Have you ever experienced bloating? Suppose you are a woman who is about to enter menopause. There are chances that you might experience menopausal bloating, which is a terrible feeling and can sometimes feel severely painful.
Unfortunately, many women go through bloating during their menopausal stage. It occurs differently from woman to woman. Some experience this once in a while. But for some, it happens even almost every day. This feeling of fullness during menopause is very unpleasant, but the most important part is that it can ease by numerous means that we will state in this article. These easing methods that will be discussed can be used for both pre-menopause and menopause bloating.
Different techniques help to ease abdominal bloating during menopause. These techniques include lifestyle, diet, supplements, and so on.
Why Does Menopause Make You Bloated?
Three major causes that can make bloated during menopause are:
- water retention,
- gas retention,
- regular instabilities in hormone level during the menopause transition.
Let’s discuss each of these three reasons in detail.
VARYING HORMONE LEVEL
The build-up of menopause includes the regular instabilities in hormone level, which occurs when the estrogen production decreases slowly. Upon getting to the last phase of the menopause transition, there will be a speedup in the drop of estrogen and will start experiencing some symptoms of menopause.
More than half of the human body is made up of water, and it is a vital element that helps the body function properly. Some of its functions are to eliminate waste products and also to dissolve nutrients.
As important as water is to the body, too much of it will also affect the body. It can only be too much when the body fails to eliminate the excess water. This condition is termed “water retention.”
Water retention that makes you bloated during menopause is caused by the changes in the level of hormones. When hormones level starts to fluctuate in a woman’s body, it can affect their fluid balance, leading to their body retaining excess water instead of getting rid of it. One of the symptoms of this is breast tenderness.
Gas retention occurs as a result of trapped air. It can be caused by numerous factors such as:
- Swallowing air
- Modifications in diet or appetite
- Burden related to menopause
The main factor that can lead to gas retention in a woman’s body during menopause is stress related to menopause which causes changes in the gastrointestinal tract. Gas bloating, unlike that of water, is specifically located in the stomach.
Besides, other possible conditions that lead to bloating in a woman’s body are constipation, stress, anxiety, etc.
What Works For Easing Bloating?
Bloating can be relieved in different ways depending on the factor that causes the bloating in the first place. Though some stomach bloating will resolve on its own. The use of supplements or other techniques to ease bloating is also advisable. Some of these methods can be applied to relived bloating or perhaps for the underlying reason of the bloating.
For Gas Retention
The air trapped in the stomach responsible for bloating is mainly caused by the fermentation of consumed food in the stomach and the air swallowed (Aerophagia). Also, many other factors can lead to gas retention, like digestion, hormones, and other lifestyle choices. So, we propose appropriate solutions for each cause. If you are experiencing bloating caused by gas retention in menopause, you might try the following ways.
1) Change your eating habit
The medical term for redundant swallowing of air is Aerophagia. This swallowing of air can occur during eating, laughing, eating, and so on. Aerophagia can be for the short term or long term. Long-term Aerophagia is termed chronic, while short-term Aerophagia is termed acute.
Numerous eating habit contributes to redundant swallowing of air. Some eating habits, such as making conversations while eating, lead to repetitive swallowing of air. You should eat food at a reasonable pace and not make conversations while eating if you are undergoing abdominal bloating during menopause.
2) Control carbonated drinks
Do you have the habit of dring carbonated drinks? You might need to reduce the intake of these beverages or even stop drinking them if you are experiencing bloating in menopause.
Lowering the amount of carbonated drinks intake can also reduce gas retention because carbonated drinks increase Aerophagia. This is because carbonated drinks contain lots of gas, and when this gas gets to the digestive tract, it will increase the air in the stomach. This excess air can lead to bloating in any individual, including women that are undergoing menopause.
3) Reduce the intake of liquid with a straw and avoid smoking
The action of sucking to draw air in that takes place in smoking and when taking drinks through a straw also increases the air intake and often leads to excess air. Therefore, one of the means to ease bloating caused by gas retention is to reduce the intake of liquid with a straw and avoid smoking.
4) Belly massage
A famous technique that is usually applied to ease bloating is belly massage. This belly massage will improve circulation, which will make stomach muscles relax. This therapy technique also works for menstrual pain and constipation.
For Water Retention
One of the ways to ease the menstrual bloating caused by water retention is to reduce the amount of sodium intake. Sodium can bind with water in the body hence causing water retention. Sodium is one of the two elements in salt, which means reducing sodium intake also means a reduction of salt intake.
1) Magnesium and Potassium-rich food
In a situation where high sodium consumption is inevitable, you can balance the sodium level by taking food or substance rich in magnesium or potassium. Magnesium and Potassium-rich food like sweet potatoes, bananas will make help you maintain the sodium levels and avoid the risk of water retention.
2)High protein food
Taking some nutrients can help to ease water retention. For example, consuming food with high protein content will ease menstrual bloating because protein can keep the fluid balance in the human body. Also, taking vitamin B-6 will ease bloating through water retention.
Another means that can be used to prevent or ease menstrual bloating is the wearing of leggings. Leggings help by squeezing your legs, and by doing so, fluid won’t accumulate in the squeezed area of the leg.
Over the counter treatments for bloating
Nowadays, you can purchase different medications for bloating. Some of these guys include Antidepressants, Anti-flatulent medications, prokinetics, and so on.
This drug helps to break down the FODMAPs food substance or any indigestible substance. Also, it impedes FODMAPs from getting to the large intestine, where the anaerobic bacteria generate gas. It is advisable to take anti-flatulent when taking food with high FODMAPs. Anti-flatulent gets rid of excess gas by adding small gas bubbles into the larger had bubbles, and the excess gas will be released through burping or flatulence.
The main purpose of this drug is to treat depression, but in recent years they have been proving to ease bloating via their effect on the gut and brain receptors.
Prokinetics helps to relieve bloating by improving the time it takes food to pass down the digestive tract.
Does the Low FODMAP diet help with bloating during menopause?
Yes, it helps.
FODMAP means Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides, And Polyols.
They are foods that contain specific sugar or carbohydrates that are poorly digested or absorbed in the small intestine. They will end up fermenting in the small intestine and cause bloating due to excessive gas.
It is advisable for a woman undergoing menopause transition and suffering from digestive distress to adopt the low FODMAP diet as it will avoid bloating during menopause. Especially if you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, a digestive disorder, staying away from food with high FODMAP is extremely necessary.
Can changes in diet help menopause bloat?
Yes, of course!
Making necessary changes in diet can help menopause bloating. As stated above that the sodium content in salt might lead to bloating. Decreasing the level of salt or any food with high sodium content is an example of a change in diet that helps to ease menopause bloating. In addition, you should avoid some foods that can trigger bloating. Or it would be helpful if you could reduce the consumption of such food. Examples of such foods are beans, onions, sugary snacks, and so on.
Can HRT help menopause bloating?
Yes, it helps.
As stated earlier, the irregularity in the hormone is the primary source of menopause bloating. Hormone replacement therapy ( HRT) is the method used to treat the main source of menopause bloating. Hormone replacement therapy will help treat many symptoms of menopause because it deals with hormones and are the primary cause of most symptoms.
A Word from Betterfemales
When you are going through abdominal bloating during menopause, don’t keep silent！Check the right cause firstly, and then adopt the proper methods to ease the bloating. If you have tried these natural methods and your symptoms are still not relieved, it is best to see a doctor before taking any drugs.