The hormonal imbalances that occur during perimenopause - the years leading up to menopause - are often the cause of water retention and bloating. This can be very embarrassing and uncomfortable for women, often leaving them feeling sluggish or flatulent. Fortunately, it is a harmless symptom that is normally short term, but nevertheless, there are things you can do to reduce bloating during perimenopause, namely making changes to eating and drinking habits. Keep reading for a few ideas on how to do this.
Make Some Dietary Changes
One of the best ways to reduce bloating during perimenopause is to make changes to the kinds of foods you eat. Every person will have their own individual triggers, so it is worth making a note of when you feel bloated in order to work out what yours might be. However, there are also foods that are known to generally cause bloating in most people, and avoiding them, or at least cutting down on consumption, should help with bloating. A few examples of foods that have been recognized as bloating triggers are beans, broccoli, onions, milk, and cabbage.
Change Your Eating Habits
How you eat is almost as important as what you eat in the fight against bloating during perimenopause, and making small changes to the manner in which you eat can make a huge difference. For example, eating big portions slows digestion and leaves food sitting in the body undigested. This can lead to bloating and flatulence. Therefore, eating smaller meals at more frequent intervals should help reduce the problem.
Stimulating the digestive system is best done by increasing blood flow to the area, and exercise is the best way to do this. In the long term, exercising regularly will keep the digestive system running at its optimum capacity, reducing bloating during perimenopause. It also helps by encouraging blocked gas to pass through the body. Exercising for around 30 minutes a day is recommended for most adults. However, avoid exercise right after eating, as this can lead to intense discomfort.
Drink Lots of Water
Bloating is often caused by water retention, and this increases as the body becomes more dehydrated. To encourage the body to allow water to pass through and do its job nourishing the organs, it is best to keep hydrated. Even a small amount of dehydration can increase bloating during perimenopause.
Bloating during perimenopause is common, but luckily, it is very easy to deal with. For some women, bloating might not completely disappear with dietary changes alone, but to make small changes to address the other causes of bloating should drastically reduce or even eliminate the problem.
- American College of Gastroenterology. (2014). Digestive Health Tips. Retrieved November 3, 2014, from http://patients.gi.org/topics/digestive-health-tips/
- National Health Service UK. (2014). Beat the bloat. Retrieved November 3, 2014, from http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/digestive-health/Pages/beat-the-bloat.aspx
- National Institutes of Health. (2014). Gas - flatulence. Retrieved November 3, 2014, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003124.htm
- Northrup, C. (2006). The Wisdom of Menopause. New York: Bantam Dell.