Excessive flatulence, one of the most common---and embarrassing---symptoms of menopause, affects about 25 per cent of menopausal women, with more than 69 per cent reporting an increase in gas and bloating.
Flatulence, along with abdominal discomfort, bloating and belching, is caused by an excess of gas in the stomach or intestines. It can be painful as well as socially embarrassing.
Gas is a normal byproduct of digestion, and passing gas through belching or the rectum generally occurs about 15 times a day. Excess gas is caused by the body's inability to digest certain carbohydrates found in many foods or by swallowing too much air as you chew or drink.
Experts are unsure whether excessive flatulence and bloating during menopause is caused by ageing or hormonal shifts. Some experts believe the problem is related to diet as some 60 per cent of menopausal women report eating more fruits and vegetables, which can increase gas production.
It's not necessary to eliminate healthy foods to reduce gas. Digestive aids that contain an enzyme to break down complex sugars are one solution, along with controlling lactose intolerance and avoiding carbonated drinks.
Flatulence is a normal function, but when combined with other symptoms, such as abdominal pain and swelling, diarrhoea or vomiting, it is important to seek medical attention.