Why We Bloat During Menopause
Bloating is one of the more unpleasant side effects associated with menopause, but that doesn’t mean it needs to change your life in a negative way. Bloating during menopause is caused by rapidly fluctuating hormones; higher levels of the hormone estrogen cause increased water retention in your body.
Characterized by a feeling of increased tightness and pressure in your stomach and other parts of your body, bloating is commonly experienced during menopause. However, it is even more common to experience it during perimenopause, the transitional phase leading up to menopause. This is because hormones in your body fluctuate during this phase of your life. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the discomfort associated with bloating. This article details a few different methods in fighting bloating during menopause and perimenopause.
How to Naturally Treat Bloating
Be Sure To Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will help your gastrointestinal tract to keep moving in a healthy way throughout the day. Using liquids to counteract fluid retention may seem counterintuitive, but it actually helps. This is because the more water you drink, the more fluid your body releases.
Carrying a water bottle with you throughout the day will ensure that you always have easy access to hydration. You can buy an insulated water bottle to keep it cold as you take on the day. Smoothies are a fun and tasty way to help stay hydrated as well, because the fruit in smoothies contains lots of water. Coconut water is another great way to keep your hydration routine interesting.
Decrease Salt Intake
Have you ever felt really bloated after eating a salty meal from a restaurant? Salty foods can cause bloating, because the sodium in salt causes water retention. Some water retention due to sodium intake is necessary to maintain healthy blood pressure, but too much can cause bloating.
To decrease your salt intake, limit the amount of processed food that you consume. Drinking more water can also help to flush excess water from your body. Further, be sure to use low sodium broth and ingredients when cooking. There are countless other ways to flavor your food without adding excess salt.
If you’re looking to add a bit of extra zing to your food, go for lemon or vinegar to spice up your meal. You can also add spices that don’t have a lot of excess sodium. Sage, thyme, and tarragon, for example, are all yummy spices that won’t make you feel bloated. Coriander and turmeric are actually thought to reduce bloating, so these spices are also great to include in low-salt cooking.
Eating foods rich in probiotics like yogurt and kefir will help to promote digestive health. Consuming probiotics in food or supplement form can help to eliminate problematic bacteria that may be causing bloating. For starters, you can add a scoop of yogurt or a dash of kefir to your daily smoothie for an easy way to add probiotics to your morning breakfast routine. Anything that’s been fermented tends to be rich in probiotics, so think about adding things like kombucha, kimchi, or sauerkraut to your diet.
There has been research done that shows probiotics can help to increase bone density; decreased bone density and osteoporosis are other side effects of menopause.
Work up a Sweat
Exercising regularly can help to alleviate bloating during perimenopause and menopause. When you exercise, you flush both water and salt from your body as you sweat.
Exercise also helps to keep the digestive system moving at a healthy pace, which will relieve symptoms of bloating and help you to feel more comfortable and regular. Bring sneakers to work and go for a walk, or try to hit the gym during your lunch break. If you’re a morning person, try a pre-work yoga or pilates class that will help get your blood flowing before the day gets away from you.
It’s Best to Stay Drug Free
For many women, it’s best to steer away from hormone replacement therapy as the side effects associated with this tactic often outweigh the benefits. Hormone replacement therapy aims to alleviate the discomfort of menopause and perimenopause by replacing the hormones that your body no longer makes.
However, for women who suffer from intense bloating during PMS and menopause, HRT is generally not considered to be the best option. This is because HRT may actually cause bloating, alongside headaches, nausea, mood swings, vaginal bleeding, breast soreness and tenderness, and other unpleasant symptoms.
Try Relizen for Natural Menopause Relief
Relizen is a non-hormonal, plant-based option that relieves symptoms of menopause like hot flashes. If, throughout menopause, you suffer from bloating (amongst other symptoms), Relizen may be the perfect natural solution for you.
Relizen uses pollen extracts from different types of Swedish flowers to create a pesticide-free supplement. While it doesn’t work directly to help bloating, you can use it to alleviate hot flashes without inducing bloating or other side effects. For more information on hot flashes and night sweats, read our article on deal with Hot Flashes While Sleeping.