Endo Belly (Severe Bloating) Relief with Chinese Medicine
Endo belly can cause severe pain and discomfort. For many women, finding relief can be a challenge, but Chinese medicine and acupuncture may help.
It’s important to understand what endometriosis belly is and its causes before exploring Chinese medicine and acupuncture. Both of these therapies treat the underlying cause of this painful symptom, and understanding the condition is a great place to start on the journey to healing.
What is Endometriosis Belly?
Endometriosis belly, or endo belly, is a term that’s used to describe the bloating and swelling caused by endometriosis.
With endometriosis, tissue that is similar to the lining of the uterus (or endometrium) grows outside of the uterus, causing discomfort and other complications. More than 11% of women of reproductive age have endometriosis, so it’s more common than women realise.
Endo belly is just one of the many uncomfortable complications of this condition, and it can cause severe pain and distension. Endometriosis bloating can be especially debilitating and uncomfortable.
Endo Belly Symptoms
- Severe bloating that may make the belly look larger
- Pressure or pain in the back and abdomen
- Swelling that can last for days or weeks
- Gas pain
- Diarrhoea or constipation
What Causes Endometriosis Belly?
To understand the causes of endo belly, it’s important to understand what happens with endometriosis.
As noted earlier, endometriosis causes endometrium to grow outside of the uterus, where it doesn’t belong. Even though the tissue is outside of the uterus, it still behaves like endometrium. It builds up, and then it breaks down and bleeds each month. However, the blood has nowhere to go, so it becomes trapped.
All of that trapped moisture causes several things that lead to endo belly.
First of all, the endometrial-like tissue builds up and causes inflammation in the belly. Inflammation then leads to uncomfortable bloating and swelling.
Chinese Medicine views inflammation as excess fire or heat. Over time, the accumulation of heat leads to dampness and phlegm. That excess moisture can cause water retention, bloating and an overall feeling of heaviness.
People with endometriosis may also have other conditions that cause chronic inflammation, such as an auto-immune disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or atherosclerosis. These conditions can also cause bloating.
Research estimates that those with endometriosis are 2.5 times more likely to have IBS, so it’s not uncommon for these conditions to co-occur and make swelling and bloating more likely.
In some cases, the endometrial-like tissue grows over the ovaries. When the blood, or moisture, gets trapped, it can create cysts that cause bloating.
Qi & Blood Stagnation
Endometriosis can cause Qi and blood stagnation.
- The endometrial-like tissue that grows outside of the uterus leads to stagnant blood.
- The distension (bloating) leads to Qi stagnation.
When Qi and blood are restricted, it can lead to endo belly as well as fertility issues, menstrual issues and poor uterine health.
Weak Spleen Function
Endo belly can also be caused by weak spleen function. Many people are overworked, overstressed and eat unhealthy diets. Over time, stress and unhealthy foods can deplete the spleen.
When the spleen becomes Qi-deficient (its function or energy weakens), it becomes harder for the body to break down and absorb nutrients in food. Food that’s left to ferment or becomes stagnant in the body turns into gas.
Other Symptoms of Endo Belly
Along with bloating and swelling, endo belly can also cause issues with mood. Many women experience mood swings from endo belly and endometriosis in general.
- Endometriosis can make it more difficult to conceive. For many people, the effects of endo belly are so dramatic that they look like they are pregnant. This effect is often referred to as an “endometriosis belly pooch,” and it can serve as a painful reminder of fertility issues.
- Many women are told that diet and exercise can help with their endometriosis symptoms. However, when endo belly appears, it can leave them feeling frustrated and defeated.
Can Chinese Medicine Get Rid of Endo Belly? Endo Belly Treatment
Endo belly is a symptom of endometriosis and not a disease itself. Chinese medicine focuses on addressing the underlying condition or cause rather than individual symptoms. Why? Because if the root cause of the problem is not addressed, the symptoms will only reappear.
So, in the case of endo belly, the focus would be on restoring balance and addressing the endometriosis that is causing the bloating and swelling. Every individual is different, so treatment plans vary and are tailored to the person’s needs.
However, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can use a combination of acupuncture and Chinese medicine to:
- Reduce inflammation
- Bring the liver and stomach back into a balanced, harmonious state
- Improve digestion
- Clear phlegm
One review and meta-analysis concluded that acupuncture was an overall safe and effective way to treat pain associated with endometriosis. An individual case study of a 43-year-old woman also found that acupuncture improved her endometriosis symptoms and pain.
While more research is needed, some evidence suggests that acupuncture can help improve blood flow, which may address stagnant blood caused by endometriosis.
What Helps with Endometriosis Bloating? 3 Chinese Herbs for Bloating and an Extended Stomach
1. Sheng Jiang (Ginger)
Sheng Jiang, or ginger, is commonly used to help with inflammation and bloating. Ginger root has natural anti-inflammatory properties, but it also has a carminative effect, which means that it can help expel gas from the intestines or stomach.
One study found that Sheng Jiang powder, or SJP, may help reduce multiple-organ inflammatory injury that were induced with acute pancreatitis and fed a high-fat diet.
Another study involving 126 participants found that ginger and artichoke helped reduce symptoms of functional dyspepsia, which causes bloating and other gastrointestinal issues.
2. Shan Zha (Hawthorn)
Shan Zha, or Hawthorn, can help remove stagnation in the digestive tract to improve motility and help prevent or reduce bloating.
According to research from 2002, hawthorn can promote pepsin activity and gastrointestinal motility. In other words, it can help prevent and expel gas.
3. Xiao Hui Xiang (Fennel Seed)
Xiao Hui Xiang, or fennel seed, is commonly used to treat bloating and gas. Fennel seed has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects.
A 2017 study found that trans anethole, one of the key compounds in fennel seeds, has anti-inflammatory effects.
Endometrio Herbs Endometrio Herbs by GinSen are herbal blend supplements for endometriosis. Expertly formulated by women’s health experts to assist women who are experiencing fertility challenges due to endometriosis, giving the highest chance of conceiving naturally. Made with natural ingredients Endometrio Herbs can also reduce endometriosis symptoms including pain and menstrual irregularities.
Endo Belly Diet
Along with acupuncture and Chinese medicine, lifestyle changes may also help reduce bloating and other symptoms of endometriosis. Diet changes can be especially effective.
For endo belly and endometriosis in general:
- Eat foods that are rich in fiber, as they help eliminate excess estrogen and keep the bowel healthy.
- Eat healthy fats that fight inflammation, such as omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and plant oils (such as flaxseed).
- Include foods that are rich in magnesium, such as leafy greens, seeds and dark chocolate.
In general, it’s best to avoid caffeine, alcohol, sugary foods and drinks, fatty meat and processed foods. A healthy diet can help restore balance.
Endo belly can cause great discomfort and pain, but acupuncture, Chinese medicine and diet changes may help address the underlying cause and ultimately, reduce your symptoms.
For more information about how Chinese Medicine can help you with endo belly, book your free consultation with our Chinese Medicine experts today
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our clinics website: GinSen where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.