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Is Constipation A Symptom Of Menopause

Can Menopause Cause Constipation

Menopause Constipation | How Estrogen Affects Digestion

A couple of possibilities, says Harvard Health: Lack of estrogen may cause the colon to slow. This gives the fecal matter thats in the system time to dry and harden, making it harder to expel. Or some women may find their pelvic floor is not coordinated, making it less effective for letting the stool out.

Add Probiotics To Your Diet

When digestion slows down, elimination often follows suit. To help your body digest the food you eat, you want to add more good bacteria to your gut.

Taking probiotics in supplement form or by eating yogurt with active cultures can add back healthy bacteria to your gut and assist with improved digestion and elimination.

Contributing Factors To Constipation And Menopause Symptoms

Hormones are not the only thing to blame for unwanted symptoms during menopause. Lifestyle choices significantly affect your health during this sensitive time as well.

Here are some additional causes:

  • Smoking
  • Lack of fiber in the diet
  • Taking certain medications
  • With the proper care and management of your health with the advice of your physician, you can get your daily life back on track during menopause.

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    Are There Herbal Remedies To Help Me

    There are a number of herbal remedies that can help improve digestive function at this time of your life.

    If you suffer from bloating or indigestion, use stomach bitters such as dandelion, artichoke and boldo to help improve symptoms. These are best taken 5 or 10 minutes before your meal.

    Eileen’s TOP TIP: Bitter herbs are best used in liquid form diluted in water as it is important to taste the bitterness on your tongue. Digestisan drops is a combination of stomach bitter herbs and can help with bloating, feeling of fullness and indigestion.

    “I have had really bad indigestion for some years now and have tried just about everything, this product seems to be working for me, long may it continue.”The menopause can lead to irregularity of bowel habits and constipation. Whilst the best way to tackle this is to increase the fibre content in your diet, sometimes help with constipation herbs can be necessary.

    Eileen’s TOP TIP: Linseed, senna and frangula are amongst the most useful herbs taken for constipation and can be found in Linoforce granules 12 years plus for the short-term relief of occasional constipation. Drinking a glass of water with each dose of Linoforce is very important.

    Can Menopause Cause Nausea

    8 Quick and Effective Constipation Remedies

    During peri-menopause estrogen production by the ovaries can fluctuate greatly. When estrogen production is high, women may experience nausea associated with these hormonal fluctuations.

    Nonetheless, in order to avoid missed diagnoses, delayed care, and poor outcomes ALL GI symptoms should be evaluated promptly and aggressively by a trained gastroenterologist. Nausea can be a sign of a much more serious problem such as certain cancers, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, bowel obstruction, and other conditions.

    If youre concerned about GI symptoms associated with menopause, please contact our office for a comprehensive medical evaluation.

    *This information is only intended for educational purposes and the accuracy of this content is not guaranteed.

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    Can Physiological Changes Contribute To Constipation And Menopause

    During menopause, our pelvic floor muscles weaken, which can add to the increasing difficulty in making bowel movements during this time. Many women experience joint and back pain as well. This pain can cause women to limit or reduce physical activity, and with this lack of mobility comes gastrointestinal disturbances. Even the way we breathe can affect our digestion. It is important to breathe deeply into the belly from the diaphragm instead of the chest to stimulate and massage the digestive system.

    Ibs Symptoms Worsening With Menopause

    Research studies on the relationship between IBS and menopause have yielded mixed results, but there does appear to be some indication that IBS symptoms increase during perimenopause.

    One report identified a peak in these increased symptoms as occurring from the ages of 40 to 49. This increase in symptoms may be a result of the leveling off of sex hormones that occurs at this time, in much the same way that women experience an increase in IBS symptoms during the days before the onset of their periods. The levels of these sex hormones have an effect on IBS symptoms because receptor cells for these hormones are located throughout the digestive tract.

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    How Are Diarrhea And Incontinence Related To Menopause

    When progesterone levels decrease associated with menopause you may experience an increase in your bowel activity meaning food may move through your GI tract more quickly resulting in diarrhea, increased gas, and bloating.

    Post-menopausal women may be more inclined to experience incontinence, diarrhea, and constipation due to pelvic floor dysfunction, and a weakened pelvic floor. Your pelvic floor, or the muscles, ligaments, connective tissues, and nerves that support the bladder, uterus, cervix, vagina, and rectum, and hold these structures in place and help them to function, plays an important role in bowel movements.

    Your pelvic floor muscles stretch from your tailbone in the back to your pubic bone up front, and from one hip to the other side to side. They move up and down like a trampoline supporting your internal organs.

    Normally, when you go to the bathroom your body tightens and relaxes its pelvic floor muscles in a coordinated fashion. When you have pelvic floor dysfunction, your body keeps tightening these muscles instead of relaxing them when it should.

    Women are at increased risk for a weakened pelvic floor as a result of pregnancy and childbirth. Pelvic Floor Dysfunction is also more common with age. Properly diagnosing and treating pelvic floor dysfunction is crucial to managing symptoms of diarrhea, constipation and incontinence in affected patients.

