Menopause bloating is common, but it’s really uncomfortable too. Starting from early perimenopause, it can happen at any time. And surprise surprise, it has a lot to do with hormones.
So let’s stick a pin in the topic of menopause bloating – what’s causing it, how long it’s likely to last, and (most importantly) how to get some relief.
In this article 📝
- What causes bloating in menopause?
- How to stop menopause bloating
- Lifestyle changes to try
- Supplements for menopause bloating
- Medicines for menopause bloating
- The best diet for menopause bloating
- How long does menopause bloating last?
What causes bloating in menopause?
First off, there’s a difference between menopause bloating and menopause weight gain.
They’re both common side effects of menopause, but bloating is a tight, swollen, uncomfortable feeling that’s likely to come and go – even throughout the day.
Just like at any other stage of life, there are two different kinds of bloating during menopause:
- Excess gas
- Excess fluid (which can be responsible for some menopause weight gain from bloating)
You might find that bloating comes and goes, and that it gets worse after certain meals or in certain situations. Traveling is a common trigger, for example.
But one thing is for sure – whether water retention or trapped wind is the issue, it’s pretty uncomfortable.
Both kinds of bloating are usually caused by a hormone imbalance during menopause.
High levels of estrogen can lead to water retention because your kidneys aren’t functioning quite as efficiently as they normally would.
This is the same reason why you might have had a bloated feeling and slight weight gain before you got your period.
Just to make things even more fun, high levels of progesterone have a habit of slowing down your digestive system, making you feel sluggish and windy, especially after a big meal.
You might also find that you experience more severe menopause bloating if you suffered from a condition such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) before menopause.
How to stop menopause bloating
Wondering what to do for bloating during menopause? There are lots of different things you can try – natural remedies, supplements, and medications for starters.
It can also be really helpful to keep a diary and make notes on how you felt each day.
This can help you identify the possible triggers for your bloating, and you might be able to manage it by changing some things about your daily menu or routine.
Lifestyle changes to try
When you’re not feeling yourself, making changes to your routine can seem like really hard work.
But if you can change even one of the things on this list, you might notice a big difference in a lot of menopause symptoms, including bloating:
- Exercise regularly, ideally a 30-minute moderate workout five times a week.
- Practice self-care, whatever that looks like for you.
- Get enough quality sleep. You can make this easier by switching screens off an hour before bed, keeping your room on the cooler side, and maybe even drinking chamomile tea or putting a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow.
Supplements for menopause bloating
You can get natural menopause bloating relief in the form of supplements.
Some of the most popular contain ginger or peppermint, which both make it easier for your body to digest your food.
You might also want to try these ingredients in a tea after meals, or as an essential oil massage.
On top of this, a multivitamin supplement can help make sure that your body is working exactly as it should.
Try and find one with vitamin D3, as most of us don’t get enough of this one anyway.
Finally, many women find that clary sage oil is really helpful for a whole host of menopause symptoms. It’s believed that this essential oil has hormone-balancing properties.
If your hormone levels are rising and falling more smoothly, you’ll probably notice that your bloating becomes less severe. And, if it also does something against mood swings and hot flashes, even better.
Medicines for menopause bloating
There are lots of over-the-counter remedies for bloating, including the most popular chewable calcium carbonate tablets to help you get rid of trapped wind.
If you need menopause bloating relief, this is a good first step. Your pharmacist will also be able to recommend other remedies.
Diuretics are another option, especially if your bloating is caused by fluid retention, though these are only available with a prescription.
The best diet for menopause bloating
The best menopause diets are rich in Omega-3, calcium, and iron.
This can help to fight menopause fatigue, and reduce your risk of osteoporosis.
Avoiding the following foods can also help to kick that bloated feeling to the kerb:
- Fatty or greasy foods of any kind, because these are harder to digest
- Spicy foods, because these irritate your stomach
- Dairy, because lactose intolerance is really common
- Processed food that contains a lot of salt and sugar
- Soda or sparkling drinks, which put a lot of gas in your system
- Chewing gum, which can make you swallow air.
Probiotics can also help to make your digestive system more efficient. You can either take these as a supplement, or get them from foods such as natural yogurt, cottage cheese, kombucha, kimchi, or even pickles.
A note on when to seek advice about bloating
It’s worth saying, though, that in rare cases consistent, painful bloating can be a symptom of ovarian cancer.
So if your discomfort goes on and on, isn’t responding to the remedies above, or if you have other symptoms like pelvic pain, needing to pee more frequently, or pain after sex, it’s worth getting a full checkup from your doctor.
How long does menopause bloating last?
The unfortunate truth is that menopause bloating can go on for as long as menopause itself.
Perimenopause usually starts sometime in your late 40s or early 50s and can continue for as long as three to five years.
Luckily, because bloating is so closely connected to erratic hormone levels, it should come and go, rather than being a constant companion throughout this time.
As we already said, though, if it’s a persistent problem, you really don’t have to grin and bear it. You have lots of options to try so that you can find a solution that works for you.
📚 More on menopause:
Introducing, Peanut Menopause
What Happens During Menopause?
How to Deal With Menopause
When Does Menopause Start?
How Long Does Menopause Last?
Painful Sex After Menopause? What to Know
Hot Flashes: Causes, Symptoms, and What to Do
What to Know About Menopause Joint Pain
Unusual Menopause Symptoms You Might Not Know
Why Are My Breasts Getting Bigger After Menopause?
Are You Getting Cramps After Menopause?
What You Need to Know About Menopause Mood Swings
Tea for Menopause: Which to Choose and Why