Insider | What is endo belly? How to manage the severe bloating endometriosis can cause
- Written by Heather Jeffcoat, DPT
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Endometriosis bloat, also called endo belly, describes the uncomfortable bloating that's associated with endometriosis — an incurable, inflammatory condition that affects one in 10 reproductive-aged individuals worldwide.
"It may not be a true medical term, but those who have endometriosis are all too familiar with the term endo belly, which is painful bloating and swelling of the abdomen," says Sherry Ross, MD, and author of "She-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women's Intimate Health. Period."
Unlike the typical bloating that an individual may experience during menstruation, endo belly can last a few hours, days, or even weeks which can take a toll on your mental, emotional, and physical health.
Here are the causes, symptoms, and potential prevention methods and pain management options for endo belly.
According to Heather Jeffcoat, DPT, and owner of Femina Physical Therapy, endo belly most likely occurs from endometriosis-related inflammation, causing a "belly that can be flat in the morning and look a few months pregnant by the evening."
Many endometriosis patients also have gut issues, typically associated with small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)," says Jeffcoat.