Suffering from gas and bloating since going into menopause? What causes it and what you can do.
by N J Howell
More on Women's Health Care: Polycystic Ovaries and Breast Disease
Question on Healing: Please explain why menopause can cause bloating and gas?
Healing Facilitation Response:
I was glad to see this question because gas and bloating have been a big issue for me, personally, all thru peri-menopause and into menopause. Doctors don't really know for certain how much hormonal fluxes during menopause may affect intestinal health and contribute to intestinal discomfort such as gas and bloating for the menopausal woman.
There does appear to be some link between menopause and intestinal distress, due to the high numbers of women who report increased gas and bloating after going into menopause. Many feel the fluxes of levels of estrogen and progesterone may be a factor in menopausal bloating and flatulence. Estrogen levels impact the levels of bile that the gallbladder produces. Bile is a natural lubricant for the intestines so lower levels could contribute to intestinal discomfort and possibly increased bloating and gas.
HRT Side Effects:
Increased gas and bloating may be a side effect of hormone replacement therapy. If you are on hormone therapy, talk to your doctor about whether your gas and bloating could be a side effect of that treatment and whether other menopausal treatment options might be less likely to cause intestinal discomfort.
If you've changed your diet, which a lot of women do as part of their self-care once they head into the menopausal years, then your diet may also be a factor. This rule applies to me. I have always strived to eat healthy but, honestly, didn't seem to be as careful in my younger years because I could eat bad and still feel good. The older I get, the less that's true.
One reason I think I'm getting more gas and bloating now is because I have started fruit and vegetable juicing and have increased my intake of green, leafy vegetables. I did this for health reasons and, in particular, because I felt my blood sugar levels were not great eating a grain-heavy, veggie-light diet.
Green, leafy veggies are so good for you but many of them are also higlhy gas-producing foods. If you have increased your intake of green, leafy veggies or bright-colored veggies and you are menopausal, this may be part of the reason for increased gas and bloating during menopause. Gas-producing veggies include broccoli, spinach, cabbage, brussel sprouts, red and green bell peppers, etc.
If gas and bloating are excessive, you may also want to have a check-up to rule out other conditions, such as IBS, acid reflux, etc.
Related: What helps with menopausal gas and bloating?
A good reference on Menopausal Gas and Bloating
Health Care Disclaimer: Chronic gas and bloating may be a symptom of an underlying medical condition and may not be menopause-related. Conditions your doctor may want to rule out include IBS, Krohn's, Diverticulitis and other intestinal health challenges. Information presented here is educational and not meant to replace medical care or testing.