Perimenopause occurs when a woman's hormones begin to fluctuate and may start as early as her late 30s, according to the Mayo Clinic. Symptoms such as bloating begin to appear as the body undergoes hormonal changes. Your stomach enlarges and you may experience pain or a general uncomfortable feeling around your midsection. Taking certain precautions and supplements may minimise the risk of perimenopause bloating.
Keep a food journal. Write down each food item you consume and correspond it to your bloating episodes to know your food triggers. Normally 30 minutes to two hours is enough time for food to release gas into your stomach. Restrict the foods you feel may cause bloating.
Restrict known gassy foods in your diet including beans, broccoli and cabbage. You do not need to completely eliminate the foods from your diet, but limit your intake. As menopause nears, you may find your body cannot process dairy items as well, leading to painful cramps and bloating. Supplements with enzymes break down lactose-containing foods for easier digestion.
Reduce sodium in your diet. Avoid salting food and purchase low-sodium canned goods. A high-sodium diet makes the body retain water and may contribute to bloating.
Look for yoghurt containing probiotics such as Bifidobacterium, also known as Bifidus, that may reduce bloating after regular consumption for three to six weeks, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Probiotics introduce good bacteria into the stomach and intestines, breaking down food proteins for better digestion.
Minimise your intake of carbonated beverages including soda, beer and sparkling water. The carbonation introduces air into the stomach, increasing your chances of gas and bloating.
Exercise regularly. Walking, running, swimming or other aerobic activity keeps food moving within the digestive tract, reducing painful cramps and bloating.
Listen to meditation tapes, read a book or relax on your patio with soft music. Stress may lead to stomach distress and bloating, so ease your mind each day to keep the digestive tract moving efficiently.
See your doctor if bloating becomes a chronic symptom.
Tips and warnings
- See your doctor if bloating becomes a chronic symptom.