Menopause And Gas: A Stealthy Symptom

Menopause is a natural stage in a woman’s life where she stops menstruating due to hormonal changes. This usually happens after 40 years of age. During this time, women experience various symptoms such as hot flushing, night sweats, mood swing, insomnia, anxiety, depression etc. These symptoms are called menopausal symptoms. These are the most common symptoms and therefore the ones that are most talked about.

However, there are also less pleasant side effects that come along with menopause that aren’t talked about – such as gas. 

Today we will be looking into the correlation with menopause and gas, as well as some ways to manage gas and the pain that sometimes comes along with it. 

What Is Gas? 

Gas is formed in the large intestine when bacteria within it starts to ferment carbohydrates that aren’t digested by the small intestine. These carbohydrates could be fibers, starches, or sugars. The gas then rises back through your large intestine and can get trapped in your stomach. Pleasant, right?

This is often what causes bloating. Sometimes it is easy to expel the gas by breaking wind, but other times the gas remains within your stomach and can cause very uncomfortable pain. 

Is Gas A Symptom Of Menopause? 

Yes, gas is a symptom of menopause. During menopause, the body is going through a lot of changes. While we might automatically think of thinning hair, weight gain, and fatigue as these changes, menopause can also affect our gastrointestinal tracts. 

There are many things that can cause changes to the gastrointestinal tract, such as changes in diet, reduced digestion time, swallowing more air, stress from menopause, and other health conditions. Any of these symptoms could lead to excess gas in your stomach, further leading to gas pain. 

Bloating During Menopause

Menopause And Gas

The reason why we don’t hear about gas as much as a side effect of menopause is because it is masked behind another symptom.

Gas causes bloating in the stomach which can be uncomfortable, but is often left alone rather than being treated. 

Another reason for bloating during menopause is water retention. During perimenopause, estrogen levels are increasing and decreasing all the time.

When estrogen in the body increases, the body retains more water which can cause bloating. 

How you’re feeling with the bloating will be the easiest way to determine what has caused it. If the bloating is uncomfortable but you are still able to do most tasks, it is probably just water retention. 

On the other hand, if your stomach is very painful with bloating, it might be down to gas pain. Gas pain can be extremely painful and you need to work to remove the trapped gas from inside the body to relieve the pain. 

Preventing Gas In Menopause

There are many ways in which you can prevent menopause gas before it becomes a painful problem.

The best method is to ensure that you’re drinking lots of water and exercising regularly. Drinking lots of water helps the gastrointestinal tract moving along, which prevents the build up of gas. 

Exercising can also help to remove the foods that aren’t digested from the large intestine, which is the main cause of gas. 

Speaking of food, you can avoid foods that trigger gas retention. These include beans, fried foods, chewing gum, and broccoli. Soda is also a trigger, so we would avoid these as well. 

If you smoke, it can lead to you swallowing too much air. This can then lead to trapped wind, particularly if you are prone to it due to going through menopause. 

If you are currently experiencing symptoms of menopause and flatulence, we suggest using some of these preventative methods to reduce your gas and bloating.

If you try these methods and they don’t work, however, you might want to speak to your doctor about the ongoing issue. 

What About During Perimenopause?

Perimenopause is the time leading up to menopause. The latter is only diagnosed once you have not had a menstrual cycle for 12 months, but you could experience the symptoms much earlier than that. Perimenopause can happen to women as early as 20 years before they go through menopause. While the average age of menopause is 51, some women experience perimenopause as early as their thirties. 

Perimenopause gas is also very common. This is because during this time, your estrogen levels rise and fall regularly.

Whereas after menopause, your hormones will level out and stop fluctuating, perimenopause is the time where they will fluctuate the most. So, you might experience more perimenopause gas pain than you originally thought. 

The way to prevent this pain is similar to the methods that we have listed above. Try them out and talk to a doctor if they do not take the pain away. 

Relieving Painful Gas

Gas pain can be incredibly painful. It’s important to know how to treat it when it occurs. Here are some tips on how to get rid of it.

Firstly, drinking water and exercise are two preventative methods as well as treatments. Water can push the gas out of your stomach and allow you to release it. Exercise moves the gas around and stops it from being trapped. 

We know that moving is the last thing that you want to do when you have bad gas, but as soon as it is released and out of your body, you will feel much better.

So, walk around the house, do some light abdominal rotations, and get that gas out.  Your housemates may not be happy that gas is escaping, but you will be!

Summary

There are many different reasons why you may be suffering from gas pains. They can range from having an upset tummy to constipation or even heartburn. However, it is also very common in menopause due to your fluctuating hormones. 

If you’re dealing with menopause gas, make sure that you drink plenty of water and exercise. Cut out any triggers that might be causing the gas to prevent it from coming back.

Once you have gone through menopause and are out the other side, your hormones will level out and the gas should hopefully subside.