The digestive system is an all-important part of the body that can determine the overall health of a woman. Many women report that digestive problems begin to occur in the years leading up to menopause, called perimenopause. Not only can digestive problems cause discomfort, but they can also lead to more serious health concerns.
Hormonal imbalance during perimenopause is one of the primary causes of digestive problems for women between the ages of 45 and 55. Luckily there are treatments that can bring a woman's hormones back in balance and relieve her digestive problems and other menopausal symptoms. Continue reading to learn about digestive problems, their causes, and the different treatment options available.
About Digestive Problems
Women are twice as likely as men to develop digestive problems. Digestive problems, also known as gastrointestinal problems or dysbiosis, in women prior to menopause can come in an array of forms. Each form has to do with how food is broken down once consumed. Because the digestive system is a complex function of the body, issues can arise anywhere along the trip that food takes, from consumption to expulsion.
How the digestive system works
Digestion involves mixing food with digestive juices, moving it through the digestive tract, and breaking down large pieces of food into smaller pieces. Digestion begins in the mouth, with the act of chewing and swallowing, and is completed in the small intestine.
Once food or liquid is swallowed, the stomach then takes over by storing the food and liquid, mixing the food, liquid, and digestive juice produced by the stomach, and finally emptying the contents slowly into the small intestine where nutrients are absorbed. The mixture then moves to the large intestine and colon and waits to be expelled as feces.
Symptoms of digestive problems
There are different symptoms of digestive problems that can indicate different causes. Below is a list of some of the common symptoms of digestive problems:
• A false urge to have a bowel movement.
Continue reading to learn more about the causes of digestive problems.
Most women report experiencing digestive problems at some point. There are a range of different common digestive problems, and fortunately most of them are not serious. This article describes the six most common digestive problems, including constipation, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux, and celiac disease.
Many women find themselves suffering from digestive problems at one stage of their lives or another, especially during menopause. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help your body's digestive system function more easily. This article describes five diet changes to help with digestive problems, such as avoiding fried food and caffeine
Causes of Digestive Problems
Although there are many potential causes of digestive problems, there's a high likelihood that digestive problems experienced as menopause approaches have a lot to do with hormonal imbalance. As a woman's body prepares for menopause, production of her hormones, particularly estrogen and progesterone, begin to decrease. The hormones regulate many different functions of the body, and when their levels are altered prior to menopause, she may experience some or all of the menopause symptoms, including digestive problems.
Hormonal causes of digestive problems
Cortisol is a "stress hormone" produced by the adrenaline gland involved in stress responses. It is known to impede digestion and create digestive problems, among other adverse reaction, such as anxiety and panic disorders. As a result of imbalanced hormones during menopause there is a high level of cortisol in a woman's body.
Estrogen has an effect on the stress-hormone cortisol. When estrogen is too low, levels of cortisol rise, raising blood pressure and blood sugar, and slowing down the release of stomach acid and the emptying of the stomach into the small intestine. This can create some of the symptoms of digestive problems such as gas, bloating, and constipation.
There are several other possible causes of digestive problems beyond hormonal causes. Some of these other causes are:
• Environmental toxins
• Eating habits
› Not chewing food enough
› Bad food combinations
(heavy starched proteins)
› Processed food abuse
› Lack of fiber
› Lack of raw food
› Food allergies
› Junk food
Some activities or factors can enhance a person's susceptibility to digestive problems. Below is a list of risk factors:
• Drinking alcohol excessively
Continue reading to learn difference options available to treat digestive problems.
The husbands of menopausal women should be aware that digestive problems are a very common symptom of menopause. It is very important that menopausal women receive support and compassion during this period in their lives because many of the symptoms are uncomfortable, inconvenient, and even painful.
Digestive problems are very common in women around the time they start to enter menopause. This is because the interaction of cortisol, the stress hormone, and estrogen, which is steadily decreasing, manifests as problems in the digestive system. To correct this imbalance, there is a variety of approaches a woman can try, including exercise, dietary changes, and alternative treatments.
Treatments for Digestive Problems
When exploring treatments for digestive problems, it's important to begin with methods that are the least obtrusive, with the least likelihood of side effects, and progress from there.
This means that lifestyle changes are the best place to begin. For instance, sometimes digestive problems can be alleviated simply by drinking more water or eating a healthier diet high in fiber.
Typically, combining lifestyle changes and alternative medicines will produce the best outcome. Alternative medicines can be different herbs and supplements, or even techniques like acupuncture. When seeking out alternative medicines, keep in mind that because digestive problems during menopause are associated with hormone imbalance, look for supplements that bring a natural balance to the hormonal levels, for this will go a long way to treating digestive problems at their core.
Finally, if still experiencing digestive problems, there are different medications and surgeries that can be explored. Medications are often prescribed simply to cope with digestive problems, but do not offer a cure. Surgery is an option for extremely severe cases. This final option comes with the most risk and side effects.
Click on the following link to learn specific treatments for digestive problems, which begin with lifestyle changes, move onto alternative medicines, and finally, if those options don't seem to help, medications and surgery. The most effective treatments for digestive problems typically combine lifestyle changes and alternative medicines.
Digestive problems can be treated through making lifestyle changes that target dietary alterations. Some ways a menopausal woman can manage digestive problems include eating wholegrain rice instead of potatoes, limiting dairy products, eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, cutting back on spicy food, and avoiding alcohol and caffeine.
Digestive problems are a very common symptom of menopause. However, eating the proper amount of fiber is one way to manage digestive problems such as constipation and bloating. Some foods that contain fiber are whole grains, fruits and non-starchy vegetables. It is also a good idea to avoid foods that contain high amounts of fat, sugar, and oil.
- Edwards, Dr. Charmaine. "Digestive disorders are more prevalent in women". North County Journal. http://northcountyjournal.stltoday.com.
- Shin, Fukudo. "Role of corticotropin-releasing hormone in irritable bowel syndrome and intestinal inflammation". Journal of Gastroenterology. 2007, Tokyo, Japan.
- "Digestive Problems". Aim for Health. www.aim4health.com.
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