A woman’s menstrual cycle is accompanied with digestive disorders such as diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome. In the same manner, her menopause is accompanied with similar bowel problems. This happens because at menopausal stage, the woman’s body undergoes hormonal changes.
Menopause Sickness And Diarrhea
Decreasing estrogen levels cause the body to produce more cortisol – the stress hormone. Higher cortisol levels result in increased blood pressure and blood sugar levels. At the same time stomach acids decrease accounting for bloating. Diarrhea is one of the most common diseases that come along with menopause.
During menstrual cycle, the progesterone and estrogen levels in the woman increases and reach a peak level where the colon muscles tend to relax. As the colon muscles relax they stop stool movement and result in diarrhea. However, during menopause the hormones can be in a more imbalanced state. In addition, there are a number of other causes for diarrhea in menopause.
One of these causes is the intake of certain foods. One such food is flaxseed. Women at menopausal stage take flaxseed to get relief from hot flashes. Phytoestrogen in flaxseed helps control the menopausal hot flashes. But these phytoestrogens have side effects such as gas, bloating, distended abdomen and diarrhea.
The relationship between diarrhea and menopause is rather complex. Neurotransmitter chemicals like serotonin and norepinephrine play a greater role in connecting diarrhea with menopause. Both these chemicals are connected to the brain as well as the bowel. Increased serotonin levels inhibit norepinephrine resulting in increased levels of another neurotransmitter chemical called acetylcholine.
This causes diarrhea. On the other hand, increased levels of norepinephrine block acetylcholine and lower down the levels of serotonin, thereby resulting in constipation. During menopause, when the hormones fluctuate, there is an adverse effect on neurotransmitter levels that affects the bowel.
In many cases, women tend to connect diarrhea with other causes such as anxiety since diarrhea does not always indicate decreased estrogen levels. If you are suffering from diarrhea and there is a gap of almost a year since the last time you had periods, then this might well be due to menopause.
Moreover, at perimenopause stage, women encounter various other health disorders such as aching muscles, headaches, dizziness, hot flashes, vaginal dryness and tender breasts. So, if diarrhea comes at such a stage it becomes easy to connect the dots and confirm the same with a doctor.
The best way to get rid of diarrhea associated with menopause is to avoid certain foods. However, if diarrhea becomes serious you should consult a doctor. Although the naturally occurring menopause does not require medical treatment, some women do prefer treatment for the unwanted symptoms.
You can use antidepressants and can go for Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) that reduces hot flashes, unwanted weight gain and the risk of breast cancer. There are a good number of alternative treatments for diarrhea and other digestive problems associated with menopause. Such alternative treatments come with no side effects.
For example, herbs such as green tea, licorice root, dandelion, nettles and lemon balm restore the hormonal balance. Some of these herbs directly help in relieving problems of indigestion. This does not call for diarrhea and other digestive problems.
Phoot Credit: Drshillington.com/why-is-my-period-late-if-i%E2%80%99m-not-pregnant/