Many mothers may experience digestive problems when they are nearing menopause; it is a common issue. The fluctuating hormones that women deal with when they are nearing menopause play a prominent role in issues such as eating while stressed, eating too much junk food, and overeating.
Perimenopause refers to the two to ten-year period before actual menopause.
Perimenopause is the time when the levels of estrogen and progesterone for women begin fluctuating. Most women begin to deal with the symptoms of perimenopause in their 40s, but some may experience the symptoms as early as their mid-30s.
In fact, most women between 45 and 55 do suffer from digestive problems because of hormonal imbalances. Along with the other symptoms of menopause, digestive disorders are normally quite a pain to manage.
However, if left untreated, they can lead to severe psychological effects such as low self-esteem, anxiety, irritability, and depression.
Along with the other health issues that arrive with menopause, some of the digestive problems associated perimenopause include:
Perimenopause Stomach Problems: Gas
One of the effects of perimenopause is that the rise in cortisol levels triggered by a decline in estrogen can lead to higher levels of blood sugar and blood pressure. As a result, the release of stomach acids starts slowing down; making it tougher for the stomach to empty its contents into the small intestine.
With time, gas, bloating, and constipation will result from the slower-release of stomach acids.
Since hormonal fluctuations are a part of perimenopause, there are times when the levels of estrogen and progesterone rise rapidly as well! When this happens, women can experience diarrhea rapidly as a result of the colon muscles relaxing.
To help women who are experiencing menopausal symptoms find relief, doctors may recommend an increase in the intake of soy, fiber, fruits, and vegetables.
However, many of these foods might end up causing flatulence (gas) as well.
Perimenopause = Constipation & Bloating
Perimenopause causes a slowdown in the movement of the digestive tract, which quickly correlates to the intestines becoming sluggish and the digestion of nutrients reducing.
Constipation is a direct result of this issue.
One of the most-common conditions associated with perimenopause and menopause is bloating. The bloating associated with menopause and perimenopause has a lot to do with an increase in the retention of water or gas caused by the fluctuating hormones.
Although the stomach might feel flatter and lighter in the mornings, women may often experience feelings of abdominal tightness and fullness later during the day.
If left untreated, these digestive symptoms can cause nausea, weight gain, vomiting, and even some amount of rectal bleeding.
Effective tips for handling bloating caused by perimenopause include:
- Increase Your Water Intake
- Reduce Your Stress Levels
- Exercise Regularly
- Consume More Fruits and Vegetables
- Avoid Eating Junk Food
During perimenopause, it is very common for women to experience painful and uncomfortable bloating and constipation. If you experience these symptoms, you are not alone!
If constipation and bloating bother you during perimenopause, the first step is to ask your doctor for a proper medicine.
There are herbal remedies for perimenopause digestive issues as well, such as activated charcoal.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome | IBS and Perimenopause
IBS occurs when your nervous system starts releasing neurotransmitters that tend to change the functioning of your large intestine. As a result, you may experience alternating periods of constipation and diarrhea, along with some bloating.
Women tend to suffer from IBS more than the men, especially during perimenopause.
The hormonal changes associated with menstruation and menopause can worsen the symptoms of IBS.
Natural Ways to Improve Digestion and Your Digestive System
Energy is required by the body to carry out daily activities.
The food we eat serves as energy source for the body, and this is obtained by digestion. Digestion is the breakdown of food into smaller molecules for easy absorption into the blood stream. Digestion of food by the body can be affected by our life style and food choices.
To obtain better digestive health, activities such as exercising, consumption of fiber, drinking lots of water are essential.
The digestion of food is very essential, and it may reflect the state of the health of the body.
Improper digestion can cause bloating, irritable bоwеl syndrome (IBS), соnѕtіраtіоn, dіаrrhеа, hеаrtburn, or gаѕ can cause stomach upset. These problems are often ignored by many individuals until other aspect of their health is affected.
However, many digestive issues are easy to treat and eliminate. Some are caused by poor nutrition or food sensitivity, while others may result from an infection.
While seeking medical advice is the best course of action, the following are some natural ways to improve digestion:
1) Stay Hydrated for a Proper Digestive System to Work
Hydration is essential for proper digestion. It enables proper digestion of solid food and absorption of nutrients.
A lack of water in the body decreases performance which can lead to dehydration, a decrease in blood pressure and also constipation.
Water is a powerful antioxidant and helps in cleaning your body.
It also helps to maintain a better functioning colon.
Taking lots of water not only improves digestion but also helps in accelerating other functions of the body.
You can obtain enough water in your diet by drinking water directly, eating large amounts of fruits and vegetables, and even drinking fresh juice.
2) Change Your Eating Habits and Eat Foods Which are Easier on Your Stomach
The activity of the digestive system is highly affected by the way food is consumed. Changing a few diet can help improve digestion. Some examples include:
- Stay focused while eating
- Eat in a comfortable environment
- Avoid eating when upset or in a bad mood
- Ensure food is properly chewed in the mouth. Chewing food properly is the simplest way of improving digestion. It is necessary to ensure that by taking smaller bites of food, using chopsticks, and allowing the digestive enzymes present in the saliva to do the best while your food is still in the mouth.
