Bloating during Menopause?
You may have become lactose intolerant!!
Bloating during menopause is extremely common and can be caused by our fluctuating and declining hormone levels. Oestrogen for example, is important for maintaining the correct amount of water and bile in the body. As levels begin to change, the body tends to store more water, making you feel bloated. In addition, the amount of bile produced alters – this affects the way you digest fats, leading to more wind or flatulence being produced in the digestive system.
However, bloating may also be caused by being lactose intolerant, which can develop during the menopause transition.
Lactose intolerance stems from a deficit of lactase, a digestive enzyme produced in the small intestine. Lactase is necessary for the breakdown of lactose in dairy products. Shifting hormone levels can cause your body to stop producing lactase and you may find that you can no longer tolerate lactose.
A diet that limits dairy products can help control the symptoms.
Eating fewer dairy products can help you control the uncomfortable and sometimes painful symptoms of lactose intolerance.
While dairy products are good sources of calcium and other nutrients, many non-dairy foods have the same nutrients. Here are some examples:
* Pinto beans
* Tofu (fermented)
Cow milk substitutes, such as soya, almond and rice milk, contain calcium and other nutrients. Some breads and fruit juices are fortified with calcium.
Beware of hidden lactose. Non-dairy foods may contain lactose if they were prepared with milk. Instant soups, baking mixes, salad dressings, processed meats, and non-dairy creamers are some examples. Check the labels and look for milk, lactose, whey, and milk byproducts. Some medicines may contain lactose, so be sure to tell your doctor about your problem.
Take lactase enzyme supplements. Lactase enzyme supplements are available over the counter as tablets or drops. They will not help everyone with lactose intolerance, but they are certainly worth a try. They are most effective when taken with a meal or snack.
A Word About Osteoporosis
Menopausal women experience bone loss due to declining oestrogen levels. When your body starts to lose bone faster than it can replace it, you risk developing osteoporosis.
How can you get enough calcium to prevent osteoporosis and avoid the symptoms of lactose intolerance? Here are a few suggestions:
* Calcium, magnesium & vitamin K2 and D supplements
* Almond milk or fortified orange juice
* Spinach, kale and other dark, leafy greens
Don’t forget to get a little sunshine on your skin too. Sunlight helps your body absorb Vitamin D and break down the calcium.
If you are overly concerned about your bloating, or it had been continuous, then do make sure you see you doctor for further medical advice.