body and head, Popeying your mouth) isn't optimal.

I made some effort to get rid of this issue and it wasn't that difficult.

Now, maybe an opinion different than some expressed in the thread so far. I do not think that this issue is related to exhaling air underwater or not. To some extent, holding air underwater and exhaling it when face is outside the water (we all agree that it is not recommended) can only help the water left in your mouth to be thrown off the mouth when exhaling.

To me, the issue was more related to the fact that I was constantly swimming with some water in my mouth. That used to occur because I was just not paying enough attention to make sure it doesn't get in my mouth at the first place. Fixed the issue by using the Popeye sort of mouth (the lower half of it completely sealed).

fanstone
July 17th, 2009, 10:17 PM
Ahem, Solar, you wish 02 was all that was coming out of us....Jim, here is the recipe for "gas" (not foul smelling gas): cook wheat with lentils, then eat. You will start leaking air through both openings. The foul smelling stuff is a mixture of gas producing stuff and some protein...sauerkraut and potatoes and some blood pudding work well. I miss my younger days when we had farting contests, and better yet, burping contests...this before the advent of large coca colas, we had to burp with just the regular size stuff...I could burp the national anthem, wait, that's from "9 and half weeks of love". For you naive persons, try this:http://www.fart.com/

Fay
February 18th, 2010, 12:40 PM
I have pain in my stomach with excessive bloating. I went to a specialist that she said there is no specific reason to have this problem, and she is guessing that I have functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs). When I did Google, I found that air swallowing is one of the FGIDs, namely aerophagia (air swallowing). I just realized that this problem almost started 1.5 months ago and around that time I joined to master swimming team. I haven't swum long distance last 20 years, and now I am swimming almost 2500 meter, two times a week. Do you think that may be the reason? Let's say yes, what should I do. I am not able to fart/burp maybe small amount and very much rare. Gas X is not working. I have started wearing my oversized jeans to work, and people think I am pregnant. I love the team, my coach is so good, I don't want to stop swimming. However, I have this health problem. Now I am stuck. Do you think I should swim more frequently or do ab exercise? I hope I can find an answer from this group.
Thanks in advance
Fay

jim thornton
February 18th, 2010, 06:53 PM
I have pain in my stomach with excessive bloating. I went to a specialist that she said there is no specific reason to have this problem, and she is guessing that I have functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs). When I did Google, I found that air swallowing is one of the FGIDs, namely aerophagia (air swallowing). I just realized that this problem almost started 1.5 months ago and around that time I joined to master swimming team. I haven't swum long distance last 20 years, and now I am swimming almost 2500 meter, two times a week. Do you think that may be the reason? Let's say yes, what should I do. I am not able to fart/burp maybe small amount and very much rare. Gas X is not working. I have started wearing my oversized jeans to work, and people think I am pregnant. I love the team, my coach is so good, I don't want to stop swimming. However, I have this health problem. Now I am stuck. Do you think I should swim more frequently or do ab exercise? I hope I can find an answer from this group.
Thanks in advance
Fay

If it is from swallowing air while swimming, you might be able to ask your coach to watch your breathing pattern and make recommendations.

You might also try a swim snorkel for a practice for a week or two. If your symptoms improve, this might explain it. Then you'd know you have to work on the breathing in the water.

magick17
February 18th, 2010, 09:27 PM
try drinking peppermint tea, often..it works great!

__steve__
February 19th, 2010, 12:28 AM
Gas is goood!

Buckee
February 19th, 2010, 07:35 AM
Funny thread - I started swimming a couple of years ago - I am a 48 yr guy and I was getting a lot of gas if I was swimming 2 or more km. I found as I got better at breathing and stopped gulping so much air and water the problem stopped.

Guvnah
February 22nd, 2010, 12:33 AM
Just my experience:

I'm 50+, but what I'm going to say has applied for me for quite a while.

When I over-tax my body physically, one of the first things to start failing on me is my digestive system. And gas is a major result of that.

It's not just swimming. Nor is it a one-day thing. If I have a series of physically overtaxing days -- or just pushing my limits for several days in a row -- I experience the digestive behavior. Sundays are often a casualty of this condition, because I do a ton of physical stuff on Saturdays. (Workout, as usual, and then yard work, or construction work, or helping someone move, whatever...) Saturday nights at the movies can be embarrassing unless I can keep the gas quiet.

And the embarrassment especuially affects my wife, who has to be with me -- whether in the house or at a gathering of some sort. She often gives me orders to rest on Sunday. It would be a running joke in the family if it weren't such an assault on the senses and on decorum...


Gas-ex helps. But only with limited effectiveness sometimes.

This isn't an every day thing. Nor is it an every Saturday thing. But Saturday bears the burden of this condition the most because of the additional physical activity that is more likely to happen on a Saturday. Still, it can crop up on any day that I do an especially vigorous and lengthy workout.

(PS: Lack of sleep -- especially several short nights in a row -- can be a big contributor to this too. Not by itself, usually, but in combination with extreme activity.)

Chicken of the Sea
February 22nd, 2010, 11:37 AM
Yep I get it too after long and/or hard swims. I always just assumed it was from gulping air. I'm getting a lot better at belching while swimming now and it seems to be improving. For long swims in the pool, a well timed toilet break is invaluable (as documented in my blog, "Chicken's Nuggets").

BR KnuckleDragger
February 22nd, 2010, 05:47 PM
It's part of the swim...farting is cool

:D