Menopause is responsible for a host of pretty awful and at times infuriating symptoms, one of which is digestive system problems. Digestive problems such as cramps and diarrhea can have a particularly negative impact on everyday life and can possible develop into more serious conditions if left untreated. In order to overcome the problems associated with the digestive system that are caused by menopause, it is imperative to know the causes and possible remedies. Read over the following page for more information on digestive system problems.
What is Menopause and How Does it Affect the Digestive System?
The menopausal stage of life is signaled by the onset of a transitional period that typically lasts from two to ten years, from the first irregular menstrual period to the last. During this time, the remaining follicles in the ovaries lose their sensitivity to FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and secrete less estrogen, causing the FSH levels to rise. Low estrogen levels result in the rupture of the follicle and no egg being released. No ovulation occurs during the cycle.
Menopause, characterized by a ceasing of menstruation, is triggered by a decline in the estrogen levels of a woman's body. The subsequent hormone imbalance is what causes menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, depression, mood swings and weight gain to develop. Not every woman will experience all such symptoms with the same intensity, and some may also experience less known symptoms such as irritation in the general digestive process. Such digestive system problems can usually be addressed by treating menopause symptoms in a general way.
Menopause is one of the main causes of digestive system problems in women between the ages of 45 and 55. Common symptoms of digestive problems include:
This is because lower estrogen levels due to menopause cause an increase of cortisol levels in the body, which contribute to a rise in blood pressure and blood sugar. What this serves to do is slow the release of stomach acid and the emptying of stomach contents into the intestinal tract. This results in gas, bloating and constipation.
What Can I Do About Digestive System Problems that are Caused by Menopause?
There are many strategies that should be considered when implementing a hormone balancing program to offset the symptoms of menopause. However, keep in mind that all solutions are going to be greatly enhanced by a positive change in lifestyle approach. For example, enriching your diet with foods naturally occurring estrogen such as yams, soy, potatoes and rice can help minimize the symptoms of menopause. Keeping well hydrated, avoiding caffeine and getting at least seven or eight hours of sleep a night is also important in helping the body to naturally regulate its hormones. In addition to this, alternative medicine is becoming an increasingly popular method of treating menopause symptoms such as digestive system problems.
Some herbs help the body into producing and balancing its own hormonal levels. Though not containing estrogen components themselves, these herbs can help nourish the pituitary and endocrine glands. Keep in mind though, their effectiveness is often linked to keeping a healthy body in the first place.
For more specific treatments for digestive system problems click here.