When we reach the meno years so many things seem to physically change don’t they? It’s a bit of a minefield!
One of the common complaints we hear from Meno-She’s is that they feel bloated. Some are having a mild experience while others feel as if they’re three months pregnant.
Many of you ask if this is one of the signs of peri and post-menopause?
In one word? Yes.
What is bloating?
It’s a feeling of swelling or fullness accompanied by a distended, tight stomach. It can also be quite uncomfortable and not ideal if you’re on an island holiday. (dreaming…)
Why does bloating occur?
There can be a number of reasons. As always, during the meno years, we’ve got to look at fluctuating hormones. Particularly estrogen. Estrogen is a major player for women’s bodies and when it’s on a menopausal roller coaster or decline it can cause water retention, which leads to bloating.
It’s also why we often emphasise the importance of good health and nutrition during peri and post-menopause because estrogen plays a role in bile production (liver), digestive enzyme production (gut), and insulin activity (pancreas). As estrogen declines, these systems don’t perform as well leading to issues such as gas and bloating.
What can you do?
This is the good news. With a little bit of effort, you can make a huge (massive!) difference to your bloating issues.
1. Keep hydrated
I do bang on a lot about the importance of drinking lots of water (filtered over tap is great), but it’s H2O that keeps our bods working at their finest. And it flushes the kidneys, keeps our gastrointestinal tract moving and minimises water retention.
2. Move your body
Our old friend exercise is also our BFF when it comes to keeping things flowing in – not only our digestive system – but our entire body.
3. Avoid gluten, refined carbs and sugar
This is another one that I’m a broken record on, but separately and together these can create a cascade of negative effects that lead to bloating as a byproduct of a struggling digestive system.
4. Eat probiotics on the daily
These have become a famous aid for digestive health because they work. Sauerkraut, kefir and yoghurt are all goodies.
5. Chew your food
Did you know most of us don’t chew enough? The general consensus in health land is that we need to chew 30 times. This can be a bit of a tall order but being mindful of how we’re eating can make a difference. Some of us go almost straight to the swallow part! Take your time to chew because it’s easier on your digestive system and you won’t be gulping air with your food.
6. Don’t eat so much
Weight gain is one of the biggest pain points we hear about midlife. It is something you can get a handle on (I promise). One way to do this while also being kinder to your digestion is to eat smaller servings.
7. Avoid ice-cold drinks and food
According to the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda ice-cold food and drink slow our Agni (digestive fire).
Do you know your trigger foods? It’s a good idea to keep a food diary for a while and track whether eating certain foods set you off.
Ayurvedic Digestive Tea
This digestive tea is delicious, aids digestion and minimises bloating.
It’s easy-peasy, inexpensive and the seeds are readily available.
- ¼ tsp coriander seeds
- ¼ tsp cumin seeds
- ¼ fennel seeds
- Boiling water
Grind the seeds. I make light work of it with an inexpensive coffee grinder I bought at Kmart for under $20.
Add ginger and cinnamon if you wish. They add great flavour and have a multitude of health benefits.
Hope that helps lovelies.