Bloating in Women Over 50
Many women experience menopause along with gastrointestinal distress, which causes symptoms like sudden bloating, flatulence and indigestion. Not only are these symptoms embarrassing and annoying, but they are also painful.
Bloating in women over 50
This occurs for several reasons and include hormonal imbalance, poor digestion and menopausal bloating.
Bloating is the increase or swelling of the abdominal area. The most common causes are the accumulation of gas or liquid.
Causes of Bloating in Women Over 50
Here are a few causes of bloating which women over 50 might experience:
Gastrointestinal bloating is caused during menopause. During this time, air fills the abdomen and creates a full feeling inside. Even if your stomach remains the same size, you might feel that your pants are a bit tighter. Also, you may feel as if your waistline is expanding.
- Intestinal Bacteria:
The bacterial species present in your intestines can produce excess intestinal gas. This leads to a bloating sensation. Sugary foods primarily lead to the growth of these bacterial species. A lack of lactose and poor digestion can lead to gastrointestinal distress in women over 50. Lactose is an enzyme which breaks down food particles. According to medical studies, high sugar foods like broccoli, onion, cauliflower and fruits can create these bacterial species in the intestines.
Even hormones can trigger bloating in women. High doses of progesterone, for example, can cause breast tenderness and bloating. In the right dose, progesterone has a calming effect. Estradiol, a type of estrogen, can provide relief from bloating.
If you consume too much protein-rich foods at once, then this can also lead to bloating as your stomach will not be able to digest it completely. One can take a few enzymes which help in digestion of protein foods like soy. Soy products are beneficial for menopausal women.
- Digestive Function:
Bloating in women can be caused by a poor digestive function. When one eats too much fatty products, it takes a long time for the body to break it down and eliminate it. During the process of digestion, you can bloat. Even the condition of lactose intolerant can cause gas and bloating in women.
Many women who complain of chronic gas and bloating can have internal parasites, which cause this condition. Nearly 40% of women actually test positive for these parasites. These parasites can be ingested from eating out of date or imported produce. One of the most common sources is salad bars.
- Food Sensitivities:
Even food sensitivities may lead to gas and bloating. One can undergo specific tests to determine whether allergies to certain foods. A few culprits are dairy products, wheat and sugar. One can take multivitamins to keep the body’s balance and restore good health of the digestive system. It is important to take essential fatty acids to minimize intestinal inflammation.
- Premenstrual and IBS:
When women are premenstrual or have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), they usually experience bloating.
- Bloat-inducing Foods:
There are a few bloat-inducing foods like bagels, raw vegetables, beans, cabbage and pretzels which can cause bloating in women.
Tips to Beat the Bloating Blues
- Eat more fiber:
Constipation is one of the culprits for bloating. Fiber will prevent constipation. Women need to consume at least 25 grams fiber every day. You can snack on blueberries, strawberries, dried plums or dried apricots. They are high-fiber foods.
- Control PMS:
Increase in the levels of prostaglandins, estrogen and progesterone, just before your periods, slows down the digestion and leads to water retention. To cope with bloating cut down salt intake before periods. 1000 mg of calcium might also help in reducing the bloating.
- No to gassy food:
Some foods like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower are difficult to digest for some people. Restrict your consumption of such gas-producing foods. Taking digestive enzymes before meals can also help in digestion.
Drinking water can do wonders for your system. Water flushes out the waste from your system and helps reduce constipation. Fruits also contain lots of water.
- Chew properly:
Remember your granny telling you to chew your food properly? Well, chew your food with your mouth closed. This will not allow too much air to enter your body.
A quick 10 minute walk can set you free from bloating. Exercise helps in the release of gas.
- Dairy wise:
Cut down your intake of yogurt, milk and dairy products as they produce gas.
- No to colas:
Aerated drinks have lots of gas which enters your body, so switch to health drinks.
Some medicines like antidepressants, iron pills and calcium supplements cause constipation. Consult a doctor about the bloating problem.