Hormone Replacement Treatment May Help Menopausal Bloating
If youre bloating during menopause, hormone therapy may be able to help relieve your symptoms. While menopausal bloating is often confused with other conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, a common cause is simply hormone changes that naturally occur during perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause. If you have bloating due to these hormone changes, hormone replacement treatment may help reduce bloating.
The aim of hormone replacement treatment is to help bring hormone levels up to healthy ranges and to help create hormonal balance. Our provider may recommend hormone imbalance treatment if your hormone levels are low or if you have too much of a hormone. Often, this may cause other symptoms in addition to bloating, such as:
- Mood changes
- Low libido
If you and your doctor decide to start hormone replacement treatment, our team offers hormone injections for fast, convenient, and advanced hormone care. Injections can help you absorb the hormones better and allow more dosage control so we can adjust your dosage to suit your needs and body.
Hormone therapy from our team also means regular monitoring to help us fine-tune your dosage. This also helps us keep track of how youre responding to treatment and evaluate your overall health. Hormone care from our team means routine checks of your hormone levels to help personalize your treatment plan.
Why Do They Happen In Menopause
Many reasons can cause bloating and water retention in menopause. From aging itself, physical inactivity and hormonal imbalance. Our female hormones estrogen and progesterone play a great role in fluid regulation and excretion, so some organs in the body are affected when they decline. Here are some causes why bloating and fluid retention occur in menopause:
How To Relieve Bloating During Menopause
Here are some things you can do to relieve bloating during menopause that is caused by water retention
- Re-balance your hormones
- Eliminate processed food from your diet. Processed food increases the level of insulin in your body. Base your diet on eating real food. Real food does not need labels: ie. unprocessed meat, fish, milk, eggs, legumes, fruits, grains and vegetable
- Reduce stress by doing one or more stress reduction techniques regularly. This will keep the cortisol level in your body at a lower level
This post is reproduced with the permission of Menopause Matters.
Read Also: Sweet Potato Menopause
Hormones And Weight Gain
A woman’s hormones have complex functions in her body, including weight control. Here’s a list of the different hormones that can affect weight gain and how:
Did You Know?
Most women experience a 5% decrease in metabolic rate per decade.
Because metabolism slows as women approach menopause, they need about 200 fewer calories a day to maintain their weight as they enter their mid to late 40s.
As a woman’s ovaries produce less estrogen, the body attempts to derive it from other places. Fat cells can produce estrogen, so the body works harder to convert calories into fat to increase estrogen levels. Because fat cells do not burn calories the way muscle cells do, weight gain typically results.
Water retention is often linked to menopause because water weight and bloating are caused by decreased progesterone levels. Though this does not actually result in weight gain, clothes can feel a bit tighter and a woman may feel as though she’s heavier.
The amount of this hormone generally increases at the onset of menopause relative to estrogen levels. It’s responsible for redistributing weight to the midsection instead of to the hips.
Causes Of Bloating During Perimenopause And Menopause
Menopause symptoms can begin several years before you reach menopause. This time is known as perimenopause. Menopause is defined as the lack of a menstrual period for 12 concurrent months. This happens because your ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone. After menopause, you can no longer get pregnant.
Most women experience menopause in their early 50s, though you can go through it earlier or later. Once you havent experienced a period for 12 months, youre considered postmenopausal.
Bloating may occur more frequently in perimenopause than during menopause or postmenopause. During perimenopause, your hormones are changing rapidly. That can lead to higher levels of estrogen. Estrogen causes your body to retain water, which can lead to bloating.
Bloating isnt the only symptom experienced by women going through perimenopause and menopause. Fluctuating hormones can also lead to:
- hot flashes
- swallowed air
- another health condition
Its likely that bloating after menopause is related to one of these factors rather than hormones. Thats because after you go through menopause, your hormones dont fluctuate as much as they did during perimenopause and menopause.
How Do You Tell If You Are Retaining Water
Common signs of retaining water are:
- You’re persistently bloated
- You’re experiencing unexplained weight gain over a short period of time
- Your hands and feet are swollen do your rings no longer fit for, example?
If your water retention hasn’t settled down within two weeks, continues beyond three to five weeks, or is accompanied by other symptoms such as pain and redness of the skin, Dr Riccardo Di Cuffa, a GP, advises visiting your doctor.
Take Care When Travelling
Long periods of sitting can cause swelling in the abdomen, ankles and legs and is a particular problem on flights where changes in pressure can add to the problem. Make sure you take regular breaks when driving long distances and if you are flying long-haul, use the space available to stretch your legs.
Also Check: Menopause Dizzy Spells
Water Retention In The Menopause
The hormone fluctuations that occur during the menopause are often associated with weight gain and a slowing down of the digestive system. These all contribute to abdominal bloating.
A reduction in progesterone is responsible for the slowing of the digestive process and the fall in levels of oestrogen in the body causes more fat to be distributed in the abdominal region in particular. Factor in some water retention on top of all this, and you have a recipe for an uncomfortably enlarged tummy!
