Bloating is one of those symptoms that people tend to really hate. For some people, it's just about what they're eating or not, which means they can avoid the discomfort, pain, and embarrassment that can come with extreme bloat. For others, it's a period-related symptom that pops up once a month or so and makes their jeans fit tighter and them feel as though there's a balloon in their abdomen. But there are other reasons you might be more bloated too. You might want to know more about the signs your bloating is a sign of a hormone imbalance, because addressing the underlying issue might be the best way to deal with that uncomfortable bloat once and for all.
When your hormone levels are out of balance with one another, you might notice some weird things going on with your body — and red flags that something might be off — but you have to have some sort of idea of what to look out for in order to pick up on the signs and do anything about them. If you notice some of the signs that your hormones might be out of whack, that could definitely mean that your bloating is just a related symptom instead of something else that needs to be addressed independently. Talking to your doctor about your concerns can help you address what needs to be addressed and get back on the right track.
1. You're Also Dealing With Acne
If you're bloated and battling breakouts at an odd time of the month, that could potentially mean that your bloat is related to a hormone imbalance. It might indicate that your period is imminent or could otherwise indicate that certain hormone levels are changing. WebMD noted that if you're dealing with bloating, acne, and other digestive issues, that could be a sign that your hormone levels are fluctuating.
2. You're About To Get Your Period
If you always get bloated at about the same time each month, your bloat is likely related to your period and the hormonal changes that come along with it. In an interview with Shape, Dr. Nanette Santoro, MD, a reproductive endocrinologist, said that it's likely progesterone that's responsible for pre-period bloating. The good news is that it'll likely only be around for a little while, but the bad news is, well, it can be pretty uncomfortable while it's there.
3. You're Also Super Tired
Fatigue and bloating paired together can also potentially be a sign of hormonal imbalance, particularly when you're also dealing with other digestive issues. As the previously-mentioned article from WebMD noted, these kinds of symptoms, especially when you have them at the same time, can be due to shifting levels of estrogen and progesterone.
4. You've Been Stressed Out Lately
Life can be stressful sometimes, but if you're dealing with prolonged stress in addition to bloating and other symptoms, you could also be dealing with a hormonal imbalance. In a piece that she penned for Mind Body Green, Dr. Amy Shah, MD, an integrative medicine doctor, noted that when she was struggling with her own bloating and stress, she discovered that it could be due to a hormonal imbalance. Talking to your doctor (or an endocrinologist) about your symptoms and concerns can help them determine if there might be something there or rule it out if there isn't.
5. You're In Peri-Menopause
Bloating also can indicate that you may be experiencing peri-menopause. If you're in your mid-forties, bloat could be related to hormonal changes associated with peri-menopause, as an article from the website for Today noted. These kinds of changes happen at a different pace for everyone, however, so just because you're about that age doesn't automatically mean that that's what's going on.
6. You're Dealing With Mood Swings
If you're dealing with both mood swings and bloating, that too could be because of PMS-related progesterone fluctuations. Quartz reported that calcium and magnesium could potentially help ease some of these symptoms, making that period before you start menstruating a little bit happier.
7. You're Pregnant
You're not even off the hook for hormonal-related bloating when you're pregnant, unfortunately. The aforementioned article from the website for Today noted that bloating during pregnancy isn't unusual and that it's also related to hormonal changes.
Bloating is uncomfortable, to be sure, so doing your best to address any underlying causes might be your best-bet in terms of alleviating that discomfort for good. If you're dealing with bloating after eating something that's thought to cause bloating, avoiding that food might help, but if it's potentially related to hormone changes, you'll need to try some different tactics.