Can Menopause Cause Bloating and Cramps in Lower Stomach?
Menopause is a part of aging that women simply can’t avoid. As they enter later life, menopause will occur. It usually starts sometime after the age of 45, but could start much earlier or later. Essentially, this is the end of a woman’s fertility and when menopause ends no more menstrual periods will be experienced. It’s the period of time leading up to that point that can’t be difficult to manage because of the wide range of symptoms that could be experienced. During menopause, the ovaries will slow down their production of hormones like estrogen and progestin. This sudden hormonal imbalance will trigger a lot of different issues.
Two of the common symptoms of menopause are cramps and bloating. While things like mood swings, irritability, and hot flashes get most of the attention when a discussion shifts to menopause, bloating and cramps are also worth taking a look at.
Usually, the cramps are actually related to the bloating itself so it’s worth taking a look at that symptom first.
Bloating is usually defined as a feeling of tightness or of fullness in the stomach or abdomen. The severity, duration, and frequency of bloating will vary greatly from woman to woman since menopause affects everyone differently. It’s usually very similar to the kind of bloating that is felt during a period, only often more intense.
The specific cause of bloating during menopause is usually the fluctuation of hormones in the body. Estrogen in particular has a direct impact on the body’s water retention levels and as a result when the estrogen levels in the body become unbalanced, water retention increases. Usually, estrogen has an impact on the production of bile as well which in turn could help trigger constipation and bloating.
Cramps often accompany bloating, but could occur on its own. These cramps are almost indistinguishable from the cramps that are felt during a menstrual cycle, and as the body adjusts to the changing hormone levels cramps are a common issue. Additionally, since the hormone imbalances usually trigger changes in menstrual period frequency and intensity, it makes sense that cramping occurs.
Simply put, menopause isn’t an enjoyable experience but it is one that is unavoidable. Luckily, it will eventually come to an end and things will go back to normal. There are a variety of things that can help reduce bloating including dietary changes like eliminating dairy and other trigger foods. Utilizing natural supplements, herbal remedies, and other alternative remedies may also help alleviate some of the cramping and bloating problems.
Menopause affects everyone differently, and there’s a good chance that cramps or bloating could occur if you experience it. These are normal side effects of this time of life, and usually are mild in intensity. Still, finding relief from them could be important and may be well worth doing if the pain becomes too much to manage.