Endo Belly: Holistic Strategies to Beat the Bloat

endo awareness food as medicine gut healing May 15, 2024

Real Time Problems

EndoBelly takes bloating to a whole new level. Today's blog post was inspired by my real-time experience because whewww, my endobelly is so real right now.  It's one thing to deal with bloating, but when it becomes so severe that it makes me look pregnant?!

It's not just about how it looks; it's about how it feels. I feel like my body has no space; it's so tight and full. I've been eating less because I feel so full—I can't even tell when I'm hungry. I get out of breath and uncomfortable when bending over just to tie my shoes. And mind you, I'm not wearing anything with a tight waistband, that's completely out the question. Just in general I feel like I'm carrying something around. Seriously, I swear I know what it feels like to be pregnant! I'll have to confirm this theory later once I actually do get preggo.

This is the first time in almost a year that I've dealt with this Endobelly bloating, and while it can be frustrating, I'm not letting it get me down. I know it's not a permanent state. Understanding what might have triggered it and having tools to navigate through it empowers me. Plus, I've learned to give myself and my body grace, which brings me a sense of ease. That's why I'm here today—to share some tips to help you take charge of your bloating flares and not let  Endo call the shots!


What is EndoBelly?

EndoBelly is a term used to describe significant abdominal bloating and discomfort for women with endometriosis. This bloating can cause the abdomen to become distended and swollen, and literally make it look like you are pregnant. If you have endometriosis, it's a high chance that you have experienced this awful symptom-> EndoBelly. It is in fact of one the major symptoms of Endometriosis.


Endo can actually trigger symptoms similar to those of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). So, when someone's grappling with abdominal bloating, diarrhea, and/or constipation, it's not uncommon for them to get slapped with an IBS diagnosis when, in reality, they could have endometriosis. This can create a situation where the investigation stops at IBS, delaying the real discovery of endo.

If you or someone you know suspects they might have endo, be sure to check out my blog post "Endometriosis Explained: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding the Invisible Disease" for more insights!


Let it Go!

If you ask most of us EndoWarriors we can deal with the physical stuff - the pain, the bloating, the discomfort --- its the mental war we go through because of it. That is truly the hardest part.The other day, I was all pumped up shopping for an upcoming trip, trying on different outfits, feeling excited—until I caught sight of my bloating in the mirror. Talk about moodkill - it completely messed up my vibe! The look on my face says it all... Can anyone else relate?

Just a few nights before that, I had a total breakdown over it. It's the worst it's been since my excision surgery, and it's frustrating not feeling like myself.  I can't wear what I want, and even exercising feels like Im carrying  a thousand pounds—I just feel so heavy!

When these feelings hit, I've learned it's best to just let them out. Processing them right then and there means you're not storing these negative emotions in your body, contributing to dis-ease! 

Say what you're feeling out loud, really dive into the emotions that come with it—the anger, sadness, frustration, hopelessness, despair, fear, shame... Let yourself fully experience whatever it is! And do whatever you need to do—cry, bury your face in a pillow and scream, shake your entire body... Then, release those words, release the negative story that goes with them, release the feeling, and LET IT GO!

Doing that in combination with taking aligned steps that I will show you, will make you feel so much better in your mind, body and soul!!!


Set Your Expectations

Would you rather learn how to make a million dollars over five years, or simply receive a million dollars to spend in one month? For me, the choice is clear—I'd rather learn to make a million so I can replicate that success over and over again, rather than just experiencing a windfall for a brief period. The same principle applies to your health journey. Would you rather invest the time to truly understand your body, make sustainable changes, and improve your symptoms? Or would you prefer a quick-fix, band-aid solution that only masks the underlying issue and doesn't even last?!

This requires a whole different mindset, a commitment to long-term lifestyle changes!  We're not about quick fixes here. It's about understanding your body and making changes you can stick with, and let me tell you, that takes time! So if you're hoping for some miracle overnight remedy, sorry, but this ain't it! Before we dive in, I need you to set your expectations straight. Your bloating didn't happen overnight, and it won't disappear overnight either. So please be patient with yourself, your body, and your journey. It may seem like the harder road but believe me it will be worth it in the long run.


