Reviewed by Dr. Melissa Thompson, PT, DPT, MTC
Dr. Thompson is board certified and the owner of Louisiana Pelvic Health. Her expertise is in alleviating bladder, bowel, and sexual pain symptoms during pregnancy, postpartum, and throughout a woman's life.
You look pregnant.
And, it’s not one of those things where you feel like you look pregnant… Your stomach actually balloons to large proportions and causes crazy pain.
I’ve been there. I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Severe Endometriosis - and extremely painful bloating was a normal thing for me.
Thankfully, you don’t have to live with this bloating forever. I was able to take control of my endo bloating and, by following the steps below, I think you can too.
(Photo credit above to Sarah at @fitendolife on Instagram)
Does endometriosis cause bloating and gas?
The short answer? Yes.
“A significantly larger proportion of women with endometriosis than control subjects experienced abdominal bloating (96% vs. 64%). In women with abdominal bloating, the following were more common in those who had endometriosis.”
“Ninety per cent of women had gastrointestinal symptoms, of which bloating was the most common (82.8%), but 71.3% also had other bowel symptoms.”
Endo Belly is a thing…
Women have coined a term.
If you have endometriosis, you probably already know this.
They’re calling their endometriosis flare-ups that result in severe bloating “Endo Belly.”
Endo belly is when you have such severe bloating that your stomach balloons to that similar of a pregnant woman.
These severe bloating episodes are incredibly painful.
Endo Belly Before and After
Celebrities with endometriosis are speaking out about endo belly and the symptoms of endometriosis.
3 Steps To Getting Rid of Endometriosis Bloating in Less Than 2 Weeks:
As you probably already know, endometriosis is highly related to gastrointestinal symptoms.
Many women with endometriosis also have irritable bowel syndrome or other GI discomfort.
Oftentimes, when endometriosis symptoms get worse, gastrointestinal symptoms also get worse.
Thankfully, there’s a natural solution that has helped thousands of women reduce bloating with endometriosis.
There’s something called the endometriosis diet.
And this diet has been known to not only reduce bloating symptoms but also reduce all endometriosis symptoms.
Here’s a 3-step process to reduce your endometriosis bloating in less than 2 weeks:
1. Eat Non-Processed Foods & Replace Them With Whole Foods:
WebMD, in an article titled “Bloating 101: Why You Feel Bloated” states that:
“Fructose, a natural sugar added to many processed foods, is difficult for many people to digest.”
But, isn’t bloating from endometriosis different? Just because something helps with bloating for other people doesn’t mean it’ll work for me, right?
Well, here’s what I can tell you.
I can tell you that I experienced almost a complete reduction in bloating symptoms after eating a non-processed diet.
And, there are hundreds of stories from women all over the internet with them sharing how they improved their endometriosis symptoms by changing their diet.
Today.com also mentions that it’s probably best to go with “less processed options” if you want to reduce bloating.
How to remove processed foods?
There’s a pretty simple way to do it.
It’s definitely not easy. Your cravings will still be there. You’ll have to do a little more work in the kitchen. But, it’s worth it.
Go through your pantry & fridge:
Every cupboard. Every shelf.
And find processed foods. Then, get rid of them.
Processed foods are basically anything that is pre-made and packaged in plastic, anything frozen, canned, or pre-baked.
Here are some examples:
savory snacks, such as crisps, sausage rolls, pies and pasties
meat products, such as bacon, sausage, ham, and salami
"convenience foods", such as microwave meals or ready meals
cakes and biscuits
drinks, such as milk or soft drinks
And then replace those foods with whole foods:
Whole foods are anything that does NOT come pre-made or pre-packaged.
Think vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, meat, and more.
I once heard someone say something that stuck with me:
If you want to lose weight and eat healthier, then force yourself to prepare everything from scratch.
If you want pizza tonight, then MAKE it. Make the dough. Make the sauce.
If you want a cake, then make the cake.
You’ll find that you’re much more likely to choose healthier options.
2. Remove Gluten
There was a study on 156 women with endometriosis. They all stopped eating gluten and over 75% of them saw improvements in their endometriosis symptoms.
And, since bloating is a common symptom to endometriosis, we can assume that 75% of women saw a reduction in their bloating symptoms by removing gluten from their diet.
To put it another way…
If I told you, that based on scientific evidence if you were to remove gluten from your diet and you had a 75% chance of seeing a reduction in your bloating (and other endometriosis symptoms), would you do it?
The answer is probably yes.
How do remove gluten from your diet?
Look at the ingredient list of foods.
Gluten is a protein in certain grains.
Those grains are wheat, oats, rye, and barley.
So, if things have any of those ingredients above, then avoid them!
Here’s a warning about eating gluten-free:
Do NOT simply replace your diet with gluten-free alternatives.
Just because something is gluten-free does NOT mean it’s healthy.
So, do your best to avoid gluten-free cookies, pizzas, waffles, candies, cakes, etc.
3. Remove Dairy
“About 75% of the world's population can't break down lactose, the sugar found in milk. This condition is known as lactose intolerance.”
And, they go on to basically say that if you’re lactose intolerant and eat dairy, then there’s really no doubt that you’ll have bloating.
Since many women with endometriosis also deal with gastrointestinal imbalances, I believe that this number is much higher for women with endometriosis.
How do remove dairy from your diet?
Just like with gluten, you have to be diligent about reading labels.
Dairy is found in A LOT of stuff.
I was recently looking at ingredients for a number of packaged goods (ones that were supposed to be super healthy) and found ingredients like “dry milk powder” as the SECOND ingredient.
I wondered why my stomach ballooned to the size of a beach ball… Yet, it was my own fault and I realized I wasn’t sticking to the protocol diligently enough. I needed to read every ingredient on that label.
So, be diligent in reading ingredients to ensure that you're actually removing EVERY source of dairy.
Thank you for sharing your story! I don’t know if I have endo still in the process of navigating many symptoms including severe painful bloating. I literally had my gyno tell me today that people with endo don’t get abdominal bloating. I feel so frustrated and sad to be in so much pain I just want to know what’s causing it no matter what it is. Thank you for your support