Why am I so bloated in perimenopause?

Is that something you've noticed since you realised you may well be in perimenopause?

Well there are two main reasons:  

  1. High fluctuating oestrogen 
  1. Gastrointestinal changes.

Let’s Start with Oestrogen Dominance...

Oestrogen causes your body to retain water and leads to bloating. You will feel the water retention in your abdominal area and probably in other areas of your body too.

When you have a natural cycle, oestrogen is high just before you ovulate and then the two weeks after you have higher levels of progesterone. When you are in perimenopause you start to have cycles where you don’t release eggs which is called anovulatory cycle and if eggs aren’t released you don’t release progesterone which causes oestrogen dominance.  

It is widely thought that in perimenopause oestrogen levels plummet but this is too simplified.

In natural menopause the first hormone change is a gradual decline in progesterone, while oestrogen levels remain the same or might increase. In a natural cycle progesterone and oestrogen counterbalance each other throughout a cycle. They play a sort of dance, one goes up the other goes down. So in perimenopause when there is a decline of progesterone it causes oestrogen dominance. This is what causes a lot of peri symptoms.

Symptoms of Decreased Progesterone And Oestrogen Dominance

  • Decreased sex drive
  • Irregular or otherwise abnormal periods (most often, excessive vaginal bleeding)
  • Bloating (water retention)
  • Breast swelling and tenderness
  • Mood swings (most often irritability and depression)
  • Weight gain (particularly around the abdomen and hips)
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Headaches, especially premenstrually

Things that can help reduce water retention:

  1. Regular daily movement
  2. Magnesium and B6 supplements
  3. Magnesium and potassium rich foods
  4. When resting keep your legs elevated
  5. Make sure you are having enough protein in your diet
  6. Make sure you are hydrated
  7. No excessive salt intake.

Gastrointestinal changes in Perimenopause

With the changes in hormones associated with perimenopause, there are changes in your gut integrity and increased inflammation which can cause havoc to your gut and cause bloating.

Now is a critical time to look after your gut health

November 18, 2021 — Angela Greely

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