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Can Menopause Cause Constipation And Bloating

What Else Could Cause The Gas

How to relieve constipation during menopause

Gas can be caused by other health concerns, so be sure to talk with your doctor if the development of gas is sudden, painful, extreme, comes with weight loss, diarrhea or constipation, and/or is disrupting your life.

Other possible causes include:

SIBO. A too-high concentration of bacteria in the small intestine can be the underlying cause for many digestive issues. A breath test can help you determine if this is causing your digestive issues.

IBS.Irritable bowel syndrome refers to a group of symptoms that generally cause abdominal pain and changes in bowel movements.

GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease is a condition in which the stomach contents flow backward up the esophagus. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the presence of gluten causes the body to attack its own small intestine. Subsequent damage to the villi, the lining of the small intestine, can keep nutrients from being absorbed correctly.

While a little extra intestinal gas may not be detrimental to your health, it can disrupt your working and social life. If you’re dealing with digestive issues, check with a doctor, consider keeping a food journal to help you track triggers, and try to maintain a sense of humor. And maybe get a dog. You can always blame it on the dog.

Engage In Aerobic Exercises

Menopause calls for immediate lifestyle changes. Avoid hormonal constipation by engaging in aerobic exercises such as jogging, cycling, swimming, or even dancing.

Do aerobic exercises at least 30 minutes a day and if you can squeeze in the time, your bladder and bowel function may also benefit from pelvic floor exercises.

Symptoms And Menstrual Cycle

Studies of the relationship between menstrual cycle phase and abdominal discomfort and pain symptoms indicate that premenses and menses, compared with other cycle phases, are periods of increased complaints in women aged 19 to 37 years . Menses-related increases in GI symptoms are noted both in women with and without FBDs such as IBS. A systematic review of data from symptom-based questionnaires revealed that approximately one third of otherwise asymptomatic women experienced GI symptoms at the time of menstruation. In a descriptive correlational study of 30 healthy young women , abdominal pain increased in the early to midluteal phase and progressively worsened during premenses and the menses phase. In this sample, back pain and headache negatively correlated with progesterone levels , whereas there were no significant relationships between levels of ovarian hormones and mood symptoms.

Patterns of mean gastrointestinal symptoms and abdominal pain alone in Rome II subgroups across 6 menstrual cycle phases in women with and without irritable bowel syndrome. The definitions of Rome II subgroups are based on 3 symptoms of constipation and diarrhea . Follic = follicular phase Pre-Ovul = preovulatory phase Early-Lut = early-luteal phase Mid-Lut = midluteal phase Pre-Mens = premenses phase. Adapted with permission.

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Constipation May Become A Problem In Menopause And Yes Hormones May Be To Blame So What Can You Do About It

If you find yourself pushing too hard, stopped up, clogged, unable to go , it may be a by-product of menopause. When going gets tough, the tough can’t always get going.

I think it’s constipation, but I’m not sure. What is the definition, exactly?

Constipation is defined as having fewer than three bowel movements a week having hard, dry stools feeling as if you haven’t completely eliminated and/or doing a lot of straining when you try to go.

So, what is it about menopause and not being able to go?

Constipation becomes increasingly common around menopause. And, in general, it’s more of a woman’s problem than a man’s .

Has anyone mentioned hormones?

Well, yes. The connection begins to make sense when you consider that constipation is more common during pregnancy, during your menstrual cycle, and then again, during menopause. What they all have in common is hormones. The alterations of estrogen may be responsible, according to research, which finds that “ovarian hormones influence gastrointestinal function because estrogen receptors have been found in the gastric and small intestinal mucosa.”

Translate, please?

Female hormones can affect a lot of thingswe already know that. They can latch onto receptors in your gut and, hence, affect your digestive tract, causing your colon to slow down. Voila: constipation.

So, now what?

Let’s talk about diet.

Let’s talk specifics.

What other lifestyle things should I look into?

Contact your health care professional if:

Treatment Of Ovary Pain After Menopause

Signs and Symptoms of Bloating during Menopause ...

