Menopausal women do suffer from Bad Digestion and Digestive issues
Are you wondering whether menopause can have any association with digestion whether can it really affect the digestive organs? Then, the answer to this question is Yes, menopause does have an impact on the digestive organs.
1. Hormonal fluctuations taking place during menopause produces an impact in various systems & organs of the body. The digestive system is one such system which is affected by menopause, due to the hormonal imbalance.
2. Estrogen is known to offer protection to the digestive system. Digestive problems occurring during menopause are generally linked to the declining levels of estrogen.
3. Digestive problems during menopause can be experienced in various forms ranging from constipation to abdominal pain to weight gain to bloating to indigestion.
Causes & Effects of Menopause on Digestive System
1. Menopause occurs due to the decline in the function of the ovaries and due to the decrease in the production of female hormones estrogen & progesterone.
2. These hormonal changes produce effects on the digestive system. Thus, giving rise to several digestive disorders.
3. The hormone estrogen has a direct impact on the hormone cortisol, which is also known as the stress hormone. Estrogen is responsible for maintaining cortisol levels low.
4. Declining estrogen levels can cause cortisol to interfere with proper digestion.
5. During menopause, as estrogen levels decline, cortisol levels rise. This rise in cortisol levels produces an impact on the digestive system resulting in constipation, bloating, cramps, diarrhea, gas & heartburn.
6. Increased levels of cortisol slow down the digestive process & result in failure to absorb the nutrients efficiently thus, increasing the amount of time required for food to break down. This can result in difficulty in passage of stools (constipation) & bloating.
7. Decreased estrogen levels can easily trigger adrenalin in the body. This leads to improper functioning of the digestive system resulting in a range of digestive disorders.
8. During menopause, there is a decrease in the production of progesterone. Decreased levels of progesterone relax and slow down the digestive tract.
9. Decreased progesterone levels indicate reduced excretion of water through urination resulting in bloating.
10. Production of bile in the body is controlled by estrogen. Decreased estrogen levels lead to decrease in the production of bile. Bile functions as a lubricant in the digestive processes. Lack of lubrication may lead to constipation and bloating.
11. There is a disturbance in the balance of the bacteria involved in the digestive process due to the fluctuations in the estrogen & progesterone levels resulting in increased production of gases during menopause.
Management of Digestive issues
Certain lifestyle and dietary modifications can be followed which can be helpful in overcoming the digestive disorders arising due to menopause. These modifications shall help in speeding up the digestion, regulating the bowel movements & improving bowel function.
Some of the modification recommended are as follows:
- Increase intake of fibre rich foods such as whole grains, legumes, pears, apples, peas, broccoli, nuts & seeds.
- Consume a healthy & nutritious diet.
- Avoid processed, junk foods & fatty foods.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Avoid smoking.
- Perform regular exercises such as walking, swimming, cycling, dancing, etc.
- Perform pelvic floor exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
- Take adequate sleep.