If you have a food intolerance or food allergy, you want to avoid those foods.
Additional Information: Detox Drinks
Tips for Improving a Food Intolerance
Food intolerances can be incredibly severe, but they can also be just an additional nuisance in your life that you shouldn’t have to deal with. There are varying ranges of severity and causes of food intolerances, and understanding what they are can help you become healthier in your own body.
Sometimes we can even be unaware that we are intolerant to a certain food, but it could slowly but surely be causing us stress inside of our body. This stress can accumulate over time, wearing us down, and impacting our daily lives.
Dairy and gluten are two extremely common causes of food intolerance, and impact the largest amount of people of any food products in our regular diets.
Luckily though, there are ways that we can work to improve our stomach and digestive system so that we can tolerate the foods we are intolerant too, more easily.
Difference Between Food Intolerance and Food Allergy
Contrarily to a food allergy, food intolerances do not mean that we can never eat or ingest this food. A food intolerance is more likely developed because our body is lacking a certain digestive enzyme or necessary bodily function to tolerate whatever the food is.
By determining what our body is lacking, and consistently taking steps to ensure that our digestive system is working at maximum ability, we can limit the chance that a certain food will not be tolerated in our body!
If you would like to learn more about food intolerances and how to handle them, the PDF below is an excellent resource for you!
This document is much more comprehensive than my overview, and provides a few dietary supplements than can assist you in working with your body to improve food intolerances. I highly suggest that you take a few minutes to read this document, and learn more about the subject for yourself!
3) Increase Your Daily Fiber Intake
Although a cleansing supplement such as Demeter Herbs can help cleans your colon and your whole digestive system, you do not want to rely on these products too much. Fiber ensures a smooth process for all activities in the intestine.
It slows dоwn dіgеѕtіоn and аbѕоrрtіоn, so thе gluсоѕе іn food enters уоur blооdѕtrеаm mоrе ѕlоwlу, kееріng уоur blооd sugar аt a mоrе еvеn level. It also affects the weight and size of the stool by softening them and allows easy removal during digestion.
Fіbеr саn be fоund іn mаjоrіtу оf foods, such аѕ: complex carbohydrates, drіеd fruіt, bеаnѕ, legumes, apples, bananas, and сеrtаіn dаіrу рrоduсtѕ. Fіbеr is also bеnеfісіаl for thоѕе іndіvіduаlѕ trуіng tо lose wеіght.
4) Use a Proper Digestive Supplement
As we age our digestion naturally declines.
This decline is further accelerated by a poor diet and stressful lifestyle which is why a digestive supplement can benefit most people.
Biosphere Nutrition’s Digestive Aid combines digestive enzymes, prebiotic fiber and a range of gut soothing and supporting ingredients. Digestive enzymes help the breakdown of food into absorbable molecules while the prebiotic fiber feeds good gut bacteria.
Additional Reading: Best Prebiotic Foods
5) Take a Probiotic Supplement or Intake More Probiotics in General
Prоbіоtісѕ are live mісrооrgаnіѕmѕ (bacteria) thаt аrе ѕіmіlаr tо the beneficial microorganisms nаturаllу fоund іn thе human gut.
These “good bасtеrіа” аrе uѕеd tо рrеvеnt аnd alleviate many dіffеrеnt conditions but раrtісulаrlу thоѕе thаt аffесt thе gаѕtrоіntеѕtіnаl trасt.
Thеу аrе раrtісulаrlу gооd аt rеgulаtіng thе amount оf hеаlthу bacteria іn your system аnd nоrmаlіzіng bowel mоvеmеntѕ.
Probiotics саn еnhаnсе nutrient аbѕоrрtіоn, hеlр brеаk dоwn lасtоѕе, ѕtrеngthеn your immune system, аnd роѕѕіblу even hеlр trеаt irritable bоwеl syndrome аnd іmрrоvе gut health.
Fermented foods and drinks such as yogurt, kombucha, kefir and milk are good source.
They are also available as dietary supplements.
See Also: Best Vegan Probiotics
6) Exercise More Often!
Regular exercise has numerous benefits as well ensuring proper digestion of food. It helps in the constant movement of food in the digestive system and also maintains a healthy weight, which is good for digestion.
Concluding Thoughts | Digestive Problems During Perimenopause
As you have read multiple times, it is very common to experience different digestive issues during the years of menopause and perimenopause.
Fortunately, you don’t need to lose hope yet!
Certain over-the-counter medications and lifestyle changes can help you handle your digestive problems successfully, and many of these medications come without side-effects.
If you don’t find any relief, from over-the-counter remedies, consulting your healthcare professional is an excellent idea. A medical professional will order a few investigations to identify the true source of your digestive problem and help you determine a plan. One option is that you can pay a visit to Manhattan Gastroenterology to get a clear diagnosis of your problem and an effective treatment plan.
Get in touch with them for a quick appointment!
When you experience these types of digestive symptoms, don’t sit around and wait. There are multiple effective treatment options, and most people can resolve their digestive problems quickly.
Remember, you are not alone!