If your pain sensations arent too acute, they are probably caused by the end of menopause. The ovary pain after menopause is commonly managed due to some simple measures that can be done at home. These are as follows:

  • Applying a heated bag or pad
  • Placing a bottle of hot water on the abdomen until it becomes cold
  • Taking a warm bath or shower
  • Deep breathing procedures
  • Physical exercises of a gentle character .
  • Remaining hydrated
  • Gently massaging your abdomen.

These are the easiest methods to lessen pain. If its not serious, they will help pretty fast. In case the pain does not go away, your state may be more severe and youll require some non-home remedies. Your doctor will probably prescribe certain pills, which arent steroidal or narcotic. They have anti-inflammatory properties.

Mind that a lot depends on your lifestyle and the foods you consume. If you follow a healthy lifestyle, you can reduce pain or even prevent it. For example, you should consume vitamins E and D, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, ginseng, etc. You should follow the following tips:

  • Consume a lot of liquid
  • Reduce fat consumption

These things arent hard to follow. They are universal and may sustain your overall wellbeing.

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How Does Menopause Affect Gallbladder Disease

Female gender, increasing age, pregnancy, estrogen therapy, both long-term oral contraceptive use and hormone replacement therapy, are all risk factors for gallbladder disease and gallstones.

Gallbladder disease is more common in women than men. This is because women have more estrogen and progesterone than men. Both estrogen and progesterone change the composition of bile salts, and affect how fast bile moves through the biliary tract.

The biliary tract consists of the liver, gallbladder and bile ducts. These are the organs and structures that work together to make, store, and secrete bile.

Bile helps you to digest fats. Its made mainly of water. The bile salts in bile are what actually break down fat molecules in your small intestines into smaller droplets that your intestines can absorb more easily.

When estrogen and progesterone levels drop in menopause, blood cholesterol levels increase, bile takes on a higher concentration of cholesterol, the gallbladder doesnt empty as quickly as it did before, bile sits in the gallbladder stagnant for longer periods of time, and gallstones and gallbladder disease are more likely to develop.

What Is Menopause Bloating

Menopause bloating is when you experience bloating during menopause or perimenopause. Its often described as a feeling of fullness or tightness in the abdomen and can sometimes be painful and almost always uncomfortable. Some women may only experience occasional menopause bloating, while others can wake up with a flat tummy and become progressively more bloated throughout the day.

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What Causes Constipation During Menopause

When cortisol levels increase, this signals your body to marshal its resources towards survival and away from slower processes like digestion and elimination.

The same culprit that causes mood swings, insomnia, dry skin and other perimenopause discomforts is responsible for constipation: hormone fluctuations.

Once again, the hormone estrogen is the major cause of changes in bowel habits during this phase of life. As estrogen levels decline, this causes a spike in the notorious stress hormone, cortisol.

When cortisol levels increase, this signals your body to marshal its resources towards survival and away from slower processes like digestion and elimination.

At the same time, as progesterone levels also decrease, this causes increasing dryness in all the bodys tissues, which can make it harder to void your bowels.

Consider Making Changes To Your Diet

Menopause & bloating: what causes it & how to beat the bloat

Speaking of eating, it may be worthwhile to rethink what constitutes a healthy diet during menopause. Even some healthy foods can contribute to gas and bloat. These include the obvious, beans, but also vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts. In addition, even if you are not sensitive to gluten, gluten-containing foods, that is, wheat-based foods, can turn into bloat triggers. And dont forget that dairy can become a food group that causes digestive distress.

The key is to pay closer attention to what you eat prior to a bloating episode. Then, try to eliminate the food you believe is a trigger or an accomplice.

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What Gi Symptoms Are Associated With Menopause And Why

A wide range of digestive problems can arise during menopause including excessive gas, bloating, belching, nausea, and abdominal discomfort.

If you think about it, the main job of our digestive tract is to break down food, absorb nutrients, and excrete waste. Hormones play a large role in digestion. When estrogen and progesterone levels change during, and leading up to, menopause, this can alter the entire process of digestion.

