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Bloated belly
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Bloated belly

For 8 years I have both aerobically nd weight trained.  However, my lower abdomen is frequently very bloated and has a distended appearance.  I often look about 5 months pregnent (which I am not!) and this depresses me tremendously.  My physique is otherwise toned and athletic.  I suffer badly with depression and anxiety, for which I take dothiepin and seroxat.  I have irritable bowel sydrome.  It upsets me that my waist to hip ratio is 1.0 and so classified overweight for a female but I think this ratio has been the case ever since I was underweight.  I used to be 6st 2Ib but am now 126Ib at 5ft 2inch.  Though my BMI is healthy, I have been told by a university nutritionalist that the waist to hip ratio is of more concern and validity and is less open to the interpretation required when considering "muscley people"(!) using BMI alone.  How can I establish whether this "belly" is fat or IBS bloating or an underdeveloped transverse and oblique abdominal muscles.  I have had an internal to check the ovaries and all is well there.  I do have some body fat calipers but I am unsure how to use them and of their significance, ie does skinfold fat represent total subcutaneous fat?  PLEASE...any help would be so gratefully received. Many Thanks KEW
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Hello - thanks for asking your question.

Here are some general techniques for measure waist to hip ratio.  In general, use non-stretchable measuring tape.  It should touch the skin, but not compress soft tissue.  

To measure waist circumference, don't measure within 1 hour of large meal.  The measurement should be made while lying down.  The hip circumference should be measure standing up over the buttocks.  

For females, values of 0.88 suggest obesity.  In males, values of 0.95 suggest obesity.  People with values greater than these have an increased risk of obesity-related health problems.  

I would assume the bloating from IBS may play a role in adjusting this measurement.  One option would be to take several measurements during the day and see if it trends up or down.  I do not know of a sure way to differentiate fat or bloating.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Thanks,
Kevin, M.D.
11 Comments
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you said,
I used to be 6st 2Ib but am now 126Ib at 5ft 2inch

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62 lbs??
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sorry i'm being thick, but i'm unsure about your comment - have i written something daft in my question?!
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kew,
i am trying to understand what you said-were you at 62 lbs and then gained weight to be 120 lbs??
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You have classic symptoms of a yeast infection
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I think what is being said is that they use to weigh 152 lbs....1 stone=25lbs......
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The yeast infection thing is right up there with the bogus ripoffs of the century (last century and this one.) Lots of scoundrels are making lots of money off of it. However, the gullible and the credulous and the suggestible are getting only transient and placebo relief. But we're all grownups, so do what moves you....
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So
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Pale stools and bloated belly and weight loss sound like my symptoms before i was diagnosed with Celiac Sprue. It's becoming more common and is passed off usually as IBS.
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Yep i made a gaff: i was 152lbs now 226lbs, wondered if the underweight spell which stopped my menstruation for 2 years could have conditioned my metabolism to store fat preferentially giving me the malnourished-bloated-belly look.  But I now think it is bloating cause a pain precipitated it recently and it "inflated" rapidly to look like a soccor ball under my t-shirt.  Following gastroenteritis i think lactase is knocked out for a bit and so you should lay off dairy for a while, but is that just because of the lactose or do whey proteins independantly aggravate a recovering bowel?  Oh I have taken "Difucan" to no apparent avail.
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You said 226lbs? Is that what you meant or do you actually weigh only 126 as in your original post?...Tessa
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I am a 33 year old male, active, jog 3 mile 3 times per week. I have been having bloating after meal in upper abd and feel slight discomfort when palpating the area. At times my manubrium [that little notch between your ribs] feel bruised.
I frequently belch to ease the bloating feeling, and when I do it sounds wet. [sorry about that]. I often cannot get a satisfactory breath, don't know if that is related. Also, I occasionally get burning skin.
Would appreciate any input.

Muxy
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A related discussion, is bowl trouble perminate after gallbladder removal was started.
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A related discussion, bloating was started.
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