You’re probably used to hearing about the importance of maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle, but did you know that your gut health is just as important? Gut bacteria play an integral role in your overall health—they help digest food, produce vitamins and nutrients, regulate blood pressure and more. But if your gut microbiome isn’t functioning optimally during menopause, then one of its main functions could be compromised: digesting food properly. And this could mean trouble for anyone who wants their body to stay strong and healthy through this period of change.
What is menopause?
Menopause is a time when a woman stops menstruating. It’s not just menopause, but rather the cessation of periods due to menopause. Menstruation is part of your body’s normal physiology; it happens in cycles every 28 days (on average), providing you with nutrients and removing toxins from your body so that you can be healthy for the next cycle.
Menopause is not a disease; it’s just one symptom that can occur during this time period. The symptoms vary from person to person, but may include hot flashes, vaginal dryness or irritation (which could lead to yeast infection), mood swings and even depression if there are other causes involved!
What happens to your body during menopause?
Menopause is a natural part of life. It’s when your ovaries stop producing eggs and the uterine lining (called the endometrium) starts to thin out, making it harder for a fertilized egg to implant in your uterus.
Menopause can happen any time between age 40 and 60, but most women experience it around age 50-55. The body’s production of estrogen declines as you go through menopause, which causes symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats–but also changes in moods! If you’re having trouble remembering all these symptoms because they seem so normal for being menopausal, don’t worry: You’re not alone!
How does it affect your gut health?
Menopause is a natural process that occurs in women as they age. It can be defined as the gradual cessation of menstruation and the beginning of menopause. Menstrual cycles are controlled by hormones, which decrease with time. As these hormones decrease, there’s less stimulation for your body to produce estrogen and progesterone (the two main female hormones).
When you’re experiencing menopause, you might notice several changes in your body:
- Your periods become irregular or stop altogether
- You experience hot flashes (a symptom of low estrogen levels) that make night sweats more likely
- Your skin becomes dryer or flakey due to an increase in underarm sweating; dehydration from this can lead to darkening underarms color if left untreated
Changes in the microbiome over time.
As you age and your body changes, the microbiome will also change. Changes in the microbiome are a natural part of aging and can be affected by diet, stress, environmental factors (like pollution) and more.
Menopause is a time when the female reproductive system shuts down and hormone production goes down — which means that estrogen levels decrease dramatically. As a result of these hormonal changes happening during menopause — along with other factors like weight gain or loss — there may be some changes in your gut microbial community as well! This could mean an increase in inflammation if you weren’t already experiencing it before menopause (which is what happens when our immune systems get triggered).
Excess estrogen can damage the lining of your intestines.
Estrogen can cause damage to the lining of your intestines, which can lead to inflammation. Inflammation is a process that causes redness and swelling, and it’s often associated with pain or discomfort. When you have gut inflammation, it may cause food allergies or intolerances (such as rosacea).
In addition to causing gut issues like this, estrogen has also been shown to impact your microbiome–the bacteria living in your digestive system (and elsewhere on your body). Your microbiome plays an important role in maintaining health by helping regulate digestion and immune function; however, when estrogen levels rise due to menopause or other factors like pregnancy or breastfeeding (or sometimes even just from stress), it can disrupt how healthy these microbes are able become over time so they don’t function properly anymore!
It makes you more susceptible to food allergies and intolerances.
- It makes you more susceptible to food allergies and intolerances.
Allergies are common during menopause, but they can be difficult to diagnose because many women don’t recognize that they’re having an allergic reaction until it’s too late. If you think your symptoms might be caused by an allergy or intolerance, try keeping a food diary for three days and noting what foods make your digestive system go haywire (and which ones don’t). The more often you eat the same foods out of season or in excess quantities, the more likely it is that there will be a reaction later down the line–especially if those foods contain certain additives like preservatives or artificial flavors (which have been shown to cause digestive issues).
It can also cause inflammation if you don’t take care of it.
As you age, your gut health can become compromised by a number of factors. For example, it’s possible that you may be eating a lot less fiber and more processed foods as menopause approaches. This can lead to an imbalance in the bacteria in your digestive tract that can cause inflammation and increased risk for chronic conditions like heart disease or some types of cancer.
One way to prevent this kind of damage is by taking probiotics regularly (you should take at least 1 billion per day). Probiotics help replenish good bacteria while also keeping unhealthy ones out of the body so they don’t thrive inside your gut wall like they might otherwise do if allowed access through poor diet choices or stressful lifestyles
How do I keep my gut healthy during menopause?
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Eat foods that are high in fiber, such as raw fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts.
- Drink plenty of water to help you feel full and avoid overeating (water is also important for keeping your body hydrated).
- Exercise regularly–at least 30 minutes per day–and work up to 60 minutes three times per week if possible; this helps build muscle mass which in turn leads to better digestion! Exercise also decreases stress levels which can contribute to digestive problems like constipation or diarrhea; plus it just feels good!
- Get enough sleep – seven hours per night should be enough for most people but if you need more please talk with your doctor about getting some extra rest during menopause since they may recommend taking melatonin supplements at night time instead of sleeping pills which contain chemicals known as benzodiazepines that may cause side effects such as drowsiness/sleepwalking etcetera (we’ll talk more about these later on).
You should make a conscious effort to treat your digestive system during this period of change in order to keep it healthy and functional for years to come
A healthy diet is important for gut health. You should eat a variety of whole foods, like fruits and vegetables, as well as fiber-rich whole grains such as oats or barley. Avoid processed foods that contain fructose syrup (like high fructose corn syrup) or sugary drinks like soda.
You may also want to consider getting more sleep each night so that you can rest your digestive system during menopause. Getting enough sleep will help keep your hormones in check and make sure your body has time to heal itself from any damage caused by hormonal changes during this time period of life (think PMS). Exercise regularly–it’s one of the best ways we know how! Exercising helps release endorphins which are responsible for reducing stress levels throughout our bodies; this can reduce symptoms like bloating due its role in improving digestion.*
If you’re ready to start a new chapter in your life, then go for it. Just remember that you have to make a conscious effort to treat your digestive system during this period of change in order to keep it healthy and functional for years to come.