Estrogen plays a key role in keeping our cortisol levels low. Cortisol is our primary stress hormone. Its job is to make sure youre able to respond appropriately to both good and bad stressors. Corisol increases sugar in your bloodstream so that you have energy available to react to a stressful situation. It enhances your brain’s ability to use glucose so that you can respond more efficiently to stress and think more clearly under pressure. It slows or halts body functions that wouldnt be essential in a fight-or-flight situation. For example, it suppresses your GI tract and reproductive systems in a time of stress: organ systems that arent essential when you just need to survive

That being said, when estrogen levels decline in menopause, cortisol levels rise. This can have several effects on the GI tract including reduced production of stomach acid , and slowed GI motility. Slowed GI motility means it takes longer for food to travel through your digestive tract. This results in gas, bloating and constipation.

Is It Bloat Or Weight Gain

During perimenopause and menopause, you may be unsure whether youre experiencing bloating or gaining weight. Hormonal changes during perimenopause and menopause may cause your body to gain weight more quickly than usual, particularly in your stomach area. This isnt just a sign of menopause. You may also be gaining weight because of aging, lifestyle behaviors, and family history.

Bloating should occur for just a short period of time, likely around the time of your menstrual cycle if youre in perimenopause or any time after you eat a large amount of food, eat very quickly, or eat foods that trigger bloating. Your stomach will protrude and change throughout the day with bloating. Your abdomen wont fluctuate in size throughout the day if youre experiencing weight gain.

Weight gain is a symptom of menopause, and you can adopt certain lifestyle changes to help avoid extra pounds. Eating a well-balanced diet low in salt and sugar, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly will help with weight gain, as well as bloat. Gaining weight puts you at risk for developing health conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

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Does Menopause Improve Or Worsen Ibs Symptoms

    Robert Burakoff, MD, MPH, is board-certified in gastroentrology. He is the vice chair for ambulatory services for the department of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, where he is also a professor. He was the founding editor and co-editor in chief of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.

    The natural process of menopause can trigger changes in many parts of your body and affect your irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. Whether or not you have been diagnosed with IBS, you may find that as you reach a certain age, you start to have more frequent bowel symptoms. Although studies haven’t yielded clear-cut evidence about why menopause affects the way the stomach works, some research has been done in this area. Let’s take a look.

    How Does Menopause Affect Constipation

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    There is a direct link between hormonal changes and bowel activity. Declining levels of estrogen and progesterone associated with menopause slow GI motility, meaning it takes longer for food to get through your GI tract. The longer food remains in your colon, the more water is reabsorbed back into your bloodstream, and the harder your stools get.

    Additionally, during peri-menopause and menopause, lower estrogen levels decrease bile levels. Bile is produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. It mixes with fats and helps to dissolve and absorb them. Bile salts help to promote bowel movements by softening stool, lubricating your intestines, and speeding up how fast stool moves through your colon. Decreased bile levels associated with menopause can make stools harder and more difficult to pass resulting in constipation, gas and bloating.

    Constipation related to menopause may also be exacerbated due to weakened pelvic floor muscles. Your risk for pelvic floor weakness and pelvic floor dysfunction increases with age.

    Finally, hypothyroidism and diabetes are more common as we age and with menopause. These conditions can contribute to and exacerbate constipation.

    Often post-menopausal women will have multiple risk factors for constipation. Addressing all of these issues thoroughly and comprehensively will help you to experience the best quality of life and alleviate your symptoms to the fullest extent possible.

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    Pain Sensitivity And Pregnancy

    In addition to ovariectomy, pregnancy is another model with which to examine the role of ovarian hormones in modulating pain. Pregnancy is a time of elevated ovarian hormone levels as well as opioid-mediated antinociception. Cogan and Spinnato found that somatic pain thresholds were elevated in 6 pregnant women at the end of their third trimester compared with 6 women who were not pregnant . Gintzler and Liu, in a series of experiments using a physiological pregnancy rat model, observed a 60% increase in hypogastric nerve impulse propagation as well as activation of spinal and opioid systems and 2-noradrenergic pathways. Hypogastric neurectomy abolishes pregnancy-related antinociception, likely through loss of augmented 2-noradrenergic tone.

    Considerable preclinical and clinical evidence is consistent with the concept that female sex hormones , in interaction with neuroendocrine systems co-opted from attachment/caregiving processes , may underlie biobehavioral sex differences in response to stress.,

    Hormone Replacement Treatment May Help Menopausal Bloating

    If youre bloating during menopause, hormone therapy may be able to help relieve your symptoms. While menopausal bloating is often confused with other conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, a common cause is simply hormone changes that naturally occur during perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause. If you have bloating due to these hormone changes, hormone replacement treatment may help reduce bloating.

