"Why do I sometimes wake up looking bloated?"
I've always felt my digestion ran a bit on the slow side, but over the past year, I've noticed things getting worse. I used to feel bloated and a bit short of breath often at night, but lately I'm even waking up feeling full, a bit nauseous and looking three months pregnant. The belly just grows as the day progresses, and my appetite shrinks along with it. What could be going on??"
-LT, New Jersey
Sounds like you might indeed be pregnant... with what I call a "food baby." You mentioned feeling full, nauseous and having lost your appetite, which makes me wonder if perhaps your stomach emptying might have slowed down. Sometimes a sudden change in stomach emptying can happen following an acute infection-- a bad stomach bug or flu, a case of food poisoning or a parasitic infection. It may be worth taking to your doctor about investigating your gastric emptying.
In the meantime, try this out for the next few weeks: steer clear of rough, tough textured foods like raw veggies, nuts and popcorn and eat soft, lower fat meals and snacks like eggs, sushi, well-cooked veggies, smoothies, soups, turkey sandwiches, veggieburgers, baked fish, ripe/skinless fruits and yogurts. Try to eat 4 small meals or large snacks per day that are spaced out by 4 hours, and limit your drinking to between meals. Make dinner your lightest meal of the day, not your largest.