Menopause Bloating – What is the Cause?

Ever feel like your belly is so bloated you feel like you’re pregnant again?

How can this be possible – as you’re well into your 40’s. However those jeans seem to get tighter & tighter, especially after dinner…and you are super careful with what you are eating…but still it doesn’t seem to make any difference!

Well there could be a solution – far more simple than starving yourself to get rid of the bloat.

As your hormones start to dip after the age of 40, particularly Estrogen, which is one of the main hormones that rapidly decreases and can impact both stomach and gut bacteria levels, as well as being one of the reasons your body may hold onto water, hence bloating. If you are over 40 there is chance you are suffering from menopause bloating.

When your estrogen levels drop dramatically, your gut microbiome (commonly known as gut bacteria) can also change significantly. Marry this with a busy lifestyle (aka. stress) and the “not so perfect” diet of wine o’clock & a few takeaways every week and you’re looking at a gut environment that just can’t cope any more!

So why does this happen?

I hear you. You haven’t changed anything you’re eating in ages. Except that perhaps you’re eating healthier than ever before…

Estrogen normally helps maintain a healthy pH level for your gut lining. This helps to absorb nutrients from what you eat & ultimately gives you energy.
Changes in the pH can lead to indigestion, heartburn, reflux AND bloating. Now you may never have all of those symptoms, however just one can mean your microbiome has changed & needs extra attention.

The other main factor to consider is Cortisol (aka long-term stress hormone – the one that keeps you going when you are super busy in your life). As the reproductive hormone of Estrogen dips, there is now no buffering to balance out the cortisol that had been roaring around your body, hence an imbalance occurs.

So how do you minimise bloating when your hormones start to dip?

1. Get out of the red zone DAILY
How often are you slowing down, smelling the roses and breathing properly…and by properly, I mean abdominal breathing?

This should be done daily in the morning and in the evening consistently to help balance the nervous system and get back into the “green zone”.
This is also helpful if you need to be “in the zone” for work, or to be creative with problem solving & other cognitive functioning.

For times when you notice you are bloated:
Sit quietly and do the abdominal breathing for 10-20mins. You might want to use a mindfulness App or youtube some meditation music.
If it’s stress related – this will help almost immediately.

Get into a habit of:
Before you eat – especially if you’ve been rushing – breathe for 3-10 x breathes & slowly eat your food.

What you eat of course has some impact too – so avoid sugars, processed foods, check whether dairy & gluten are triggers for you. Become aware of when you do get some bloating – what have you eaten just beforehand? Have you been rushing? Are you chewing your food or inhaling it?

There’s also the mental & emotional side to bloating – what are you not digesting in life? What things can’t you stomach at the moment? What ideas do you need to chew on a bit more?

2. To recorrect pH levels – here are a list of healthy habits to incorporate into daily life:

  • start the day with a warm water & lemon drink
  • add some Green Powder to smoothies or have as a drink first thing in the morning or before eating later in the day
  • take a good quality Probiotic with Saccharomyices (which also helps with immune health)
  • use bone broth (organic) instead of stock when cooking and you can also add this to smoothies, shakes or take as a shooter
  • avoid the foods mentioned above, especially MSG & GMO products

Our bodies are amazing machines. So it will look after you – if you look after it!

If you’re having issues with bloating and think it could be hormonally driven, reach out for a 15min complimentary consultation to see if I can help you. You might also be interested in our 6 week Thrive Through Menopause Program.

Picture of Vicky Jamieson

Vicky Jamieson

Vicky is a qualified Health and Nutrition Consultant and has been helping women live healthier more fulfilled lives for over 25 years.

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