Digestive problems can be a common but lesser-known symptom of menopause. There can be multiple reasons why digestive problems are triggered. The best way to deal with digestive problems is to learn what causes them so you can find the best way to tackle them. Continue reading to discover the top four triggers of menopausal digestive problems.
Hormonal imbalance is one of the primary causes of digestive problems, and hormonal imbalance is one of the defining features of perimenopause, the stage which precedes menopause. During this time, production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone begin to fluctuate and decrease. These hormones are responsible for regulating many of your body's functions, including some elements of digestion. Therefore, when hormone production is disrupted, so is your digestion.
When humans experience stress, the body diverts enzymes, oxygen, blood, and energy away from the digestive organs, which has a major effect on digestive efficiency. Taking time every day to spend doing something you enjoy can lower your stress levels and help prevent digestive problems.
Diet has a large impact on the digestive system. Eating enough fiber can significantly reduce digestive problems. Low fiber intake can slow down or lengthen the transit time food experiences in the digestive tract, which can lead to conditions such as constipation. Eating a lot of processed food can also have negative effects on digestion. This is because the body may struggle to absorb carbohydrates, and poor absorption can lead to bloating, gas, and indigestion.
Genetics is one of the top triggers of menopausal digestive problems, but since it is an inherited predisposition, little can be done to avoid it. Genetics are an important part of determining our ability to resist digestive problems and diseases. The digestive health of close family members can give some idea as to your own health strengths and weaknesses.
Digestive problems often occur during menopause, though many may not make a connection between the two conditions. Knowing that menopausal digestive problems are common - and discovering what causes them - can help you to begin to tackle the symptoms.
Read about how to deal with digestive problems.
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- National Health Service UK. (2012). Good foods to help your digestion. Retrieved October 15, 2013, from http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/digestive-health/Pages/stomach-friendly-foods.aspx