Both men and women can suffer from conditions that generally lead to bloat and fatigue, among other symptoms. However, there are also gynaecological conditions that can cause bloating and fatigue. Keeping both factors in mind, here are some of the most common causes of bloating fatigue in women.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
IBS is by far the most common reason behind bloating, fatigue, abdominal cramps, and so much more among men, women, and children. Unfortunatey, women are far more likely to develop symptoms of IBS than men or children. The good news is that IBS is manageable and the disease itself is rarely linked to long term GI damage. However, detecting the cause for your IBS flare ups is important because some of them can lead to multiple other GI conditions as well.
Imbalance in the Microbiome
Imbalances in the microbiome, aka gut bacteria can lead to tiredness, diarrhoea, constipation, IBS, Crohn’s disease, Coeliac disease, IBD, obesity, diabetes, bloating and weight loss. The symbiotic relationship we have with the friendly bacteria in our guts is a flimsy one.
If any one or more strains of bacterial lifeform manage to overpopulate (SIBO) or get killed off by the overuse of antibiotics, that can lead to chronic diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, chronic and/or acute pain, discomfort, lower abdominal bloat and fatigue. To know more regarding prevention, management, and relief against the effects of an overactive/underactive microbiome, read this post about how to help with bloating and fatigue.
Menstruation Related Disorders
The list of menstruation related disorders that can lead to bloating and fatigue is long because most share those two symptoms. In fact, it is not even out of the norm to experience mild to moderate bloating fatigue during monthly menstruation cycles in healthy women.
However, they should at no point be severe or sudden. If a menstruation cycle leads to excess pain, cramps, bloating, weakness, bleeding, etc., it should not be ignored. Immediate consultation with a gynaecologist is advisable to check for abnormalities. The need should be considered urgent if the symptoms are also accompanied by bloating and weight loss.
When womb cells begin to grow where they should not, the resulting condition is called endometriosis. It is one of the aforementioned gynaecological conditions which lead to bloating fatigue in women only. Even though endometriosis is not a GI disorder, it is known for affecting the gastrointestinal system quite extensively. Common symptoms of endometriosis include:
- Gas, bloating and fatigue
- Nausea and vomiting
- Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), diarrhoea, and constipation
- Pelvic pain
- Debilitating menstrual cramps and pain
- Cramps and pain during and/or after sex
- Painful bowel movements, especially during menstruation
- Blood in stool and/or urine
- Severe bleeding during menstruation
In case you have not ruled out pregnancy yet, do note that being pregnant can also be a major cause for bloating fatigue, nausea, abdominal cramps, bleeding, pain etc. Such symptoms are temporary and variable of course, and they do not generally linger after delivery. Nevertheless, management is still possible and often necessary.