It is normal to experience some bloating before and during the menopause, However, if symptoms persist, or you experience pain or persistent discomfort, you should always see a doctor to rule out any potential health problems.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and staying active are the best ways to better enable your body and mind to cope with some of the potentially uncomfortable symptoms of the menopause.
Here are our top tips for helping to stay well throughout the menopause:
You’re Showing Symptoms Of Menopause
Hormone levels fluctuate dramatically around the time of the peri-menopause, making fluid retention more likely and more frequent, says Lang.
Youre even more susceptible if you experienced water retention or other PMS symptoms when you were younger.
Should I visit my doctor for this water retention?
Don’t Miss: Is Dizziness A Symptom Of Menopause
What Causes High Estrogen
There are several reasons why estrogen might be high in menopause.
When you have too much estrogen it usually means there is a hormonal imbalance between estrogen and progesterone. Either estrogen is normal and progesterone is too low. Or, estrogen is high and progesterone normal.
The main reason for estrogen dominance in menopause is the bodys inability to produce enough progesterone or utilize it properly. The ovaries stop producing eggs, and thus estrogen without corresponding progesterone can result.
Tips For Dry Skin Care During Menopause
To help turn dry, problem skin into smoother, fresher skin, experts offer these quick tips for women in menopause.
- Focus on smart fats: Essential fatty acids — like the omega-3s found in salmon, walnuts, fortified eggs, or algae oils — help produce your skin’s oil barrier, vital in keeping skin hydrated. A diet shortof these body-boosting fats can leave skin dry, itchy, and prone to acne. Most of us have a diet low in omega-3s, which are also found in sardines, soy, safflower oil, and flax.
- Smooth on that sunscreen: Keep skin healthy with “a broad spectrum sunblock with an SPF of 15 or higher,” says Andrea Cambio, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist practicing in Cape Coral, Fla.
Dry skin, wrinkles, moles, and skin cancers can all result from too much sun, so add a sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection to your line of defense. Aim for about an ounce to cover all sun-exposed skin.
And if you think an overcast day means you don’t need sunscreen, think again. Skin-damaging ultraviolet light can penetrate clouds, fog, even snow.
- Stop those steamy showers: Piping-hot baths and showers may feel fabulous, but “hot water … can be very harsh to the skin and dry it out miserably,” Cambio tells WebMD. Stop stripping your skin of its natural oils. Take shorter showers and use warm water.
Recommended Reading: Menopause Dizziness Treatment
There’s Been A Change In Temperature
Its not your imagination that the body swells during hot weather it does. And normally on the day when you’re about to strip off and already feeling a tad anxious.
Should I visit my doctor for this water retention?
Obviously, no. The solution drink more and cool down. If youre dehydrated, your tissues hold on to water due to the water scarcity, Tzenichristos says.
It also happens if you have too many iced lattes. Excessive caffeine leads to poor fluid drainage and water retention, says Tzenichristos.
Switch to a diuretic herbal tea, such as dandelion leaf tea, or simply water. Alternating hot and cold temperatures in the shower will also help to boost circulation.
When Is Leg Swelling Serious
Mild swelling with obvious causes, such as sitting for hours, isnt a problem. To de-puff, simply move around to get your blood flowing again. Chronic swelling accompanied by pain, discomfort, or discoloration is reason enough to see a doctor. This is especially true if you cant find an apparent cause behind your swelling.
Struggling with swollen legs? Visit Dr. Calderon at Lakewood Cardiovascular Consultants in Bradenton and Sarasota County, Florida. Contact our heart health clinic by calling 941-404-7958, sending a message to the team, or requesting an appointment online.
You Might Also Enjoy…
Read Also: Heightened Sense Of Smell Perimenopause
What About Gas Vs Water Bloating
Gas retention tends to be focused exclusively on the stomach, whereas water bloating can affect other body parts including hands, feet and ankles.
A few top tips for avoiding gas bloating include avoiding fizzy drinks, chewing your food properly and having smaller meals.
There’s also a known link between stress, anxiety and tension and menopause digestion problems so check in on your mental wellness if you’re feeling ‘gassy’!
What You Can Do To Reduce Water Retention During Menopause
1. Avoid becoming dehydratedI say it a lot and Ill say it again: Water, water, water, lots of it! Youll be surprised how quickly your water retention problems disappear once you start drinking more water. Once you do, the puffiness and dark circles under the eyes will likely vanish.
Other benefits? You might find that the stiffness and discomfort youve been feeling in your hands disappear, your joint aches can fade, and your skin can look a lot better too.
And very often, hot flashes and night sweats often go hand in hand with water retention, because the sweats and flashes are causing extra dehydration. If youre experiencing these symptoms, its especially important to drink plenty of water. I find it really rewarding when women contact me and say, All Ive done is just add a little more water to my diet and my symptoms have gotten so much better.
Another really strong sign that you might be struggling with water is that your kidneys complainyou get a very dull ache on each side of your lower spine. That too may be an indication that you need more water.
