endometriosis and bloating endo belly
Chronic Illness & Endometriosis Health

The Dreaded Endo Belly: How to Deal with Endometriosis and Bloating

endometriosis and bloating endo bellyEndometriosis has been known to cause many uncomfortable symptoms. One of the symptoms that does not get enough attention is endometriosis and bloating, it has been affectionately referred to as “endo belly.” It is when the abdominal area tends to swell, sometimes to the extreme point of mimicking a pregnant belly. The “endo belly” is thought to be the result of endometrial implants that may resolve after complete excision surgery. However, there was one study completed that found:

40 out of 50 women with laparoscopic confirmed endometriosis were found to have SIBO. [Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth]. SIBO needs to be considered as a contributing factor anytime a woman has severe bloating.

This is why managing one’s diet is an important factor to consider when you are diagnosed with endometriosis. I did not take this point very seriously until after my last surgery. I am now starting to realize how interconnected my pain and diet have become, though.

“Painful abdominal bloating appears to be common in women with Endometriosis and causes considerable symptomatic distress … as 96% of the women studied suffered with measured bloating that was both painful and emotionally distressing”  NCBI controlled study, 2009

The study completed in 2009 noted that the abdominal bloating is both “painful and emotionally distressing.” If you have not experienced ‘endo belly,’ or know a loved one who has, you may be wondering “how the heck is bloating emotionally distressing?”

Well, from personal experience, I can tell you that when you go to put on clothes and nothing fits you because you are mysteriously a size or two larger in your stomach, only, it is not only uncomfortable but distressing. You feel like your body has been taken over, you have completely lost control, and people will actually ask “how far along are you?” Just imagine how that feels to a woman who is unable to conceive? Or, who has suffered her second miscarriage because of the same disease causing that bloated belly?

It’s horrible. It’s disgusting. And, it seems like there is nothing that will make you better. Fortunately, there are some home remedies you can try to alleviate your discomfort.

 

Top ways to reduce Endo Belly:

  1. Peppermint Tea

    Peppermint tea helps relieve pain caused by endometriosis and bloating. The indigestion and nausea that comes along with this ailment is unbearable without peppermint tea.  As a chronic pain sufferer and endometriosis warrior, I live by peppermint tea.

  2. Increase Fiber
    Digestion issues causes an increase in the bloating, so decrease your digestion issues and you can alleviate some of your bloating. The issues with most of this starts in the gut. You have to get your flora in check. So, fix your diet.
  3. No Dairy / Reduce Red Meat
    See #3 – fix your diet to get your gut in check. Dairy and red meat wreck havoc on your system and increase inflammation in your body. If you cut out dairy and red meat for just three weeks, I promise you will see a major improvement in your well-being. It does not mean you have to complete cut-out dairy and red meat, but limit your intake. See how your body reacts and listen to the reaction.
  4. Exercise
    The more you move your body, the easier it is for your digestive track to keep things flowing properly. So, try adding yoga or a brisk walk to your routine. It does not have to be anything crazy just get moving!
  5. Increase Water Intake
    Sounds counter-intuitive but your body needs water to flush out toxins. If your belly is bloated and you’re feeling crummy, chances are you are not getting enough water each day. You should aim for at least eight glasses of water each day. As you add more water into your daily life, you will notice changes to your skin, energy, and belly bloat (or should I say, reduction of bloat).
  6. Abdominal Binding
    This is my personal method of dealing with bloat. I do not know that it actually “helps” with bloat but it does make me feel better. The compression of my stomach helps with pain and the bloat. Overtime, the bloat does appear to go down. Nonetheless, because I have not done any research, aside from my personal research, I can only say that it has worked for me!

These are my Seven Top Tips to Reduce Endo Belly, what do you think? Have you tried any of these? What would you add to the list?

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6 Comment

  1. Unfortunately when discussing Endo belly it’s important to remember there are multiple causes. Your solutions may work for some, but land others in the ER. My Endometriosis came with severe colon adhesions, which is common with Endo. I had to do the opposite with fiber and maintain a low fiber diet. I had severe constipation due to constriction of the colon and partial obstructions. Fiber almost landed me in the ER, thankfully a doctor got me on high doses of Miralax and a low residue (low fiber) diet in time. I have had multiple ER visits for near colon obstruction even with following all proper medical advice.

    How Endo impacts digestion is dependent on where the Endo and adhesions are, along with other pre-existing conditions and biological factors. There is no one diet, cure, or solution for Endo belly.

    1. A very important reminder, Chronic Advocate, yes. Endo belly is not always caused by one aspect of endometriosis, which is why you should always check with your doctor if you’re experiencing constipation.

      My advice deals with belly bloating, although I did not mean to suggest there was one diet or solution – if that was the impression you got from the article. It is only tips I have used to help me deal with my own endo belly. As you are aware, there is no “cure”.

  2. Tired all of the above and different things work on different days, as much of them as possible is usually the trick and I still get horrendous regular bloats. LOL
    I also had to cut more out my diet – gluten/wheat, soya and caffeine were also adding to my bloat majorly.

    Again great info 🙂

  3. I read this when it came up in my reader and I just smiled. I know this belly all too well. I guess in my case though I have both Endo belly and Pelvic Congestion Syndrome belly.
    I used to get so distressed, not necessarily when trying to put on something but after wearing it from morning and looking fine and by afternoon the zip or buttons are straining to keep me in. Guess that’s the PCS part.
    There are those days though when I would have tried an outfit the day before and it was fine and the following day when I am getting dressed it is as you said two sizes too small….guess this is the Endo part for me.
    It was and can be quite distressing. I have changed my diet to gluten, dairy and soy free…for various reasons and I am not sure it makes any difference with the bloat.
    However, I took one piece of advice from my doctor and started to change my wardrobe. He said “embrace stretch fabric”. When he said it I didn’t want to hear him but I have found it is better to reduce my stress in whatever way possible. So I went from having no clothing of stretch fabric to now having most my wardrobe like that. Many styles that hide or mask the tummy and others that just stretch to accommodate it.
    I’m learning to ignore people and accept each day for what it is,
    This is probably not the advice you were looking for but it has helped me. Perspective is everything………if I have the belly today but can walk and do things for myself I don’t complain I try to find the good in each day even amidst the all the bad.

    1. I love this, Lyn! Thank you so much for reading and your comment. Sometimes we do have to embrace it, as you said.

      I have purchased more stretchy fabrics myself and feel more at ease! We have more important matters to stress over, not our bellies! xx gentle hugs

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