How To Moderate Menopause Bloating
Menopause bloating does seem like a dreadful thought: Imagine always feeling full, your stomach feeling tight (and in most cases, your jeans, too), and worst of all, having no control over burping or flatulence. And you thought hot flushes were embarrassing.
Menopause bloating happens to a number of women in perimenopause, or the phase leading up to menopause cause. The erratic behavior of your hormones, particularly estrogen and progesterone, is to blame. You may remember having exactly the same bloated feeling before, with your menstrual period: Rising estrogen levels—and declining progesterone levels—cause a woman to retain water. And now that your hormone levels are going haywire at perimenopause, you go back and forth on water retention, and this leads to menopause bloating.
Fluctuating estrogen levels, another effect of menopause cause, also affect the production of bile, a natural lubricant of our intestines. The lower the levels of estrogen, the lower bile levels get, too. Stools become dry and hard and they can accumulate in the small intestines, leading to menopause bloating and constipation. Hormonal fluctuations and bacteria in the intestines also contribute to the increased production of intestinal gas, which explains for the awful flatulence.
Other factors may induce menopause bloating, from poor food choices (food high in sugar and certain vegetables may create bacteria in intestines) to other more serious—but uncommon—underlying medical conditions like diabetes, gallstones, or a kidney disease.
Menopause bloating is an annoying part of menopause cause, but it is rarely permanent and it’s one menopausal symptom that doesn’t necessarily require extreme treatments. Most doctors prescribe a simple solution: lifestyle change.
Avoid common foods that trigger bloating or gas: Sodium, milk, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, beans, oats, corn, and soft cheese are just some of these culprits. Indulge instead in bananas, yogurt, grapes, herbal teas, and fruit juices. If the menopause bloating is caused by constipation, increase your fiber intake and make sure to drink the recommended eight 8-oz glasses of water each day. Exercise strengthens abdominal walls and helps curb the feeling of tightness and discomfort in the abdomen. Stress-relieving techniques like a good day at the spa are also helpful since anxiety and stress add to menopause bloating. (Ever notice how you seem to take in more air when you’re visibly upset?)
In the rare occasion that menopause bloating goes on for a prolonged period or brings intense pain (especially if you start developing extreme changes in bowel habits, blood in stool, vomiting, nausea or fever), consult with your doctor immediately as these are very extreme symptoms of menopause cause. It could probably be just “all air,” but you’d want to know for sure.
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