Causes and Natural Digestive Aids
Perimenopause bloating is quite common. It was one of my first symptoms of perimenopause. Fortunately there are many natural digestive aids, from a digestive enzymes supplement to probiotics and an herbal digestion supplement. One of the things that happens during perimenopause is hormone fluctuation. Your estrogen rises, and your progesterone falls. It isn't until the year or so before menopause that estrogen levels begin to fall.
Some common causes of perimenopause bloating include: years of abuse of your digestive system, your thyroid slowing down as you age, and high estrogen levels as you go through perimenopause.
In my herbal medicine studies I met some other practitioners of alternative systems. One was a doctor of Chinese Medicine (also known as TCM), and another was trained in Ayurveda. Both of them had learned to prepare food so that it was easy on the digestion. That is, the food was often pre-digested through the cooking or preparation process, thereby reducing the digestive enzymes needed to break it down and get the nutrients from it. This process is known as fermentation.
I remember reading somewhere that you have a certain amount of enzymes when you're born, and when you run out, that's it. One of the biggest users of energy in daily life is your digestive system. This is why people throughout the world for thousands of years prepared their food to make it easy to digest. It was only when food became available through commercial enterprise that these processes were slowly done away with.
Natural digestive aids include herbs that will get your digestive juices flowing, fermented foods, probiotics and prebioitcs, and a digestive enzymes supplement.
An Herbal Digestion Supplement May Be Just What You Need
Bitters- Gentian, Swertia, and Swedish Bitters are some herbal bitters. The use of bitters goes back a long time. If you take one of these herbs about 20 minutes before a meal, it will help stimulate digestion.
Stomach Aids include Ginger and Chamomile. Both of these herbs can settle your stomach. To find out about bitters and other digestive herbs, see
menopause and digestion
Stress Relief- Stress is extremely hard on your digestive system, especially when you eat during a time when you are acutely stressed. Blue vervain, kava kava, motherwort, hops, scullcap, valerian, and oatstraw are herbs that can help with stress. For more about these herbs, see
herbs for stress
Hormone balancing herbs include
vitex (chaste berry)
will also help balance estrogen excess.
These are the kinds of foods people used to prepare and eat: kimchi, kefir, cultured milk products, pickled vegetables. I highly recommend you make these foods yourself. You may be able to find them in stores, but the quality and taste will be much better made at home.
A Digestive Enzymes Supplement, Probiotics
There are different enzymes to digest proteins, fats and carbohydrates. The whole food vitamins I take contain lots of different enzymes, along with probiotics. For more information about them, see
We have talked about herbs, vitamins and foods to help with digestion and hormone imbalance. There are also other reasons for perimenopause bloating: one is low thyroid and the other is food sensitivities. For thyroid information, see
thyroid and menopause
Food sensitivities can develop as we age, especially since we do not take care of our digestive health. I started becoming sensitive to wheat. If you are sensitive to this or other foods, bloating will almost certainly be one of the symptoms. I would suggest cutting out any foods you may feel are causing problems for you for at least ten days, and see how you feel. If you are paying attention to your body, you will know which foods could be a problem.
So there you have it: several natural remedies to help with perimenopause bloating. Try them out and see how well they work! Of course, the more you take care of your digestion, the better you will feel.
Return from Perimenopause Bloating to
Menopause and Digestion
Return from Perimenopause Bloating to
Natural Remedies for Menopause