Managing the symptoms of endometriosis can be a daily battle. Painful, long-lasting periods. Excessive bleeding during your period. Painful sex. And bloating?
That gut-wrenching, painful, tight feeling in your stomach that makes you feel so uncomfortable.
Could bloating be yet another symptom of your endometriosis?
I empathize with your experience and I am here to help you understand the relationship between endo and bloating.
In this guide, I will review these helpful topics:
- What causes endometriosis gas and bloating?
- Symptoms of endometriosis bloating
- Gas and Bloating: Endometriosis treatment
What Causes Endometriosis Gas and Bloating?
If you have the majority of these symptoms …
- Painful Periods
- Pain when using the bathroom
- Pain during sex
- Excessive bleeding
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Chronic Fatigue
… It is possible that you have endometriosis.
Endometriosis occurs when tissue similar to the lining of your uterus grows outside of your uterus.
When this tissue grows in other areas of your body, it triggers inflammation and lesions that contribute to all endo symptoms.
Endometriosis can cause gas and bloat for several reasons:
- Endometriosis can lead to small intestine bacterial overgrowth, also known as SIBO. SIBO can trigger bloating due to the imbalance of the number of bacteria in your intestinal tract.
- Swelling can occur in your abdomen due to the inflammation caused by the build-up of the endometrial-like tissue.
- Endometrial-like growth on or in your ovaries can lead trapped blood to form cysts which can contribute to bloating.
At What Point Should You Seek Medical Help?
Bloating can be caused by several medical conditions, your diet, or the combination of the two.
It is very important to receive the correct diagnosis of your bloating to ensure that endometriosis is the cause of your discomfort.
You should schedule an appointment with your doctor if the bloating you are experiencing:
- Is the basis for major discomfort and pain.
- Results in weight loss.
- Induces vomiting.
- Is followed with vaginal bleeding.
- Lasts for more than a few days.
- Is accompanied by blood in your stool.
Your doctor may perform an ultrasound to look at your pelvic area to determine the source of your bloating.
Symptoms of Endometriosis Bloating
There is a range of non-specific symptoms associated with bloating and endometriosis. Studies have shown that this range of symptoms can lead to misdiagnosis or delay in diagnosis of endometriosis.
The symptoms of endometriosis bloating can be similar to the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In fact, endo-sufferers are often misdiagnosed with IBS.
It is also possible for you to experience both endometriosis and irritable bowel syndrome at the same time.
Approximately 76% of women who participated in this study had previously been diagnosed with IBS in addition to having endometriosis.
According to the same study, “Gastrointestinal symptoms are nearly as common as gynecological symptoms in women with endometriosis and do not necessarily reflect bowel movement”.
That being said, a diagnosis of endometriosis does not mean you will have a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome. Always talk with your doctor about your symptoms and your options.
Symptoms related to endometriosis bloating include but are not limited to the following:
- Rectal bleeding
- Abdominal pain
- Incomplete evacuation
- Pain after eating
- Self-consciousness of appearance
Gas and Bloating: Endometriosis Treatments
If your bloating is related to your endometriosis, there are several ways of managing this uncomfortable symptom:
- At-home remedies
- Changing your diet
- Exercising more often
- Hormone therapy
Acupuncture, chiropractic services, and avoiding caffeine can also help with pain related to endometriosis.
I am a big advocate for treating symptoms of endometriosis naturally — and I’ll go into detail on your options shortly.
However, there are times when additional measures may be taken depending on the severity of your symptoms and your doctor’s recommendations.
According to a study in Science Direct, hormonal treatment using birth control can be used to suppress ovarian function for 6 months which can reduce the pain caused by endometriosis.
Birth control can also help regulate menstrual cycles which may also help alleviate painful periods.
Surgery is also used to remove the areas of endometriosis. In very severe cases, a hysterectomy may be necessary for some women.
If you’re like me and want to avoid surgery and aren’t too keen on hormone therapy, I’ve compiled a few natural methods to manage your endo-triggered bloating.
There are many advantages to trying at-home remedies to manage endometriosis symptoms:
- Typically natural
- May help to avoid unnecessary medical intervention
Here are several at-home remedies you can implement to help alleviate the symptoms you may experience from bloating caused by endometriosis:
Heat naturally relaxes muscles which can reduce stress levels. This can encourage better function in your gastro tract and help reduce bloating.
You can apply a heating pad, a hot blanket from the drier, or take a hot bath.
Exercise more often. I know this can be difficult when you are experiencing pain and discomfort caused by endometriosis.
But exercise, such as walking, relaxes your stomach muscles.
This helps your body expel trapped gasses. It also can help lower estrogen levels which may reduce the number of lesions produced by endometriosis.
Some teas can naturally help your body combat bloating:
- Dandelion root.
Always check the ingredients in teas and other natural remedies if you have any allergies.
A bonus? Tea is another method of heating your body which leads to added relaxation.
Eat Foods Rich in Probiotics
Probiotics aid in digestion and help restore your gut to healthy levels of good bacteria which can reduce bloating.
Yogurt, pickles, and kimchi (a Korean fermented dish) are good sources of probiotics.
Avoid Swallowing Too Much Air
This may sound weird, but having too much air in your stomach can cause bloating discomfort.
Sodas, chewing gum, and talking while eating can force excess air into your stomach.
Endometriosis Bloating and Your Diet
Your diet can be crucial in helping you feel relief from some of the symptoms of endometriosis, including bloating.
There isn’t one specific diet that is a cure-all for every woman with endometriosis.
But, I can tell you that these changes have positively impacted my life as well as the lives of many other endo sisters.
To manage bloating and other endo symptoms, I have discovered that my body needs to avoid four main groups of foods.
The following changes may likely help you in finding some relief from the bloating you experience from endometriosis:
- Your diet should be anti-inflammatory. Endometriosis is a chronic inflammatory condition. Having an anti-inflammatory diet will reduce some of the symptoms you may experience.
- The foods you eat should be gluten-free. Gluten increases inflammation. Remember that the goal is to reduce inflammation since endometriosis is a chronic inflammatory condition.
- No dairy products — ever. Again, the goal is to avoid inflammation. Diary increases low-grade inflammation within the body.
- Stay away from soy. I have found that removing soy from my diet has helped decrease the symptoms I feel from endometriosis.
I have outlined an endo-friendly diet that has helped many women. This diet includes further explanation of specific foods that can trigger endo-bloating and endo-friendly recipes.