We’ve all been there – when you have that perfect outfit planned and then the bloat. What’s a girl to do? It can range from a mild pot belly to looking like you are seriously pregnant with gas and discomfort too. It may be down to something you ate, or it just may be your hormones as fluctuations in hormones, especially oestrogen can cause bloating. Below are some tips to help with hormonal bloating.
Hormonal Bloating: What’s Going On?
When we have excess oestrogen the body stores more water causing water retention and bloating. It also alters bile levels. Bile affects how we digest fat and altered levels can cause sluggishness of the digestive tract, bloating and gas.
A little bloating before the period is normal as the cervix changes in position and texture in preparation for the bleed. But it should not be such an issue that you are in discomfort or that it interferes with your daily routine.
Often women in perimenopause will complain about bloating due to fluctuations in oestrogen.
Tips to help reduce hormonal bloating
First and foremost we have to look at reducing excess oestrogens. In addition, try these practical tips:
Eat slowly – slow down when eating, sit comfortably, away from screens and chew your food to help with digestion
Avoid – gum, carbonated drinks, drinking with straws, talking whilst eating – all can increase the amount of air swallowed
Reduce your salt intake – it can worsen water retention, bloating and gas
Eat smaller meals – bigger meals can make bloating worse, smaller meals more often can help to reduce the frequency and intensity of bloating
Keep a food diary – write down what you have eaten and rate the level of bloating afterwards. It may indicate a food trigger.
Common triggers are:
- Refined carbohydrates – white bread, pasta, cakes, bagels, pastries, cereals
- Vegetables – broccoli, onions, cabbages, brussel sprouts
- Legumes – lentils, beans, peas
- Dried fruits
Drink plenty of water – being dehydrated worsens fluid retention
Exercise – helps maintain a healthy digestive tract
Stress management practices – stress impairs the gut and your ability to absorb and assimilate your food. Try these stress-reducing ideas.
Try homeopathic remedies – for hormonal bloating you would need to work with a practitioner rather than self-prescribing, however, if you just struggle with the occasional bout of bloating after eating too much, 2 useful remedies are:
- Lycopodium – especially aggravated by onions, cabbage and beans. The appetite may be changeable going from ravenous to very full after a few mouthfuls. The pains are worse in the evening, typically from 4- 8pm and are relieved by passing wind.
- Nux-Vom – people who work hard and play hard, and who may have overindulged in rich food and alcohol. There may be stomach cramps, acid reflux, belching and indigestion.
For extra support, just get in touch.