    Ht Forms And Regimens

    How to Relieve Menopause Constipation| Menopause Diet Plan| Over 50 Women

    HT comes in several forms:

    • Oral tablets or pills
    • Vaginal ring
    • Topical gel or spray

    HT pills and skin patches are considered “systemic” therapy because the medication delivered affects the entire body. The risk for blood clots, heart attacks, and certain types of cancers is higher with hormone pills than with skin patches or other transdermal forms.

    Vaginal forms of HT are called “local” therapy. Doctors generally prescribe vaginal applications of low-dose estrogen therapy to specifically treat menopausal symptoms such as vaginal dryness and pain during sex. This type of ET is available in a cream, tablet, or ring that is inserted into the vagina.

    “Bioidentical” Hormones

    “Bioidentical” hormone therapy is promoted as a supposedly more natural and safer alternative to commercial prescription hormones. Bioidentical hormones are typically compounded in a pharmacy. Some compounding pharmacies claim that they can customize these formulations based on saliva tests that show a woman’s individual hormone levels.

    The FDA and many professional medical associations warn patients that “bioidentical” is a marketing term that has no scientific validity. Formulations sold in these pharmacies have not undergone FDA regulatory scrutiny. Some of these compounds contain estriol, a weak form of estrogen, which has not been approved by the FDA for use in any drug. In addition, saliva tests do not give accurate or realistic results, as a woman’s hormone levels fluctuate throughout the day.

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    How To Manage Your Symptoms

    Its not surprising when people develop constipation as they get older. You shouldnt be alarmed by it, as long as youve had a colon cancer screening and continued surveillance if applicable at the appropriate time.

    To remedy constipation, you want to manage symptoms. Here are some tips:

    1. Increase your activity level.

    Become more active, Dr. Lee recommends. Increasing your physical activity, including resistance training for core body muscle building can help relieve the symptoms, she says. Dont forget hydration during the day .

    2. Eat plenty of fiber

    If you can eat between 25 and 50 grams of processed and unprocessed fiber each day, this can help you have more regular bowel movements and more efficient bowel movements, says Dr. Lee.

    3. Review your medications

    Look at your medications to see which ones may cause constipation. If you suspect a drug you are taking is causing your problem, work with your primary care provider to address it.

    4. Consider taking a stool softener

    Once youve tried to address some of those lifestyle issues, you can try taking a gentle stool softener. You could start with taking polyethylene glycol every day, every other day or as needed every few days to help you have a better bowel movement, says Dr. Lee

    Other different types of laxatives, such as docusate or senna, can help you if your problem is more severe.

    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.

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      Is Pelvic Pain A Sign Of Menopause

      The perimenopause is the period of time leading up to the menopause. Its when your hormone levels start to fall, but before your periods stop completely . During this time, these hormonal changes can cause pain and cramps in your lower tummy and pelvis.

      This can also make abdominal pain linked to other conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome , worse.

      The amount of pain you have can vary, and different people will get different amounts and types of pain. It may feel like sharp cramps or a dull pain, and be constant or from time to time, and severe or mild.

      Abdominal pain caused by hormonal changes usually settles down over time, but there are many other possible causes of pelvic pain, which may need treatment.

      So read on to learn more, including when to see a doctor about menopause pain in the lower abdomen.

      Body Changes During Menopause

      How to Treat Constipation and Bloating

      Menopause occurs after a woman’s final menstrual period, but the body begins to change before then, exhibiting symptoms of the phase called perimenopause. Women who are about a decade away from menopause experience perimenopause, which may alter how often they menstruate or ovulate

      Healthcare providers consider women to be in perimenopause until they have gone a full year without a period. At that point, a woman is considered to be finished with menopause and in the post-menopause phase that lasts the rest of her life. The exact age these phases start and end varies from one woman to the next.

      As your body makes its way through all of these natural changes, precipitated by changing levels of your female hormones, you may experience some unwanted symptoms, including:

      • Bleeding changes related to your period
      • Changes as to how often you get your period

      Many women, with and without IBS, report the following digestive symptoms during the perimenopausal phase:

      • Changes in the frequency of bowel movements
      • Increased symptoms of abdominal pain and discomfort
      • Increased bloating

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      Is It Time To Get Professional Help

      If youre experiencing severe abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, or its been more than 3 days, you should definitely get checked out by your doctor or chat with one of ours, according to our DPTs. If its only been a couple of days or if things are moving, theyre just moving slowly you may want to try a few things on your own first.

      First, evaluate your lifestyle choices that may be causing the problem. Has anything changed in your life recently that could be throwing your body off its regular pattern?

      Are you eating a lot of constipating foods? Are you getting enough fiber in your diet? Are you drinking enough water and moving your body? Did you quit drinking coffee? Have you started a new medication or recently had surgery?

      Next, check your pooping mechanics: Do you have your knees above your hips? Are you giving yourself enough time?

      Also, Bri and Meagan suggest trying the ILU massage. This self massage involves doing small, circular strokes that follow the path of the large intestine. The gentle stroking massage helps calm an irritated gut and increase the movement of food through your system.

