Lower Abdominal Bloating From The Pill - Looking For Advice

PxD

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I'm asking this question with my wife's interests in mind.

At the end of 2012, about 18 months into us dating, she went on the pill. Within a few months she had developed a hard bloat in her lower abdomen, whereas prior to this she had always had a flat abdomen and small waist. The visual effect of the bloating was that it looked like she was 5 months pregnant. Her waist also thickened and she lost the hourglass figure, looking boxy instead. Along with this came digestive issues and discomfort. As I indicated a couple of sentences ago, I can only assume this was due to the birth control she started using because nothing else in her diet or lifestyle changed, and the onset of the physical changes was pretty rapid. A couple of years ago she switched to a copper device for birth control and since then the bloating/swelling has abated some, but it's still there. It tends to look better in the mornings and worse in the evenings. She did have some health issues at the time this started; fingernails would split completely open sometimes, weak/breaking hair, as well as difficulty digesting red meat/slow digestion.

She and I are curious to know if there are any Peaters on this forum who might have explanations for why this happened (explain the mechanism) and what can be done to reverse it. I've tried using the search function on the forum but haven't had much luck in finding any posts that zero in on this specific issue. Ditto for trying to research this on the Internet - all I find are generic claims that this can be cause by lack of fiber, birth control pills, stress, etc.

My 30,000-foot theory so far is that the pill she was using messed up her gut microbiome somehow and slowed down her thyroid (although her TSH, T3, and T4 always seem to come in at good Peaty levels.)
 

Lollipop2

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I'm asking this question with my wife's interests in mind.

At the end of 2012, about 18 months into us dating, she went on the pill. Within a few months she had developed a hard bloat in her lower abdomen, whereas prior to this she had always had a flat abdomen and small waist. The visual effect of the bloating was that it looked like she was 5 months pregnant. Her waist also thickened and she lost the hourglass figure, looking boxy instead. Along with this came digestive issues and discomfort. As I indicated a couple of sentences ago, I can only assume this was due to the birth control she started using because nothing else in her diet or lifestyle changed, and the onset of the physical changes was pretty rapid. A couple of years ago she switched to a copper device for birth control and since then the bloating/swelling has abated some, but it's still there. It tends to look better in the mornings and worse in the evenings. She did have some health issues at the time this started; fingernails would split completely open sometimes, weak/breaking hair, as well as difficulty digesting red meat/slow digestion.

She and I are curious to know if there are any Peaters on this forum who might have explanations for why this happened (explain the mechanism) and what can be done to reverse it. I've tried using the search function on the forum but haven't had much luck in finding any posts that zero in on this specific issue. Ditto for trying to research this on the Internet - all I find are generic claims that this can be cause by lack of fiber, birth control pills, stress, etc.

My 30,000-foot theory so far is that the pill she was using messed up her gut microbiome somehow and slowed down her thyroid (although her TSH, T3, and T4 always seem to come in at good Peaty levels.)
Not the microbiome assumption. Estrogen is the problem. It inflames. Go read Ray’s articles about estrogen and this will explain her problems. Also copper also causes estrogen problems.

raypeat.com/articles

I convinced my client to take her copper IUD out and go on the natural rhythm method. As a result, ALL of her estrogen symptoms went away: bloating, irritable moods, inflammation, horrific facial acne.
 

Recoen

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Not the microbiome assumption. Estrogen is the problem. It inflames. Go read Ray’s articles about estrogen and this will explain her problems. Also copper also causes estrogen problems.

raypeat.com/articles

I convinced my client to take her copper IUD out and go on the natural rhythm method. As a result, ALL of her estrogen symptoms went away: bloating, irritable moods, inflammation, horrific facial acne.
+1
 

Based Kantian

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Has she tried progesterone? That's the first thing that should be used to counteract problems caused by excess estrogen
 

tara

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Stopping the disruptive hormonal/chemical birth-control methods might help with the health issues.
Progesterone might be helpful for the health issues. Be aware that it is pro-gestational. (As opposed to estrogen, which tends to the opposite.) Progesterone has been used in particular ways by some people for contraception, but you have to understand it and use it in a workable way, and I'm not game to advise on that.
There are other preventive methods, eg barrier methods.
 

PxD

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Has she tried progesterone? That's the first thing that should be used to counteract problems caused by excess estrogen

I think she tried a progesterone cream at one point but complained that it made her feel strange and the skin where she was rubbing it on became rough and scaly. I’ll ask her again.

She’s actually familiar with Peat and she has one of his books on female health. I don’t think she’s very good about putting theory into practice though; now that I think about it, I don’t think she practices any Peaty dietary habits.

I’m thinking that convincing her to do a daily raw carrot and drink some gelatin might be a good start. I doubt she’d be willing to take out the IUD, even though she complains that it messes with her cycle - the bleeding lasts up to a week and the periods come at weird irregular intervals sometimes.
 

Based Kantian

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the skin where she was rubbing it on became rough and scaly. I’ll ask her again.
Allergic reactions to progesterone are almost always caused by low quality products that contain either additives or synthetic progestins instead of bioidentical progesterone. Rough and scaly skin can also be caused by vitamin deficiencies due to progesterone increasing the cells' metabolic rate. If a person isn't comfortable with transdermal application of progesterone, it's safe and effective to use it internally.
 

tara

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Peat has written a few articles on estrogen and progesterone - you could get some more of his views there:
raypeat.com/articles/
 

PxD

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I checked with her and she said the last time she used progesterone (topical application) it messed up her period cycle and made her feel weird/queasy. This was back in 2014.

She's not game for removing the IUD right now, so we're looking at other options. What do you all think of haidut's EstroBan for this purpose? That, plus a daily raw carrot and 5-10g of gelatin. I'm thinking that combination might lower estrogen while also clearing it from the gut and soothing the digestive tract.
 

Lollipop2

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I checked with her and she said the last time she used progesterone (topical application) it messed up her period cycle and made her feel weird/queasy. This was back in 2014.

She's not game for removing the IUD right now, so we're looking at other options. What do you all think of haidut's EstroBan for this purpose? That, plus a daily raw carrot and 5-10g of gelatin. I'm thinking that combination might lower estrogen while also clearing it from the gut and soothing the digestive tract.
Good luck. Some actions can help, but realistically, she won’t feel normal or completely better until she removes the IUD - just being bluntly honest.
 
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