One of the side effects of surgical menopause is my body has absolutely no time to adjust to the drop in estrogen. This means dealing painful stomach bloating. How bad is the bloat? Some times my belly swells so large I look pregnant. Yikes!
It gets especially painful around my belly button – that’s where the camera was inserted for my surgery. It’s the one incision area that is the slowest to heal as it takes the brunt of the bloating.
There are a few things I can do with my diet and exercise to minimize the bloating while my body finds its footing.
- Bidding Adieu to My Favorite Veggies – For the time being certain vegetables no longer welcomed in my kitchen. While I don’t use a lot of garlic and onions, they are a staple when it comes to adding flavor. Unfortunately they contain fructans, soluble fibers that cause bloating. I’m also giving up all cruciferous vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, all cabbage, collard greens… Oh the list seems to go on! At least spinach, avocados and tomatoes are safe.
- Kicking Out Carbonated Water – The carbon dioxide in carbonated water can get trapped in the digestive system, causing bloat. I started drinking carbonated water as a way to drink more water. Now I drink about 80-90 ounces of tap water a day, so kicking fizzy water to the curb shouldn’t be difficult.
- Building Up My Core – On days where I do yoga or walk the bloat is pretty much non-existent. Not so much when I do weight training. Thankfully there are some other exercises that can safely incorporate into my strength training: crunches, sit ups, seated twist and energy push. The first three are perfect for strength training as they use body weight. The energy push can be used as part of my warm up routine.
These three steps are my starting point. Now there is a chance that I may have to give up my beloved dairy. I certainly don’t have any signs of lactose intolerance. Nonetheless I started cutting back on dairy (creams and cheese) to get my total daily carbs under 20g.
I plan to see how well these 3 steps help with the bloat. Maybe by the end of the month I’ll see if dairy needs to get added to the list.