One of the hardest things to deal with when you have Endometriosis is the wonderful bloating you feel with your lower abdominal area. It feels like something is desperately trying to come out but no matter how many times you go to the toilet, it just doesn’t seem to make any difference!
Here are 7 simple techniques that I have used that seem to help my bloating:
1.Drink loads of water.
I know you think that is the last thing you want to do but water is the best way to flush out water retention so keep up your fluids. Add a slice of lemon to give it some flavour and sip on it all day long. Also, it is best to drink luke warm or warm water rather than cold water. It helps things flow through easier and get absorbed easier.
2. Take off those tight clothes!
Tight clothes restrict the natural processes of the body, including digestion, kidneys and bladder. You want things to be able to move as much as possible without being squashed for space! Get into some cool fashion options for endo women and you’ll notice a drastic improvement!
3.Avoid the “Sugar High, sugar low” scenario.
What I mean by this is, avoid spending you day eating sweet things or caffeine related things to get a “rush”. After you’ve had the sugar, biscuit, chocolate, coffee….. you drop down to a low, usually about an hour later. So, inevitably you have another chocolate, biscuit, tea with sugar, coffee or anything with sugar in it to get back up. I used to do this all day and didn’t really understand why this was so bad for me. I spent at least half of my day wide awake so what was the problem with that? Well, now that I have read about these things, I can share some interesting things about what actually happens when we do the “Sugar High, Sugar Low” scenario.
If we do this for an extended period of time, our body recognises this as a stress or “fright or flight” situation, where it needs to prepare for battle. It shoots out adrenaline. This causes a heap of reactions, which I will get into another time but for now, all we are focusing on is the bloating scenario.
The reason we bloated from sugar is that when the adrenalin leaves our cells, it replaces the cells with water. This is that wonderful puffiness and bloating we know as water retention.
We eat heaps of salt. It is in many vegetables and fruit and we don’t really need to add anymore to our diet. We only need 500mg a day to stay healthy. A very easy way to reduce salt but still have the good flavours is to replace your salt with other spices, dried herbs, fresh herbs and home-made sauces. Check the labels on everything you eat and try and cut out on the foods which contain heaps of salt. These days they seem to use salt in almost everything. Even Peanut Butter! Most common places to find heaps of salt are packaged sauces and packaged meals.
I know how hard this is at work. You are stuck at a desk all day, not moving and the bloating just seems to get worse and worse as the day progresses. By the time you get up from your desk at the end of the day, you feel like you are 4months pregnant! I have found this scenario recently and found a great solution. It is a Gym Ball! Yip, you can get them and sit on them all day. They do take about a week or two to get used to but they will help with more than just the bloating. They can help with lower back pain and building up those core muscles giving you a better posture and helping taking the load off. I love my bright yellow one! Everyone at work thinks I’m a little odd but hey I don’t get bloating anymore!
Naturally, walking or any form of exercise will always help too. If you can get into a sweat that will be the best. Go for a sauna to really get the liquids flowing! Just make sure you re-hydrate heaps afterwards!
6.Drink or eat some natural diuretics
There are some wonderful natural diuretics which won’t deplete the body of any nutrients in the process of flushing out the extra water. Dandelion Leaf Tea is a fabulous one and if you feel like picking the leaves yourself and making a tea. Dandelion is really easy to spot. It has that big fluffy head on it, that you probably blew on when you were a kid! Just pick the leaves, dry them over a few days and you have your own tea. Dandelion grows just about anywhere, especially on lawns so it should be pretty easy to find them. Otherwise, you can just get them from the health store.
The other diuretics you can use are dill seeds, parsley, cucumber and fennel.
7.Use some natural aromatherapy oils
My favourite is Juniper! You can use them as massage oil or you can add them to the bath. Just a few drops should do the trick. Just make sure you have at least 30minutes to yourself (good excuse to relax and get away!)
So, there you have 7 of my options for reducing bloating for Endometriosis. I find on days where I get particularly bloated, I will eat a bunch of parsley, have some Dandelion Leaf Tea and then have a wonderful hot bath with Juniper Oil. I feel great once I get out of the bath and all the bloating is reduced.
Bloating is really uncomfortable and will only aggravate your symptoms with Endometriosis. It is a good idea to ensure you are always well hydrated and everything is “flowing” as it should 🙂