Can Hormone Imbalance Cause Digestive Problems?

Hormone imbalance due to perimenopause comes with a long list of physical and emotional ailments. Some more embarrassing than others.

If you’re dealing with constipation, diarrhea, bloating and excessive belching, you may be wondering: “Can hormone imbalance cause digestive problems?”

The answer is, yes. Fluctuating hormones due to perimenopause can absolutely cause digestive issues.

Take belching, for example.

Many perimenopausal women experience increased discomfort after eating. They may even experience an allergic reaction to certain foods and have difficulty breathing after. Other times, eating comes with excessive amounts of gas and belching.

And I when I say belching, I mean lots.

So much so that it can be hard to control. All that belching can make dinners out with friends embarrassing to say the least…

So what do you do?

Well, one option is to stop going out to dinner with friends all together. Just avoid the situation entirely and save yourself the embarrassment.

But that’s not what I would recommend. We need our friends and community to stay healthy and sane after all. Many functional medicine practitioners actually prescribe social contact to their ailing patients because they understand the benefits it provides. This need for family and friends becomes more crucial than ever during a woman’s perimenopause years.

A better solution to your digestive woes would be to get your diet and your hormones back on track. You may even want to do an elimination diet to see if you have any food sensitivities contributing to your digestive issues.

You would be surprised by how small changes to your diet can create lasting transformation in your health. The same quality foods that you put in your body will work double time to not only aid your digestion but to also to help stabilize fluctuating hormones during your perimenopause years.

So what kinds of food are good for your hormones and your stomach?

A good hormone boosting diet is not as complicated as you might think. A whole food, plant-based diet, rich in nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables is a good start.

But you don’t have to settle for eating salads all day long. Healthy fats like butter, eggs, ghee, coconut, avocado, olive and flax seed oils are all great for your health. You can even indulge in rich, yummy nuts and nut butters.

Meats and fish are also OK as long as they are organic and not filled with antibiotics and synthetic hormones. Try to eat some protein, plant-based or otherwise, at every meal.

So what foods should you avoid?

Almost anything packaged in a box. Sugar is your enemy, as is processed foods in general. Cheap refined carbs wreak havoc on your hormones so steer clear of those as well.

Sure, convenience foods make life easier but you pay a price with your health.

Eating a whole food diet may feel like more work in the beginning, but you quickly get used to it. And the pay off of lasting, vibrant health and reduced digestive problems make the little bit of effort, well worth it.

Five of the Best Foods for Perimenopause

Food has the power to heal. With the right diet and exercise plan, you can overcome many of the ailments that plague our culture today.

Treating severe perimenopausal symptoms is no different. You’ll find a number of foods that can help treat your body and balance your hormones without the help of synthetic drugs.

Below is my list of the top five best foods for perimenopause.

Top Five Best Foods for Perimenopause

#1. Salmon.

Salmon is rich in Omega 3 fats and protein, both of which are beneficial during your perimenopause years. Omega 3 not only helps manage those nasty hot flashes it also boosts your mood and supports brain health. The protein from fish and meat increases progesterone production in the body, balancing your hormones.

Try to avoid Atlantic farm-raised salmon as it contains PCB’s and other chemicals. Wild Pacific or organic salmon is your best bet and provides the most benefits.

#2. Flax.

Also rich in omega 3 fats and protein as well as fiber and antioxidants, flax helps alleviate gut issues and fights estrogen dominance.

Flax also contains something called lignans. Lignans are a type of phytoestrogen that has the power to block the xenoestrogens found in our environment. These xenoestrogen toxins contribute to estrogen dominance and aggravate your perimenopause symptoms. Lignans also help balance overall estrogen levels in your body and are great for breast health.

Add flax seed oil as a dressing to your salad and sprinkle ground or whole flax seeds into your yogurt, smoothies, granola or salads.

#3. Broccoli.

