By Lemetria Whitehurst RN
Are your pants feeling just a little bit too tight? You’ve been trying to stick to your diet and exercise routine, but somehow it seems that no matter what you do, the waistband of your favorite jeans is just getting tighter. If this sounds like a familiar story, then you’re not alone – annoying bloating and menopause go hand-in-hand. Thankfully, there are some healthy ways to manage these frustrating issues. Here are the best tips for dealing with menopause and gas while going through life’s great hormonal rollercoaster.
Common Causes of Bloating and Menopause
When perimenopause and menopause occur, a hormonal imbalance can cause bloating due to an imbalance in the digestive system. During this time, levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body begin to decline significantly as the female body shifts to its new normal.
This hormonal imbalance may cause various effects throughout the body, including stomach discomfort and excessive gas. What makes this possible? Well, serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps prevent bloating, is influenced by estrogen levels, a hormone known to vary significantly during perimenopause and menopause.
Signs and Symptoms of Bloating During Perimenopause & Menopause
It’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of menopause bloating to yield the best possible outcomes the fastest. Common signs and symptoms of menopause bloat include:
- Abdominal pain or cramps
- Feeling full even after eating small amounts of food
- Frequent burping or belching
- Constipation or diarrhea
There may also be other accompanying symptoms, such as:
- Mood swings
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
How to Stop Menopause Bloating
There are a few things you can do for menopause bloat relief. First, simple changes to your hydration routine could make all the difference. Drinking more water will help improve digestion and prevent perimenopause water retention, which, if not kept in check, can contribute to painful bloating and perimenopause constipation.
It would be best to avoid trigger foods that may make symptoms worse. These can include foods high in salt, sugar, or fat. Instead, focus on eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and probiotic-rich foods. Research published in the International Journal of Women’s Health shows the gut microbiome presents a revolutionary new opportunity to improve menopause symptoms and their effects.
Based on the findings of this 2022 study, evidence implies that changes in microbial population could be used to regulate estrogen and progesterone during perimenopause.
Additionally, exercising every day, even if just a walk around the block, can help move the gas and fluid through the body and reduce menopause stomach bloating. It also helps reduce stress, which can contribute to stomach discomfort.
When under pressure, the body produces cortisol, which can lead to an increase in stomach acid. This can cause intense gassiness, indigestion, and other digestive issues. So, if you are struggling with menopausal bloating and weight gain, make sure you are getting enough exercise to keep unwanted symptoms at bay.
Related: Think You are in Perimenopause? Take Our Quiz!
How to Get Rid of Menopausal Bloating With Medications
There is no single pill that can instantly get rid of menopausal bloating, but there are a variety of treatments and medications that may provide some relief. For short term symptoms, over-the-counter (OTC) medications, such as simethicone or anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen may be helpful in reducing bloating caused by hormonal imbalances during menopause. If you have more stubborn or chronic bloating, hormone replacement therapy (HRT)/menopause hormone therapy (MHT) might be able to help you balance out those disruptive hormones.
Additionally, prescription diuretics can help with water retention and reduce bloating, as well as digestive aids to improve your body’s absorption of nutrients and reduce uncomfortable symptoms.
A Few Final Thoughts
You can take control of any uncomfortable menopausal bloating and weight gain by adjusting your dietary and lifestyle habits, speaking up with your healthcare provider when necessary, or trying natural alternatives like probiotics and herbal remedies.
Comfort and health should be your top priorities, and these steps will help you achieve them.
Because let’s face it – perimenopause can sometimes leave you feeling like a stranger in a strange land.
But thankfully you don’t have to go it alone! Join Perry if you’re looking for advice and support from other perimenopausal women. You will be a part of a thriving community of women all over the world who provide one another with endless resources and encouragement. Download our app from the Google Play Store or the App Store.
Note: The content on this page is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be professional medical advice. Do not attempt to self-diagnose or prescribe treatment based on the information provided. Always consult a physician before making any decision on the treatment of a medical condition.
- Lee, Do Yup, Eosu Kim, and Man Ho Choi. “Technical and clinical aspects of cortisol as a biochemical marker of chronic stress.” BMB reports 48.4 (2015): 209-216. Available from: https://koreascience.kr/article/JAKO201523050209726.page
- Roop, J. K. “Hormone Imbalance—A Cause for Concern in Women.” Research Journal of Life Sciences, Bioinformatics, Pharmaceuticals and Chemical 4 (2018): 237-251. Available from: https://www.rjlbpcs.com/article-pdf-downloads/2018/18/221.pdf
- Sharangi, Amit Baran, and Suddhasuchi Das. “Healing indigestion: A phytotherapeutic review.” Advances in Traditional Medicine (2020): 1-17. Available from: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13596-020-00514-x.
- Vahora, I. S., Tsouklidis, N., Kumar, R., Soni, R., & Khan, S. (2020). How Serotonin Level Fluctuation Affects the Effectiveness of Treatment in Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Cureus, 12(8), e9871. https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.9871
- Peters, B. A., Santoro, N., Kaplan, R. C., & Qi, Q. (2022). Spotlight on the Gut Microbiome in Menopause: Current Insights. International journal of women’s health, 14, 1059–1072. https://doi.org/10.2147/IJWH.S340491
- Harper-Harrison G, Shanahan MM. Hormone Replacement Therapy. [Updated 2022 Feb 17]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493191/