Menopause is that magical time in a woman's life when yet more incomprehensible changes are occurring in the body; as if puberty and pregnancy weren't enough! Menopause actually occurs when a woman has been period-free for one solid year; after that she is said to be “postmenopausal.” Anywhere from several years to six months before menopause, when a woman's estrogen is beginning to fluctuate and symptoms begin to appear, she is in a phase called perimenopause.
Anyway, perimenopause is also the time when symptoms are at their worst. Hot flashes, mood swings, and stomach problems have all been described. Many women deal with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) their whole lives but oftentimes this condition is found to worsen during the menopause transition. To find out how to treat your perimenopausal IBS, scroll down and read the following suggestions.
Before Beginning Treatment, Get a Diagnosis
As with treating any illness, you must first find out what it is exactly you should be treating. For instance, what you may attribute to IBS may actually be lactose intolerance, another condition that can develop in later life, or it may just be a reaction to a change in diet. Therefore, talk with your doctor to determine that what you are experiencing actually is IBS.
Suggestions for Treating Perimenopausal IBS
For IBS, the goal of treatment is symptom relief.
Try to Avoid Food that Stimulates the Intestine
For instance, caffeine drinks like tea, coffee, and soda.
Don't Eat Large Meals
Instead of three large meals, try eating smaller meals more often.
Try to Get Your Fiber Fill
Fiber is in a lot of food; leafy greens (which also contain calcium), apples, and popcorn are all full of fiber.
Avoid Large Quantities of Milk Products
Dairy and other foods that are known to cause constipation may affect your bowels even if you have ruled out lactose intolerance.
They are really full of protein and truly are good for you heart. But they also do make you bloated.
There are several different kinds on the market. Anti-depressants and anti-anxiety agents are commonly prescribed, depending, of course, on the type of IBS you suffer from.
For More Information
Talk with your doctor. In some mild cases, symptoms can be controlled simply by changing your diet, exercising more, and making other healthy lifestyle choices. Other cases are more difficult and may require prescriptions or further testing. To read about other ways to deal with menopausal digestive problems, follow this link.