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General Fitness

PCOS and Bloating: How it is Caused and Methods to Cure it

February 19, 2024

Ladies, we've all been there. You just had a lovely meal, but suddenly, your stomach feels like it will burst. For women with PCOS, this feeling is all too familiar. PCOS Bloating is a common symptom affecting up to 70% of women with the condition. But why does this happen, and how can we relieve it?

In this blog post, we'll explore how PCOS causes bloating and share ways to alleviate the symptoms and improve your quality of life.

So, let's get started!

How Are PCOS and Bloating Related to Each Other?

As discussed above, bloating is one of the common symptoms affecting the majority of women with PCOS. But how are PCOS & bloating connecting? One has to answer!


Hormonal Imbalances

PCOS is characterized by high levels of androgens (male hormones) and low levels of progesterone, a female hormone. These hormonal imbalances can lead to fluid retention and swelling, causing a bloating sensation. Insulin resistance, common in PCOS, can also cause high insulin levels in the body, promoting water retention and bloating.

Gut Issues

Research has shown that women with PCOS have an altered gut microbiome, leading to gut issues such as constipation, diarrhoea, and bloating. The gut microbiome plays a crucial role in digestion and can impact the gut's permeability, leading to inflammation and bloating. 

Additionally, certain foods, such as those high in FODMAPs (an acronym for certain types of sugars known as fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. These sugars are complex for the small intestine to absorb, which can cause digestive issues for some individuals. Symptoms of FODMAP intolerance may include cramping, bloating, gas, and other gastrointestinal discomfort.) can trigger PCOS bloating. 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome and PCOS bloating

In women with PCOS, depression and anxiety are more prevalent, which can lead to functional gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Bloating is a common symptom of IBS.

Recent studies suggest that PCOS and IBS could be connected through inflammation. Chronic inflammation caused by PCOS may lead to inflammatory disorders such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Inflammation also plays a significant role in developing IBS, affecting the intestinal lining and neuroinflammation via the gut-brain axis (The gut-brain axis is the neural system that links your brain and gut.). 

Having both IBS and PCOS can negatively impact one's quality of life and increase the likelihood of experiencing depression. Therefore, it is essential to address both conditions in treatment and management plans to improve overall well-being and mental health outcomes.

Patients with IBS-PCOS may benefit from interventions targeting gut symptoms and hormonal imbalances. Mental health support is also crucial to address the potential effects of these conditions on mood and quality of life. Women with PCOS and IBS have a higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome and non-celiac gluten sensitivity, which can further exacerbate bloating.

Ways to Treat Your PCOS Bloating


Your doctor may prescribe medications to help manage your PCOS symptoms and alleviate bloating. Some common medications include diuretics, which help reduce fluid retention, and medications to improve insulin sensitivity, such as metformin.


Probiotics can help restore your gut flora balance and alleviate digestive issues like bloating. You can find probiotic supplements or consume probiotic-rich foods such as kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, and yogurt.

Avoid Certain Foods

Some people with PCOS are sensitive to foods that can trigger bloating, such as dairy products, gluten, and processed foods. Keeping a food diary and tracking your symptoms can help you identify which foods may be causing your bloating.

Over-the-Counter Medications 

Over-the-counter medications such as simethicone can help break up gas bubbles in your digestive tract and alleviate bloating.

How to Treat Your PCOS Naturally

Eat more Fiber

Eating a high-fiber diet can help regulate your digestive system and prevent constipation, which can cause bloating. Fiber-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.

Follow a PCOS-friendly Diet

Eating a balanced diet rich in whole foods, lean protein, and healthy fats can help regulate your hormones and alleviate bloating. Avoid sugary and processed foods and focus on nutrient-dense whole foods.

Herbal Remedies

Herbs such as ginger, peppermint, and fennel can help alleviate bloating and digestive issues. You can consume these herbs in tea or supplement form.

Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise can help regulate your hormones, improve insulin sensitivity, and reduce bloating. Aim for at least 45-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise at least 5-6 days of the week.

Reduce Stress

Stress is a common trigger for many health issues, including PCOS symptoms such as bloating. Stress can lead to hormonal imbalances, increased insulin resistance, and digestive issues, all of which can contribute to bloating. Therefore, reducing stress is essential in managing PCOS symptoms and bloating.

There are many ways to reduce stress, such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises. You can also incorporate more relaxing activities into your daily routine, such as reading a book, bathing, or walking.


Bloating can be an uncomfortable and frustrating symptom of PCOS, but there are ways to manage and alleviate it. By understanding the causes of PCOS bloating, you can make lifestyle changes to improve your quality of life.

In summary, some ways to treat your PCOS bloating include taking medications prescribed by your doctor, consuming probiotics, avoiding certain foods, and taking over-the-counter medications. You can also try natural remedies such as eating a high-fiber diet, following a PCOS-friendly diet, incorporating herbal remedies, exercising regularly, and reducing stress.

Remember, every woman's experience with PCOS is unique, so what works for one person may not work for another. It's essential to listen to your body, pay attention to your symptoms, and 

work with your healthcare provider to develop a personalized treatment plan that works for you.

By making these changes, you can say goodbye to that bloated belly and hello to a happier, healthier you.