9 Ways to Beat the Endo Belly Bloat


1. Identify the Root Cause

This is REQUIRED. 

You've got to dig deep and get to the bottom of it. I know you might be thinking, 'But I'm not a doctor, how can I diagnose myself?' Or, 'How do I even know where to start?' Or maybe you're convinced that endo is the root cause. Well, guess what? We're not going that direction, were taking the EMPOWERED route.  You know your body better than anyone else, no matter their education, training, or fancy diagnoses. Getting to the root cause can empower you to tackle these issues head-on in the future. Sure, you might not have all the answers right away, but that's okay. Start with your best guess based on what you've experienced over the past few weeks, and then test your theory from there. And yes, I'll say it again: this process won't be quick. But let me tell you, I'd rather take my time, unravel the mysteries, and heal over a few months/years than have to live with this discomfort for the rest of my life!

Now that you've got your prediction, pick some more interventions from the list below to help you out.

If you need a hand with this, don't hesitate to reach out. Maybe team up with a holistic health coach or a functional medicine practitioner who aligns with your needs.


2. Eat Smaller Meals

Having smaller meals has taught me that I don't need to eat huge portions to feel satisfied! I've realized that my body feels much better when I don't overeat—I'm not weighed down or tired, and I have the energy to tackle the rest of my day. Plus, it helps keep my bloating in check. Think of it like this: instead of three big meals, aim for five smaller ones throughout the day. This approach is easier on your digestive system and can help reduce bloating. It's also a great way to tune in to your body's hunger cues and stop eating when you're full. Often, we end up finishing a large meal just because it's in front of our face, but by eating mindfully, we can avoid overstuffing ourselves and keep the bloating down.


3. Exercise

Exercise gets things moving!!! Which in the case of bloating is a good thing. By increasing your blood flow, it can help clear up congestion in your pelvic region, where the bloat tends to hit hardest. Additionally, it gets things moving in your digestive system which helps with constipation. Lastly exercise is known to reduce inflammation in the body, which is much needed for us Endo Warriors.

But here's the catch: go too hard, and it could backfire, making your bloating worse! Stick to a moderate level where you feel the burn but not the strain. Everyone's limits look different, so honor yours.

Personally, I kept up with my exercise routine despite dealing with severe bloating. The only thing I modified was my outfits! Sure, it was tougher, and I didn't feel as comfy, but I refused to let that be an excuse.The exception was two days when I was experiencing some pretty bad nausea, and that was my limit. I knew not to push through that; I allowed my body to rest and tell me what it needed in that moment. You have to explore what is true for you.

For more tips on finding the right type and level of exercise for you check out "Endo & Exercise: How to create a routine that works for your body and lifestyle"


4. Take a probiotic

Adding a probiotic supplement to your routine is a great idea to help restore the balance of healthy bacteria in your gut. This can improve gut health, reduce inflammation and decrease bloating.

It's important to note that not all supplements are created equal. Some may have low bioavailability, meaning your body might not absorb them effectively, and they may contain additives that aren't beneficial.That's why I trust and recommend Pure Encapsulations products. I've been using Pure products for almost 2 years now, and I actually feel the difference when I take them.They're formulated using high-quality, pure ingredients, free from unnecessary additives and common allergens. Backed by science and third-party tested, they offer high bioavailability.

 I added Probiotic G.I. to my routine. I highly recommend this!


5. Drink Herbal Tea

When it comes to combatting Endo Belly herbal teas are another tool I use. They contain medicinal properties that can ease inflammation, constipation and bloating. My top picks are chamomile, peppermint, and ginger tea. Another I enjoy is Holy Basil, it's amazing for reducing stress and inflammation, both of which can worsen bloating. But let me tell you about my personal favorite: the Gut Health Tea Bundle from Art of Tea. It contains these herbs and more in one tasty blend. And speaking as a true tea snob, Art of Tea has the best tea! 

Gut Health Tea Bundle x Art of Tea


6. I Love You Massage - with Castor Oil

I learned the "I Love You" massage technique through pelvic physical therapy, and I absolutely love it. It does wonders for my digestion and bloating. I use castor oil for this massage because it has healing properties and is thick enough to provide good massage pressure.

