Does menopause affect your gut health?
Prebiotics and Menopause Symptoms.
PREbiotics [notice the different spelling] are non-digestible fibres that feed the friendly bacteria in your digestive tract. Think of it as nourishing food for your friendly gut bacteria.
They’re often found in fruits and vegetables. Prebiotics can enhance the growth of certain strains of bacteria in your intestines.
Prebiotics can also help prevent diarrhoea by reducing the number of toxins produced by harmful bacteria in your colon.
This means that prebiotics can help reduce bloating, gas, constipation, and other common menopause symptoms.
If you want to get started with improving your gut health, then try adding prebiotics to your diet. You’ll find them in many foods including:
- chia seeds,
- seaweed and kelp,
- sweet potatoes,
- and yoghurt.
You can also take supplements containing prebiotics. Look for products labelled “PREbiotic” on the label.
Inulin is a flavourless pre-biotic powder which you can sprinkle on food or add to drinks. Its an easy way of ensuring you get probiotics into your system to nourish your gut flora.
How Can You Improve Your Gut Health Naturally during Menopause?
There are many ways you can improve your gut health and your Menopause symptoms.
Here are several ways that you can start to make improvements.
Eat healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean protein, nuts, seeds, and fish.
- Avoid processed foods, sugar, and refined carbohydrates.
- Eat plenty of fibre – Fibre is important for keeping your gut healthy. The recommended daily intake for adults is 25 grams.
- Drink lots of water – Water flushes toxins from your colon and helps remove waste products. Aim to drink about 2 litres each day.
- Avoid alcohol – Alcohol disrupts the beneficial bacteria in your gut. If you must drink alcohol, limit yourself to one glass of wine at a time.
- Get enough sleep – Lack of sleep makes it harder to absorb nutrients. Try to get 7 hours of sleep every night.
- Lower Stress – High levels of stress can have a devastating impact on your gut health. It can ramp up your stress hormone or cortisol levels, which have a cascading impact on your overall and digestive health. You need to take steps in your life to get your stress down to a manageable level.
- Take probiotics – Probiotics can be taken orally or by using a supplement. Take probiotics twice a day for optimal results.
- Use prebiotics – Prebiotics are carbohydrates that feed the probiotic gut bacteria and give it an optimum habitat. They’re usually found in fibre-rich foods such as oats, beans, bananas, apples, pears, cauliflower, garlic, onions, leeks, and artichokes.
Does menopause cause gas and bloating?
Menopause causes gas and bloating because estrogen levels drop during perimenopause and menopause. Estrogen helps regulate digestion and absorption of nutrients. When estrogen levels fall, digestive juices decrease and food moves through the system faster. This can lead to increased gas production which can be embarrassing and painful.
The good news is that there are natural remedies for both gas and bloating.
Gas and bloating caused by menopause can be treated naturally by healing your digestive tract.
How to reduce menopausal bloating
Bloating is caused by a build-up of gas in the intestines. It can be an incredibly frustrating symptom of menopause. Bloating, constipation and abdominal pain can be difficult to deal with in everyday life.
You may even find that you suddenly start to have the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome around midlife for the first time.
If you want to improve your symptoms, your goal is to improve the balance of your intestinal flora.
Following some of the information above will help. Once your estrobolome and gut bacteria are in balance the gas should reduce and the bloating improve.
You may want to keep a food diary to work out which foods affect you the most. The culprits will be different for everyone. Once you know which foods are the worst for you, you can remove them for a little while to let your intestines heal.
As a quick fix, to prevent bloating, try drinking plenty of water throughout the day, eat smaller meals, and avoid foods that cause gas such as beans if they affect you.
Coffee may also be an irritant that you could try cutting out for a while.
Introduce fermented foods such as yoghurt and kefir into your diet every day and you should find your intestines starting to heal and your digestive symptoms and bloating reduced.
You could also try taking digestive enzymes. These supplements can support your natural digestive processes and reduce digestive issues.
Gut Microbiome Testing
If you have tried natural remedies to no avail, it may be time to do a gut microbiome test. Test kits are readily available. Although they are a little pricey, they will tell you a lot about what is happening in your digestive tract.
Once you discover the reason behind your digestive issues, you can begin to heal yourself.
Is there a good diet or weight loss plan which is gut friendly?
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