Bloating is an old friend. It might have first been introduced to you when your periods first strolled into your life. From then on, you might have realised that bloating just needs a reason to hang out with you. It’s like those clingy relatives that visit uninvited and then take over your house. Your uninvited guests, as you grow older, might come in the form of menopause and bloating and cramps.
One of the many glorious menopause symptoms include bloating. Menopause and stomach bloating go hand in hand due to the
roller coaster ride your hormones are riding high and low on. Stomach bloating in menopause is lower as compared to perimenopause, but it still holds its own. Post menopause stomach bloating is not as severe, as your body stops it’s production of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone, and your hormones balance out.
You may have experienced bloating several times in your life. It is the feeling of swelling in your abdomen and feeling as if you’ve been pumped full of air like a balloon. It is utterly agonising and
uncomfortable and might add to your mental body issues. Bloating can happen much quicker than weight gain. The night before you might try out an outfit, just to realise the next day that it is a size too small. Just part of the enchanting beauty of menopause and stomach bloating.
Abdominal bloating in menopause does not come alone. She brings her friends, burping, gas (flatulence and/or farting), and always feeling full, along for the ride to hell. If you’ve heard someone complain of a bloated belly, this is what they were talking about.
Causes of bloating during perimenopause and menopause
Menopause symptoms stroll into your life a long time before you get the green card of being a resident of menopause. This stage of getting to know the minions of hell before encountering the devil in full blast, is called perimenopause. Menopause comes along to fill the void of your periods when they haven’t come to visit for at least 12 months, due to a lack of oestrogen and progesterone. Your entire life after menopause is committed to being Mrs. Post-menopause. It’s an until death do us part kind of a deal.
Perimenopause is when your body is in ultra bloating mode courtesy of your hormones going into super sonic mode. It elevates the level of oestrogen in your body, which in turn works as a vessel to retain more water, which leads to your expansion, breadth-wise.
Other than stomach bloating in menopause, there are several other menopause symptoms that sneak into your body. Some of the most prominent ones experienced by a majority of women going through menopause symptoms include hot flushes, insomnia, weight gain, irritability and being prone to depression, and vaginal dryness (may your sex life rest in peace!).
Abdominal bloating in menopause is caused by gas building up in your body, especially in your gastrointestinal system. This can have various causes apart from the hormones fluctuating due to your perimenopause and menopause symptoms. These might include swallowing air while drinking through a straw or chewing gum, an unbalanced diet, irregular or
Post menopause stomach bloating might be due to these reasons rather than menopause symptoms. Post menopause your hormones settle down and do not go on a bender as they do in perimenopause and menopause stages.
Water Retention Or Gas Retention ?
Water retention and gas retention are the two banes of your existence that lead to bloating. Good luck figuring out which one is the culprit. Gas bloating usually takes place around the stomach area due to the air getting trapped there. It can be easily prevented by eating slowly and reducing your meal sizes. Carbonated drinks are a kiss of death that you need to stay away from no matter what.
Water retention considers your entire body fair play. While gas retention focuses on your abdominal area, water retention goes wherever the fuck it wants. Hands, feet, midsection, all are vulnerable to bloating caused by water retention. Plus this type of bloating can be quite painful as well. There are several steps to decrease or get rid of the bloating caused by excessive fluid in your body, including exercising regularly and staying hydrated.
Prevention And Relief
Bloating, along with several other menopause symptoms can be managed with slight shifts in your lifestyle and day to day habits. Preventing bloating during menopause is definitely better than a cure. Here are some of the changes you can make to life a bloat free life.
Drink Up : Water retention is caused due to excess of water being collected in your body. While adding more water might seem like a bad idea, it actually aids in reducing bloating by moving the gastrointestinal tract as smoothly as possible.
Move Your Body : The more you indulge in for favorite forms of exercise, the more you sweat. This helps eradicate the excess water built up in the body. Exercise also aids in digestion which helps reduce the amount of water accumulated.
Diet : There are various foods that add to bloating which should be avoided including beans and lentils. Fruits and vegetables like brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, prunes, and apricots, trigger bloating in people as well. Sweeteners and dairy products are a wretch in your bid to reduce bloating. Whole grains also add to bloating. These foods need not be excluded from your diet. Instead try to have a balanced diet that has all food groups incorporated in it to fulfill the needs of your body. Carbonated drinks should be avoided as well.
Reducing Salt Intake : Salt makes your body swell and can cause retention of water. Since processed food has a lot of salt, it is important to avoid these foods as well.
Load Up On Probiotics : Probiotics help with digestion and thereby help getting rid of pain in the stomach bloating. Yogurt, tempeh, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut are some of the foods which are rich in probiotics and an important addition to your diet to combat bloating.
There are a number of ways, other than natural remedies that you can resort to if you’re suffering from severe bloating and other menopause symptoms. If you want to go the prescription route, taking hormone replacement therapy as well as birth control pills, helps reduce and get rid of bloating. Water pills and diuretics could also work wonders. No prescription over the counter medications are available at your disposal. If bloating is painful or prolonged then you might want to consult your doctor.
Bloating Or Weight Gain ?
Bloating and weight gain might look the same as they’re both menopause symptoms. It can sometimes be hard to differentiate between them. Bloating caused by menopause brings along a swollen belly and a distinct feeling of discomfort which is missing in weight gain. Moreover bloating can be spotted by the fact that your body seems to literally grow in size during or post meals.
Your stomach might go through a transformation throughout the day. From flat to having a food belly to looking several months pregnant (chill, just an exaggeration), but you get the gist. You could also suffer from pain during bloating that is a characteristic of severe bloating and menopause. Ageing and menopause symptoms lead to weight gain as you grow older. Weight gain is known to come and stay, regardless of bloating. Weight gain does not make your stomach to imitate a beach ball.
Time To Pay Your Doc A Visit : Bloating is a regular customer when you’re going through your periods or menopause symptoms. It comes and goes without any help from your side. However if the duration of the bloating goes on for a long time, or the severity of the pain and discomfort are too much for you to handle, or are interfering in your ability to lead a normal life, it’s time to pay a visit to a doctor. The cause of this type of bloating could be something that needs to be diagnosed.
Menopause symptoms usher in bloating on a red carpet. A boost in oestrogen levels in your body causes bloating, but there are a number of factors that can play a part. A few changes in your lifestyle and medicines are known to provide relief from menopause and bloating and cramps. As the hormone levels in your body balance out, bloating might go down alongside oestrogen and progesterone. So you can still live a normal life and wear all of your favorite clothes by easily blotting the menopause symptoms out.