    The aim of hormone replacement treatment is to help bring hormone levels up to healthy ranges and to help create hormonal balance. Our provider may recommend hormone imbalance treatment if your hormone levels are low or if you have too much of a hormone. Often, this may cause other symptoms in addition to bloating, such as:

    • Mood changes
    • Anxiety
    • Low libido

    If you and your doctor decide to start hormone replacement treatment, our team offers hormone injections for fast, convenient, and advanced hormone care. Injections can help you absorb the hormones better and allow more dosage control so we can adjust your dosage to suit your needs and body.

    Hormone therapy from our team also means regular monitoring to help us fine-tune your dosage. This also helps us keep track of how youre responding to treatment and evaluate your overall health. Hormone care from our team means routine checks of your hormone levels to help personalize your treatment plan.

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    Recommendations To Ease Excessive Flatulence In Menopause

    I have been impressed with the large numbersof patients who report uncomfortable symptoms of gas and embarrassingflatulence. Certainly, these symptoms occur at any age, but it appears that themenopause and perimenopause transition is a peak time for these symptoms.JohnA. Sunyecz, M.D., President, MenopauseRx , Inc.What Is Gas?Is Menopause Really the Cause?What Foods Cause Gas?MedicationsThere Is Relief Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations1. Eat Fewer High Glycemic-Index Carbohydrates. 2. Low Saturated Fat Intake.3. Include Protein and Healthy Fats in Every Meal.4. Eliminate Gluten.5. Drink Plenty of Water.6. Consume Less Alcohol.7. Take Supplements and Digestive Enzymes.8. Eat Slower.9. AvoidLarge Meals.10. Stop Eating Three Hours Before Bed Time.11. Use OTCMedications.12. Reduce StressFactors.13. 14. Exercise.Yoga and Flatulence Yoga Poses for FlatulenceBoat PoseBow Pose Cobra Pose Pigeon Pose Pranayama Yoga Asanas for FlatulencePavanmuktasanaHalasana DhanurasanaBhujangasana Don’t Ignore Possibility of Medical Conditions

    Changes To Stomach Acid And Bile Production

    Menopause and Bloating

    The reduction of estrogen and progesterone may also impact the bodyâs ability to produce stomach acid and bile. Additionally, as estrogen levels decrease, cortisol and blood pressure rises, resulting in the slowing of the digestive system.

    Stomach acid helps to break down food in your stomach, allowing the body to absorb nutrients and travel through the digestive tract. Gastric acid imbalances can lead to symptoms such as heartburn or acid reflux, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation.

    Another digestive fluid needed for digestion is bile, which is made by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. Drops in progesterone and estrogen, as experienced in menopause, have been associated with lowered bile levels. If the liver isnât producing enough bile to break down food, the stores in the gallbladder are depleted and fats canât be digested properly, resulting in the inability of the body to absorb essential fat-soluble vitamins.

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    Ovarian Hormones And Pain Sensitivity

    As noted previously, the relationships between gonadal hormones and somatic and visceral pain sensitivity in humans are complex. Stening et al used a cold pressor stimulus with 16 healthy volunteers to compare menstrual cycle phase points . Cycle phases were verified by estrogen and progesterone assays and subject diaries. The time to reach 30 on a visual analogue scale was decreased during the luteal phase compared with the other phases . When the investigators examined the relationships among the levels of ovarian hormones collected on the day of testing with the cold pressor results, marked differences were noted. In particular, increased levels of progesterone during the luteal phase were related to increased reports of pain intensity. However, this relationship was reduced after controlling for increasing estradiol levels. Thus, E2 and progesterone may play both antinociceptive and pronociceptive roles, depending on their relative concentrations as well as the duration of exposure. It can also be conjectured that it is the dynamic changes of gonadal hormones as well as their absolute levels that may contribute to somatic pain sensitivity differences across the menstrual cycle.

    Taken together, there is a conceivable link between abdominal pain, 5-HT3 receptors, and ovarian hormones that merits further study.

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