Hormone replacement treatment can help with many symptoms of menopause. For example, many women seek hormone care for hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. However, another common issue you may experience during menopause is bloating. Women who experienced bloating symptoms during PMS in their pre-menopausal years are more likely to notice these symptoms during perimenopause and after. Some characteristics of bloating include uncomfortable pressure or tightness in your abdominal area and changes in abdominal size or shape. Bloating is generally due to either gas retention or water retention. Either of these can occur due to hormone imbalances. While occasional bloating is normal for people of all ages, chronic bloating can negatively impact your quality of life. Therefore, if you notice frequent bloating, make an appointment to talk to one of our physicians about your symptoms.
Bloating is different from weight gain, though many people mistake the two. The way to tell the difference is bloating often causes sudden changes or fluctuations. For example, you may notice differences throughout the day or after meals. Weight gain generally doesn’t cause such quick changes and usually requires diet and exercise to change. There are many things that can cause bloating. For instance, many people bloat from eating or drinking too quickly, chewing gum, or taking certain medications. Additionally, bloating is common for those with gastrointestinal disorders and food intolerances.
However, hormone changes can also cause bloating. This is especially true during perimenopause when your hormone levels begin to fluctuate and often become imbalanced. However, even after menopause, low hormone levels can lead to bloating. Fortunately, hormone imbalance treatment can help keep your hormone levels in healthy ranges and may assist with symptoms like bloating and hot flashes.
During perimenopause, a common hormone imbalance to see is estrogen dominance. This is where your body produces more estrogen and less progesterone. Estrogen can encourage water retention, which may lead to chronic bloating. Bloating caused by water retention may be different than bloating caused by gas retention. Generally, gas retention causes bloating only in the abdominal area, while water retention can cause bloating throughout the body. A common sign of water retention bloating is your hands or feet feeling “puffy.”
High estrogen and low progesterone levels can lead to water retention and bloating. Estrogen often acts as a fluid retaining hormone, while progesterone is a natural diuretic. Therefore, when these hormones are thrown off balance, you may notice bloating. This is commonly the cause of perimenopausal bloating. There are many strategies for handling bloating due to water retention, including hormone replacement treatment when the cause is hormone fluctuations.
However, even low estrogen can cause bloating. After menopause most women will have lower levels of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Estrogen doesn’t just play a role in water retention; it also aids in bile production. This means that low estrogen may lead to a reduction in bile, which may lead to symptoms that cause menopausal bloating. Bile is made in the liver and helps digestion in several ways. Notably, bile helps break down fats in food and turn them into fatty acids. Bile also helps lubricate the small intestine to help soften stool and promote bowel movements. Declines in bile production due to low estrogen levels can lead to constipation and other gastrointestinal symptoms that may cause bloating. However, hormone replacement treatment can help bring estrogen levels up to healthy levels to help with menopause symptoms.
If you’re 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:
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 you’re 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.
However, because we take a broad approach to healthcare, we may recommend combining hormone replacement treatment and lifestyle changes as part of your custom treatment plan. Depending on your specific circumstances, there are several changes you may be able to make to help reduce bloating. We understand that there are many factors that can influence bloating, which is why we often recommend making some healthy changes when you’re experiencing symptoms. Some of the changes we may suggest include:
Therefore, if you’ve been experiencing chronic bloating, it’s important to talk to a physician about your symptoms to help you start feeling better.
At HerKare, we provide advanced, compassionate women’s healthcare. Whether you’re experiencing uncomfortable menopause symptoms or need a general wellness checkup, our team is here to listen and provide a warm, friendly environment where you feel comfortable to discuss all your health concerns. Our goal is to help you feel your best and help you remain healthy. Therefore, we work with you to find solutions tailored to your needs and your lifestyle. Book an appointment today and let’s talk about your health and wellbeing. We are here for you.