      Perhaps the best thing of all is to get checked out by your doctor, then ask for a referral to a pelvic PT. They can help you evaluate what else might be contributing to your constipation and give you exercises and lifestyle changes appropriate to your situation.

      The 15 Most Common Symptoms Of Perimenopause & Menopause

      Many women often wonder if what they are experiencing is related to fluctuating hormones during perimenopause and menopause. The following is a list of the most common symptoms that women may experience during this stage in life:

    • Anxiety, irritability and moodiness : As hormones dramatically fluctuate during perimenopause, outbursts of anger, anxiety and moods that swing from one moment to the next can occur.

    • Digestive discomfort: Hormonal changes can even affect the digestive system resulting in bloating, gas, diarrhea and a change in bowel movements.

    • Easily overwhelmed: As stress levels compound, the body and mind can become incapable of dealing with anything! Even the slightest increase in stress can feel completely overwhelming in some cases.

    • Fatigue: Many women notice a change in overall energy and a level of fatigue that can be debilitating.

    • Food cravings: Cravings can often become intensified as the adrenal glands or stress glands struggle to keep up with the demands on the body. Cravings for carbohydrates and/or salt are often a sign that cortisol is out of balance.

    • Forgetfulness or fuzzy thinking: One of the most alarming symptoms for many women are memory changes or fuzzy thinking. As estrogen levels wildly fluctuate and then eventually drop in menopause, many women struggle with all aspects of memory.

    • Low libido: Imbalances in Progesterone or Testosterone can diminish the sex drive. Vaginal dryness can also be a contributing factor to low libido.

    • Be Well,

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      How Long Does Constipation Last In The Menopause

      Overview. Constipation is common in menopause. It is typically defined as being unable to have more than three complete bowel movements within a week. Constipation is considered chronic if it lasts for three months or longer. When you are constipated, it can be difficult to completely void your bowels.

      There Are Several Remedies For This Common Symptom Which Is Rarely A Sign Of Serious Illness

      How to relieve constipation during menopause

      Image: Bigstock

      Constipation affects women more than men and is more likely to occur at certain times, including pregnancy and in the days preceding menstruation, and becomes increasingly common after menopause. While constipation can cause discomfort and anxiety, it is usually not a symptom of a serious condition. However, it can often be difficult to determine just why someone is constipated.

      Constipation isn’t a simple problem. It is characterized by fewer than three bowel movements a week, hard dry stools, straining to move one’s bowels, and a sense of an incomplete evacuation. “It also has many causes,” says Dr. Kyle Staller, a gastroenterologist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. He notes the factors that cause symptoms can vary, depending on whether the condition is sporadic or chronic .

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      How Do I Treat The Symptom

      While aforementioned management techniques will help women stave off the menopause symptom short-term, long-term relief is found by treating the underlying cause, which is often hormonal imbalance.

      Treatments for digestive problems such as constipation focus first on instilling lifestyle changes that alleviate intestinal issues while also leading to overall better health. Aside from regular exercise and increased fiber intake, menopausal women are also encouraged to consume foods rich in phytoestrogens, plant-based estrogens that boost hormones levels.

      Furthermore, women are recommended to pair these lifestyle adjustments with alternative medicines that are proven to foster hormonal balance. They include phytoestrogenic herbal supplements and hormone-regulating supplements.

      Phytoestrogenic herbal supplements contain stronger phytoestrogens than food alone and include preparations made from black cohosh, red clover, St. John’s wort, and others. However, since they introduce exogenous hormones into the body, they are not recommended for long-term use.

      On the other hand, hormone-regulating supplements, such as Macafem, nourish the thyroid and pituitary glands to produce their own hormones, thus alleviating constipation and other hormonal imbalance symptoms, like hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal dryness, and more. Because they do not contain hormones, they are safer for long-term use.

      Water Retention Or Gas Retention

      Water retention and gas retention are two main causes of bloating in the stomach and midsection. It may be difficult to determine which of the two is causing the bloating.

      Gas bloating is typically located in the stomach and is the result of trapped air. Often, gas bloating can be prevented by eating slower, not drinking carbonated beverages, and eating smaller meals.

      Water retention can occur in more places than gas retention. A woman may notice swelling in her hands and feet, through her midsection, or all throughout her body. Water retention may cause painful bloating in the affected parts of the body.

      Similar to gas retention, there are simple steps a woman can take to help reduce swelling and bloating associated with holding onto excessive fluid.

      Preventing bloating during menopause can be the best treatment. Fortunately, avoiding bloating can be achieved with a range of easy lifestyle changes, including:

      If a woman finds she suffers from frequent bloating during menopause, there are several medical treatments to relieve the discomfort. Ways to relieve bloating during menopause include:

      • using over-the-counter gas medications

      Bloating, particularly from water retention, can cause weight gain. Sometimes, it can be hard for a woman going through menopause to distinguish between weight gain and bloating.

      Menopausal bloating, unlike weight gain, is also often accompanied by a distended, swollen belly and discomfort. Bloating is characterized by:

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