Endo belly is one of the most least talked about side effects/symptoms of endo yet I have to say one of the worst.
There have been moments when I have literally cried to my boyfriend, complaining about how fat I have gotten but the next day I’m back to having a flat tummy?!
We get asked if we are pregnant alllllll the time! No hunny I’m not pregnant I’ve just been bloated for the past week, but thanks for noticing 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 – sarcastic smiles.
Isn’t it ironic that we get asked if we are pregnant when we are having an endo belly moment, yet one of our symptoms is possible infertility? Massive kick in the gut – endo bloated gut lol.
I hate trying on my cute tight party dresses that looked banging when I brought them however when I go to wear them I look like a pregnant lady who is about to go out and hit the town. I hate having to, at times, put my hands down the front of my pants and pull them away from me just to alleviate that pushing, tight pain.
Endo belly definitely ruins my self-confidence at times, it makes me feel large, unattractive, uncomfortable and all round miserable. Imagine spending a lot of money on the most beautiful bikini and only getting to wear it a handful of times throughout summer as you had your period the whole time and were beyond bloated.
I sometimes get that self conscious that I question what people are thinking about me and in particular, my boyfriend. Am I still sexy to him whilst this bloated?
I mean look at the photo above, I am normally quite lucky and have a pretty flat tummy however other days I cannot even look at anything remotely tight and have to live in comfy baggy clothing for sometimes over a week!
A bloated endo tummy is often misdiagnosed as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and/or is often overlook and dismissed by many medical practitioners. Sadly it can actually be one of the most emotional and distressing symptoms to many!
So I thought about what actually is endo belly, I know it’s when we swell up like a balloon, but do any of us know what actually causes it?! I had no idea. So I got thinking and did some research and this is what I came up with –
Sometimes the swelling in our abdomen and bloating, can be due to the inflamed endometrial growth. However I read an article on the way our gut bacteria can play on endo belly and found it extremely interesting and it made so much sense!!!
The good bacteria plays an important part in the functioning of our body. They help digest our food, produce vitamins, reduce inflammation, help with detoxing and increase our energy!
Now we also have bacteria growing in our large and small bowels. A small amount in the small bowel (duh) and a way larger amount in our large bowel (duh again). A condition called Dysbiosis is what happens when too much and/or to little bacteria appear in the bowel.
SIBO (Small Bowel Intestinal Overgrowth) is a condition where the bacteria from the large bowel end up being in the small bowel and mix and migrate together. SIBO and its extra bacteria in the wrong place is then exposed to the undigested food which it eats and turns into a large amount of gas – BLOATING!
Reasons for both Dysbiosis and SIBO could be;
- NSAID medication – interesting right?
- Poor diet e.g high sugar intake, low fiber, no veggies etc
- Candida & Parasites
- INFLAMMATION – again, interesting?!?!
Endo associated inflammation can alter our gut imbalances which then leads to other types of inflammation and poor digestion. Both Dysbiosis and SIBO are common in woman with endometriosis, and it makes me wonder – maybe our symptoms are not all due to endo, however endo causing OTHER health issues for us resulting in extra pain and problems however mistaken and miss construed as endo symptoms? (hope that makes sense.) And perhaps even things we are doing to try to help our endo pains and symptoms e.g nsaid medication is actually the thing bringing on and worsening other symptoms?
Back to gut in balances – if our gut bacteria is not balanced, it makes it harder for our body to get rid of Estrogen. Now without using big fancy medical words I really do not understand, to me it basically read that it allows the estrogen to be re absorbed in our body rather than leave in our no.2’s – creating our endo to worsen!
So, how do we keep all of our bacteria levels balanced and keep the bacteria where they should be OR fix our bacteria in balance issues? This is what I have found –
- Reduce stress – this is massively hard for me to do so I appreciate this is one of those ‘easier said than done’ tips
- Take probiotic supplements – you can get really good probiotic yoghurts 🙂
- Eat high fibre food – try the usana product I have talk about on my instagram and facebook page!
- Cut processed food out
- If you know you have an intolerance e.g dairy, gluten, soy etc – CUT IT
- Zinc supplements are great for healing gut lining
- Avoid toxins – S U G A R
- Consume fermented food!
- ^^ this includes KOMBUCHA! I love kombucha. It seriously really helps me also when I have a fizzy drink craving 🙂
There are tonnes of great ways to balance your bacteria and I really think that all of us who are suffering from endo need to do some research into the above! As perhaps our symptoms are not coming from the endo itself?!
Ladies, if you are a chronic endo belly sufferer, perhaps look further into what actually causes the bloating? You could rid yourself of this embarrassing and painful symptom by eliminating a few things or changing your lifestyle a little.
Aswell as trying to balance the bacteria, try to eliminate bloating by consuming easy to digest foods! I have also found ginger to be super helpful when I am bloated – especially for those PAINFUL endo belly moments.
So basically, to me, I have come to the conclusion that endo belly is just another stupid side effect of either endo itself OR some other weird thing endo causes that then causes bloating, however its name to me shall still remain as endo belly.
I hope this post is some what useful and made sense (its really hard turning medical words into every day easy to understand words) however please do remember I am just a sufferer, I have no medical, health or nutrition background (yet hehe watch this space) I am just sharing info I find off the internet and what has helped me!
Wishing you a bloat free day ladies.
Love and light