Natural remedies and helpful tips for menopausal bloating and gas
by N J Howell
Help for Cystitis
Detoxing to Help Menopause
Milia and Menopause
This is part two of an article on menopausal gas and bloating. Please read part one for information on possible causes of intestinal discomfort as a menopause symtom.
In part one we talked about diet changes as being a possible factor in menopausal bloating and gas because many women, once they reach menopause, also become more invested in and aware of the role diet plays in aging. This desire to eat better that seems to come with age, often leads to a marked increase in consumption of vegetables; gas-producing veggies that may impact the menopausal woman who is already dealing with flatulence.
If like me, you suspect extra gas and bloating may have a dietary component, then you may be wondering whether cutting back on veggies might help. Well, it might but at what price? The very veggies that do so much for us, like broccoli and cabbage, also are the most apt to cause gas. I'm determined to eat more veggies because everything I've read tells me that they are among the most healthy foods we can eat. I'm even willing to put up with the gas but do I have to? There must be a way to get the health benefits without all this gas and bloating.
Helpful tips for Menopausal Bloating and Gas:
Soy for Menopause Symptoms: Soy is often recommended for menopausal women. However, I don't eat soy products at all if I can help it. It's impossible to avoid all soy unless you eat no processed foods at all because most contain soybean oil or soy lecithin. Ironically, every single time I eat anything containing Americanized, processed soy, I start having hot flashes again. Also, I just felt worse when taking soy supplements. My body rejects soy that's been messed with but I've also read that it just isn't digestible, at all. I don't specifically remember if I had more flatulence or more bloating when I was taking a soy supplement for menopause but I definitely remember feeling like I was on fire from the inside when the hot flashes kept coming back.
Personally, I believe non-fermented soy is a food that was never meant for human consumption. I feel soy may contribute to some serious health problems, if eaten every day, specifically thryoid problems. If you do choose to eat soy or take some sort of soy supplement for menopause, I'd suggest reading the information on the website of Dr. John Lee, the author of What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause.
Probiotics: One thing I discovered that helps me is to take a probiotic formula. I use Acuflora because of the price and it works just as well as the Sustenex I was using before. Probiotics help with digesting carbs, which may help with flatulence and bloating.
Reduce Refined Sugar and White Flour Products:
Another thing that has helped me is to stop eating so many foods that contain refined sugar and white flour. Both cause increased bloating when I consume them. In addition, neither refined sugar or white flour provide any health benefits that I am aware of so reducing or eliminating them feels like a healthy choice to me, whether or not they are causing extra gas and bloating.
Drink Herbal Teas as Digestive Aids: There are herbal teas that may be helpful to drink when eating gas-producing foods. These would include ginger tea, fennel tea and peppermint tea. I've had all three and definitely notice a better digestive experience with peppermint and ginger. I don't like the taste of fennel tea so would probably take a capsule there.
Relieve Gas With An After-Meal Stroll: Walking after eating is definitely helpful in my case. If I can go out, about a half hour after eating, and walk for at least 15-30 minutes, I notice that I have less of a problem later. Also, if I don't eat anything at least a hour before going to bed, I sleep better and have less intestinal discomfort.
Natural Stool Softeners: I take organic flaxseed oil capsules as a natural stool softener, which helps with preventing constipation and also seems to help with gas and bloating, at least in my experience.
Beano and There'll Be No Gas? There's a product called Beano that, when taken before meals containing gas-producing foods, can help prevent flatulence after eating and bloating from poor absorption of carbs. I've taken Beano before but it's been a few years. As I recall, Beano did not set will will me and I think it's because it may contain sorbitol or malitol or mannitol or one of those "tols" as additive. My body does not like any of those. If you can handle the additives, Beano may work for you to reduce bloating and gas.
Maca Root for Menopause: It looks like Maca might be a good option to try, not only to reduce bloating and gas but to help with other menopause symptoms. Instead of being phytoestrogenic like other herbs which are used for menopause (black cohosh, red clover, donq quai, etc.) Maca is non-estrogenic. Where phytoestrogenic herbs contain what amounts to a plant version of estrogen, and supply that estrogen to the body, non-estrogenic herbs nourish the body and help the body to naturally produce more estrogen.,
Maca nourishes the endocrine system and may help the body maintain a better hormonal balance on it's own. Maca does not seem to have any serious side effects that I've been able to find but that doesn't mean there may not be side effects to taking it. If on prescription drugs, see your doctor before adding Maca and, in particular, it would see important to not also be taking phytoestrogenic herbs or HRT with Maca.
Phytoestrogenic supplements may cause the body to become less able to maintain hormonal balance because they provide an external source of estrogen, just as HRT provides an external source of hormones into the body.
Could your discomfort be exacerbated by another common menopausal symptom, which is poor elimination? I definitely think so. I noticed a difference in my own colon function when going thru peri-menopause. A colon cleanse may be helpful.
Health Disclaimer: These natural remedies and helpful tips on reducing menopausal bloating and gas are not suggested as replacement for any needed medical attention. You should see your doctor before adding a natural phytoestrogenic or non-estrogenic herb to your menopausal health regimen.