Reprinted below is a question that is heard very commonly in the office from patients:
Q: Since I went through menopause, I have noticed more gas and bloating. The symptoms are becoming more embarassing and nothing seems to help. Is there an association between gas and menopause?
A: Over the last few years, it has become quite apparent that a very common symptom of menopause is bloating in the intestinal tract due to the production of gas. Recent survey results have found over two-thirds of women experience stomach gas during menopause.
While gas and bloating are very common symptoms during menopause, it is unclear if this is related to the actual hormonal adjustments of menopause or solely an issue of aging . Since approximately one quarter of women have noted increased gas during menopause, some doctor’s have suggested that decreasing hormone production may play a role in this process. Other experts have stated that a change in diet around the menopause transition may lead to more gas and bloating. In fact, over 60% of women were eating more fruit and vegetables and over 70% have made changes in their diet during menopause according to a recent survey.
There are many approaches to reducing gas and flatulence. Fortunately, eliminating healthy gas producing foods does not need to be done.
When ingesting gassy foods such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, legumes, grains, cereals, nuts, seeds, and whole-grain breads consider a digestive aid to eliminate gas. Many foods that are part of a healthy diet can cause gas.
Click here for an expanded list of ‘gassy’ foods ( http://www.menopauserx.com/news/gas.htm).
As with all medical conditions, it is recommended to discuss your specific symptoms with your health care provider.
John A. Sunyecz, M.D.