Chronic Disease Support/Management/binge belly
I have not had a drink since Easter. Overall I am feeling much better, eating healthy ( low fat, low simple carbs), exercising, and losing weight, but my belly has not gone down. I was a hard liquor bing drinker, and my reasearch online pointed to big stomachs as a symptom of this.
Since I am in my 50's and binge drank for many years, I can understand that I wont see a reduction that soon, but was hopefull it would get to a more normal size in a few months.
My doctor says I dont have ascites or liver damage, just 'central obesity'. He said to keep doing what I am doing.
Have you come across this in your experiance? I have no living male relatives to compare myself to by genetics.
Thanks, and have a great summer!
Congratulations on being clean. Drinking can be hard to quit even if it is binge drinking.
Just a reminder I am not a medical professional just someone with some life experiences with chronic conditions and who likes to learn more about being as healthy and happy as possible in spite of the diagnosis. I am not an expert on physical recovery from drinking or stubborn belly fat. However, I did have a few thoughts.
Is it more fat or bloating? If it is bloating due to underlying issues than the best diet and exercise can only do so much. My first thought was gluten intolerance or sensitivity. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Even though it is whole grain wheat a person who cannot handle gluten can still have problems even though it is dark and seems healthy. Also, gluten is in a lot of things people do not suspect and sensitive individuals can react to small amounts (licorice, toothpaste, soups, processed stuff aka the generally middle part of the supermarket). People thought I looked pregnant when my health deteriorated due to previously undiagnosed gluten intolerance. I am not diagnosed with Celiac's which only represents a small portion of the diseases/ issues people can have with gluten. Fortunately many foods are naturally gluten free - fruits, veggies, beans, meat, seafood - stuff we should eat any way. Some people are cross reactive with other grains, but other people can tolerate things like rice, millet, sorghum, etc. One can still eat things they enjoy in moderation but enjoy their gluten free counter parts - cupcake, pizza, pasta, bread, bagel, donut, etc. In terms of getting a diagnosis there are tests but they will only catch it in certain cases. I think going gluten free or trying a food diary is a great way to gather information that a test may not capture.
Another issue could be bloating due to a GI issue - irritable bowel syndrome and I think crohn's and ulcerative colitis and other disorders may also present with bloating.
If there are other food allergies, sensitivities, or intolerances. Milk is a big one with all the proteins in it people can react too not to mention the lactose (most people have never heard of casein a protein in milk but that is at least one of my problems with milk and having lactose free milk products will not help someone like me who has an issue with the milk protein). Soy can be problematic especially since its similar in some ways to estrogen. Nuts, fish, shellfish, and eggs are also common allergens.
Even though you do not have any relatives what about people that shared the "environment." Has any one else around your age that you used to drink with stop? How long did it take for them to lose the belly? Maybe checking out recovery forums or other online information related to either drinking for a number of years and losing the belly or men your age trying to lose the belly. Obviously harder to lose the belly as we get older but it amazed me to discover mine was not fat or weight gain at all but something else rather unexpected.
Best wishes! Please let me know if there is anything else I can do.