Though not an official medical term, ‘Endo belly’ is used to describe the severe bloating and discomfort that often accompanies endometriosis. Affecting one in 10 women with the condition, it is often misdiagnosed as IBS due to its similar symptoms.
In today’s blog, we’ll break down what Endo Belly is, how diet can be used to manage the symptoms, and how to receive a timely and accurate diagnosis.
What is Endo Belly?
Endo Belly refers to the severe abdominal bloating that women with endometriosis often endure. While it bears similarities to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), it’s generally connected to a woman’s menstrual cycle. The discomfort typically occurs before or during menstruation, although it’s not limited to these times.
A recent study revealed that 96% of women with endometriosis experience painful bloating. Unlike the more generalised bloating that people with regular menstrual cycles might encounter, it can be intensely painful. The factors that cause Endo Belly remain unclear, but theories suggest that a mix of increased gas formation, inflammation, and altered gut microbiota might be to blame.
Some abdominal bloating can be considered a natural byproduct of active gut flora. However, the extreme bloating associated with Endo Belly signifies a far more significant and often debilitating condition.
Can your diet control painful bloating?
The role of diet in managing Endo Belly is an area of growing interest among healthcare professionals and patients alike. While no one-size-fits-all solution exists, certain dietary changes have shown promise in reducing the severe bloating that accompanies endometriosis.
Eliminating or reducing foods known to cause inflammation, such as processed foods, sugars, and certain fats, can offer some relief. Adopting a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins may also help.
However, individual responses to dietary changes can vary significantly. Therefore, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare provider for a personalised plan tailored to your specific needs.
Getting an endometriosis diagnosis
Diagnosing endometriosis can be a complex and often frustrating process. Symptoms are easily mistaken for other conditions like IBS, making accurate diagnosis challenging.
A comprehensive evaluation involving clinical assessments, imaging scans, and sometimes even laparoscopic surgery, are required for a definitive diagnosis. Given the complex nature of endometriosis and its symptoms, consultation with gynaecologists, gastroenterologists, and other specialists, is often recommended for a thorough diagnosis and effective treatment plan.
If you’re experiencing symptoms that you suspect could be related to endometriosis, early diagnosis is crucial for effective management and relief. SureScan provides a range of scans that can identify and help diagnose conditions like endometriosis, giving you the information you need for a targeted treatment plan.
Don’t let painful symptoms dictate your life. Schedule a gynaecological scan today and take the first step towards reclaiming your health.