Feeling Menopause Tummy Bloat? Here's How to Resolve It
In women, decreased estrogen levels can cause bloating because it slows down the amount of bile produced by the liver. Bile aids in digestion by emulsifying fats from the foods we eat, and bile acts as a lubricant for the small intestine, which helps overall digestion.
Eating too fast, eating a big meal late in the day, dehydration, lack of exercise, stress, and anxiety may all promote bloating. Resisting trips to the bathroom may also be a factor, because holding in bowel movements can lead to bloating and constipation.
People usually see carbs as bloating bombshells, but the heaviness you get from carbs is due to mainly three factors:
- For every gram of carbs, your body stores three grams of water. This is not bad as long as you keep sodium in check. Otherwise, you will end with water retention and poor circulation.
- If the carbs are high in fiber, and you've not eaten much fiber in the past, your body may need to gradually get used to it.
- Highly processed, sugary carbs are usually packed with artificial sweeteners, which are linked to promoting bloating and stomach discomfort when eaten in excess.
Nevertheless, carbs should not be taken out of a healthy diet, particularly whole grain carbohydrates that provide fiber, niacin, and vitamin B, among other vitamins and minerals that are important for your waistline and your health.
Eating more fiber will help alleviate bloating. When increasing your fiber intake, it's important to do it gradually and to drink plenty of water. If you previously followed a diet low in fiber and then significantly increase your fiber intake, you may initially experience some bloating. Once your body adjusts, however, you should experience less bloating, water retention, and abdominal discomfort.
Drink more water. Water helps decrease water retention, which we know is a cause of bloating. It helps soften high-fiber foods, and create a softer stool, which prevents constipation and irregularity.
Foods high in potassium help combat bloating. Sodium causes water retention and bloating, however, potassium counterbalances sodium and has a diuretic effect. So by eating foods high in potassium like oranges, bananas, papayas, kiwis, strawberries, spinach, watercress, and cooked beets you can reduce bloating naturally.
Foods with probiotics can help alleviate bloating by restoring your gut flora. Examples include fermented cultured dairy products, such as yogurt, kefir, dahi, and buttermilk, fermented cheeses, and soy products like miso and tempeh. Other foods that aid digestion include fennel, dill, cilantro, basil, mint, chervil, parsley, peppermint, ginger, sage, rosemary, and thyme.
Kimberly-Clark makes no warranties or representations regarding the completeness or accuracy of the information. This information should be used only as a guide and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional medical or other health professional advice.