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Bloating Got You Down? Tips to Help Reduce Bloat


How can yoga help with bloating
Bloated belly in menopause

To be honest, I haven’t been feeling my best lately. I have been feeling bloated. Sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint the exact cause, but I know I can attribute that to the bread I have been eating. I am not going to let it get me down, but I am going to focus on eating healthier.⁠ Here some facts and tips to help you reduce bloating.

A lot of women in midlife worry about bloating and their midriff. You are not alone. But there are things we can do to help ourselves. The first thing to do is start tracking what you eat. There may be a connection there between your gut health and your feeling of bloat.⁠


Bloating is a common issue that many women experience from time to time. It can be uncomfortable, and it may even cause embarrassment, especially if it leads to a distended stomach. There are several factors that can contribute to bloating, including diet, lifestyle, and health conditions. While bloating does affect both men and women, it seems to be a more common occurrence among women. And it can be particularly frustrating when you feel like you are 9 months pregnant again.


Hormones

One of the main reasons why women get bloated is due to hormonal changes. Hormones like oestrogen and progesterone can cause the body to retain water and sodium, which can lead to bloating. These hormonal changes can occur during the menstrual cycle and (peri)menopause.


During the menstrual cycle, oestrogen levels increase, causing the body to retain water. This can lead to bloating, especially around the abdomen area. At the same time, progesterone levels also increase during the menstrual cycle, which can slow down the digestive system, causing constipation, and ultimately leading to bloating.


Oestrogen, a hormone that plays a key role in regulating the menstrual cycle, decreases significantly during menopause. This drop in oestrogen levels can lead to a decrease in bile production, which can cause constipation and lead to bloating. In addition, a decrease in oestrogen can lead to an increase in insulin resistance, which can cause the body to retain more water and lead to bloating.


Diet

Diet can also play a significant role in causing bloating in women. Consuming foods that are high in salt or sugar can cause the body to retain water, leading to bloating. Women may be more susceptible to bloating due to their diets, which may be higher in fibre, fruits, and vegetables. While these foods are important for overall health, they can also cause gas and bloating in some women. Additionally, women may consume more processed foods, which can be high in sodium and cause water retention and bloating.


Many women also experience bloating after consuming dairy products or gluten-containing foods, such as bread. These foods can cause digestive problems, leading to bloating and discomfort.



Diet tips to reduce bloating
Papaya contains an enzyme to help reduce bloating

Introduce papaya into your diet, either on its own or in a smoothie. Papaya contains an enzyme that helps aid digestion and helps reduce bloating.


Stress

Stress can also be a significant factor in causing bloating in women during menopause. Women going through menopause may experience increased stress levels due to physical changes, such as hot flashes, as well as emotional changes, such as mood swings. When the body is under stress, the digestive system can slow down, causing food to sit in the stomach for longer periods. This is natural response within the body to preserve our stores of food when resources were scarce. This can lead to bloating and discomfort. Stress can also cause the body to produce more cortisol, which can lead to an increase in appetite and cravings for sugary and fatty foods, further leading to bloating. A lack of physical activity, can also contribute to bloating in women and lead to constipation and other digestive problems.



Tips to reduce bloating
Four Yoga poses to help reduce bloating

Yoga poses to help with bloating:

Here are some of my top yoga poses to help relieve the bloating.


Apanasana (Wind relieving pose):

Lie back, and pull the knees into the chest as you breathe out. When you breathe in, release the knees away from the chest. Keep pulling the knees in and out from the chest with the breath for at least 20 rounds.


Reclined twist:

Lie back with the knees bent. Lift the feet off the floor, and release the knees to the right. Hold here for 2-5 minutes. Lift the knees up and release them to the left, also holding for 2-5 minutes.


Happy Baby:

Lie back, pulling the knees into the chest. Reach up to the with each hand, holding on to the outside of the soles of the feet. Rest here for 2-5 minutes.


Child’s pose :

Roll onto your hands and knees. Gently sit the bottom back onto your heels, compressing the abdomen. Bring the knees wider if needed to make space for your belly, and to be able to rest your forehead on the floor, or a cushion. You can rest your hands down by your side, or you can stretch the hands out in front of you. Rest here as long as you like.


In addition to getting physically active, other things you can do to help reduce bloating include:

·avoid carbonated drinks

·reduce your consumption of white bread

·consume more probiotics

·eat more vegetables and fruit

·drink lots of water

·eat slowly

·cut back on your salt intake


As always, if your symptoms do not go away, do visit your GP and have a chat to rule out any other underlying medical conditions. Finally, remember, everyone's body is different, so what works for one person may not work for another. But hopefully, these tips will help you find some relief!

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