Remember that tea, coffee, soft drinks and fruit juices dont count toward your water intake it really needs to be plain water.
Look for the colour of salt and try to avoid table salt because its really bad news. Also reconsider the foods you eat: theres a whole range of great foods that can help with your water retention and salt balance too.
A.Vogel Stinging Nettle
Recommended Reading: Does The Texture Of Hair Change With Menopause
Stress Less And Sleep More
When were stressed, our bodies can increase the production of cortisol, another hormone that can impact how much water our bodies retain. Not getting enough sleep during menopause or sleeping poorly can also increase cortisol levels. Aiming for at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night and reducing your stress levels can help you reduce water retention and swollen ankles during menopause.
Menopause Diet: Foods For Menopause
A menopause diet – which involves eating the right foods for menopause – can help to ease the menopause weight gain we all experience as we reach our mid-life.
So which are the right foods for menopause?
As is correct for anyone hoping to lose weight, a diet rich in fruit and vegetables and starchy fibres, such as brown rice and wholemeal bread, is always preferable.
According to the British Nutrition Foundation, women who are post-menopausal are also at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, so keeping your heart healthy is imperative during and after the life stage. Post-menopausal women should avoid saturated fats, instead replacing them with things like olive and sunflower oils and spreads.
Oily fish should also be eaten twice a week, whilst salt intake should be kept to an absolute minimum. And of course, alcohol should not be consumed to excess – the NHS recommends no more than 14 units a week, with alcohol free days too.
To find out more about the food and supplements you should be taking during the menopause, .
But most importantly, it’s important to remember to love and accept your body as much as you can, even if you are working on improving your health in this way.
Also Check: Is Lightheadedness A Symptom Of Menopause
What Is Water Rentention
The human body is made up of approximately 70 to 75% water. The female body is comprised of even more water due to a variety of reasons, a couple of the main ones being their reproductive system and having a lot less muscle to fat ratio in their body composition compared to that of a man. Also commonly referred to as edema , generalized type meaning the water swelling takes place over the entire body and localized type meaning swelling is only produced in a particular area of the body. Water retention occurs when water leaks into your tissues by way of your blood. Your lymphatic system drains the water from the tissues of your body through the kidneys. When the fluids are not drained correctly, the water accumulates in the circulatory system, cavities and tissues of the body creating swelling or that bloated feeling. This is a sign that your body is retaining more water than it actually requires/needs.
You’ve Got A Problem With Your Kidneys
Kidneys are like little recycling plants. While youre busy enjoying Happy Hour, theyre filtering your blood, sorting out the bits in it that can be reused by the body, from those that need to be excreted as waste.
So, if they stop functioning properly, the waste which will also include water will build up, leading to water retention.
Should I visit my doctor for this water retention?
Yes, according to Dr Di Cuffa, this could be a warning sign of kidney failure, which is often symptomless until the advanced stages. Watch out for other giveaways such as anaemia, an increased need to pee, difficulty sleeping, muscle cramps, headaches and unexplained weight loss.
Get Your Lymphatic System Moving
The other thing that can happen too is a sluggish lymphatic system. Now, your lymphatic system is a bit like the blood circulation but it doesn’t have a pump. It doesn’t have the heart to pump water and fluid round the body. So if you sit for a long time, or if you stand for a long time, the lymphatic system basically shuts down and that especially can cause water retention round the ankles.
Now, if you’re anything like me, I do spend quite a lot of time sitting at my desk when I’m in the office and it can be very difficult to move. So I’ve now bought myself a little timer, set it for an hour, and after every hour when it beeps, I get up, and I do a quick run round the building. I’m on the first floor, so I can do a really brisk walk.
I run down the stairs. I walk all the way round the bottom and then run back up the stairs again. And that’s sometimes just enough to get your lymphatic system working again. If you can’t get away from your desk, or you really can’t do any quick form of exercise, then even just pumping your legs up and down for a little while and rotating your ankles, will get things moving too.
So it’s really important, if you’re suffering from water retention to get some kind of exercise in on a daily basis if you can.
What Our Patients Say
As of March 2021, I have been a HerKare patient for 3 years. I have driven from the Austin to Ft. Worth and Southlake since March 2018. In fact, today I attempted to drive to Southlake to see the provider, Dania Khoncarly, because she is so amazing, but the roads were too dangerous with the current ice storm in Texas, so I visited the Mansfield location instead as it was closer for me. The patient care has been nothing short of amazing. In fact, I cant imagine my life without HerKare. I struggled with hormone deficiency since 2003 until March 2018. The treatment plan provided by HerKare has positively impacted my way of life socially, emotionally, and physically. One of my closest friends now drives from Copperas Cove to the Mansfield location. I have several friends in my age group mid to late 40s & early 50s who would benefit from HerKare. I understand with our nation experiencing COVID, now might not be the time to open a new location, however, your services could positively impact the well-being of so many women. When the time is right, please open more HerKare locations!
Patient since March 2018
Also Check: Is Dizziness A Symptom Of Menopause