Castor Oil I use:  https://amzn.to/3yixVh7

Check out this 2 min video on how to do it: I Love You Massage


7. Lower Sodium Intake

When you think of reducing salt intake, most people focus on the salt they add to food while cooking or eating. However, the excessive amounts of salt are actually found mostly in processed and packaged foods. So when I say eat less salt, what I really mean is eliminate the junk where excess salt is hiding. Salt isn't as bad as diet culture makes it out to be; it can actually be beneficial to our health, especially sea salt and pink Himalayan salt. However, excess salt in processed foods causes increased fluid retention. In other words, your body holds on to more fluid, which naturally increases bloating. 

High-Salt Foods to Limit:

  • Processed Meats: Bacon, ham, sausages, and deli meats.
  • Canned Soups and Vegetables: Often packed with sodium for preservation.
  • Fast Food: Burgers, fries, and other fast food items.
  • Snack Foods: Chips, pretzels, and salted nuts.
  • Frozen Meals: Many frozen dinners and pizzas are loaded with salt.
  • Condiments and Sauces: Soy sauce, ketchup, salad dressings, and marinades.
  • Cheese: Especially processed cheese and cheese spreads.
  • Bread and Baked Goods: Many store-bought breads, rolls, and pastries.
  • Instant Noodles: Ramen and other quick-cooking noodle dishes.
  • Pickles and Olives: Often soaked in salty brine.

Sneaky right?! Cutting back on these can help reduce your overall salt intake and, in turn, help manage Endo Belly.


8. Switch up the diet 

Since we're on the subject of eating healthier, one of the top ways to reduce your Endo belly is through your food choices! Some of the best protocols to combat bloating are:


  • This is for people who have trouble digesting certain carbohydrates. These foods can cause gas, bloating, and discomfort. By identifying and eliminating these triggers, you can help your digestive system work more smoothly. 
  • Common high FODMAP foods include certain fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and grains.

Anti-Inflammatory Diet:

  • This focuses on consuming foods that reduce inflammation in the body, which can help manage Endo Belly. It includes eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats, such as those found in fish, nuts, and olive oil. Avoiding processed foods, sugars, and trans fats is also key. 
  • Check out this article for some ideas: 5 Anti-Inflammatory Foods for Managing Endo Symptoms 

Gut Health Protocol:

  • This is my favorite! A gut health protocol aims to improve the balance of good bacteria in your digestive system. This can be achieved by incorporating probiotics and prebiotics into your diet, reducing sugar and processed foods, and eating a variety of fiber-rich foods. This helps to support a healthy gut microbiome, which is essential for reducing bloating and improving overall digestion.


9. Be kind to yourself

Last but definitely not least, let's talk about something crucial: being kind to yourself!! Trust me, I know the feeling of stress and frustration that comes with this crazy bloating. It's a time where negative self-talk can sneak in and spiral your thoughts to a negative place. But let's not go there! By showing yourself some grace, you're able to settle in and embrace your journey from a place of empowerment. You’re more likely to make healthier choices, listen to your body, and give it the rest it needs. It's pretty tough to do that if you're constantly beating yourself up and feeling flustered. 

Check out these tips to help: Self-Love Rituals for Endo Warriors


Time to Take Action

Now that you have the tools and information to combat the dreaded Endo Belly Bloating, it's time to take action! Here's your action plan:

  1. Release your negative emotions: Follow the steps outlined in the "Let Go" section above to release any negative emotions you may be holding onto.

  2. Determine the root cause of your Endo belly: Use the questions provided earlier to investigate potential root causes of your bloating and take steps to address them.

  3. Choose 2-3 tips you will incorporate this week to combat your Endo Belly Bloating: Select a few strategies from the tips provided earlier that resonate with you and commit to implementing them into your daily routine.


You've got this! You are now even more empowered in your journey and your choices. We refuse to let Endo win! Remember, if you have any questions, concerns, or just need support, don't hesitate to reach out to me. I'm here to help and on a mission to empower women to take control of their health and healing through their Endo journey, using holistic strategies so we can live our best lives!


Medical Disclaimer: The information provided on this website/blog is for educational and informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not intended to replace consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a qualified healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of information provided on this website/blog. Reliance on any information provided by this website/blog is solely at your own risk



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