The Dreaded Endo Belly: How to Deal with Endometriosis and Bloating
Endometriosis 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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!
- 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).
- 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!