Broccoli, and other cruciferous vegetables like kale, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts contain a phytonutrient called indole 3 carbinol-(or I3C). Studies are still being done on I3C but researchers think that it may help ward off cancer. I3C also promotes liver detoxification and assists the body in burning fat. Because it helps block toxic estrogen found in our environment, I3C can promote hormone balance in the body.

But there are still other benefits found in adding more broccoli to your diet. Broccoli, along with broccoli seeds, fenugreek, cauliflower and fresh parsley, help decrease the amount of aromatase in the body. Aromatase is an enzyme, if in excess, that can produce too much estrogen in the body. Eating aromatase inhibitors like broccoli can help reduce estrogen dominance and alleviate severe perimenopause symptoms.

Eat broccoli and other cruciferous veggies raw, lightly steamed or fermented. You can also find a good quality I3C supplement to take.

#4. Eggs.

Egg yolks specifically are rich in healthy fats and protein- everything you need to promote progesterone and DHEA production in the body.

Don’t believe the notion that eating fat will make you fat. The opposite is actually true. Healthy fats boost your metabolism and help you to feel satiated for longer periods. Sugar, trans fats and hydrogenated oils are your real enemies in weight loss. If you’re looking to shed a few pounds, avoid those foods at all cost.

The fats and saturated fats found in eggs help build cell membranes, reduce inflammation and assist the body in hormone production. Exactly what you need during your perimenopause years.

#5. Pomegranates.

A powerhouse when it comes to fighting estrogen dominance, pomegranate seeds can block toxic estrogen in the body by up to 80%. Also great for breast health, pomegranates can prevent certain types of breast cancer cells from multiplying. Add them to your yogurt and smoothies.

How Does Infertility Affect You?

You never think that you will be the one to be an infertility statistic. This only happens to other people, not to you. But what happens when it does happen to you? How do you handle it?

Infertility can be a tough pill to swallow, metaphorically. Finding out that it is you that is unable to have children can have a deeply emotional effect on you. Although, it affects different people in different ways, you don’t have to be ashamed about it. There are many people going through the same thing you are going through. Think about it… if it was not that common how can there be fertility clinics that specialise in infertility. If there is a clinic and a doctor that is dedicated to infertility full time then there must be many people that have this issue. Therefore, you are not alone.

That being said, it doesn’t make the reality go away. It’s still a difficult situation to be in. You might feel sad, depressed or anxious. You could pity your situation and not want to talk to anyone about it because it feels like a low point for you. It is not a low point. There are alternative options to consider so you should talk to someone about your situation in order to find a solution.

You could feel indifferent and distant. Many people try to distance themselves from the reality and don’t want to think about the bad news. They go on living their lives and suppress all these emotions. It is healthier to deal with your emotions otherwise it can grow into deep-rooted problems in the future. Find a confidant that you can speak to. Speak to someone who won’t judge you and will be able to guide you and your emotions.

Infertility affects many people in different ways. However, there are medical advancements that can help you. There are various fertility treatments available. Visit a fertility clinic to find out what is the cause of infertility. Once all the tests have been run and the fertility doctor knows what the cause is, a course of treatment can be recommended. You will be given a plan and a schedule. The fertility doctor may recommend possible lifestyle changes in favour of your fertility. You may need to cut out certain bad habits or include specific foods in order to improve your chances. If you want to have a baby then you will need to make the necessary changes in order to improve your fertility.

Why Egg Freezing Can Be Critical in Getting Pregnant

If you ask married couples what is the most cherished gift of their relationship, then there answer will be their children. No matter which country you are from, welcoming a child comes with a common feeling of joy. This feeling can take a back seat when you are not able to get pregnant even after repeated tries. When you are trying for more than a year but not able to conceive, then the medical term infertility is used. It can cause a lot of mental stress. However, with the advancement of modern techniques, there are many treatment options for this condition. In many infertility cases, there is problem of eggs. There is an option of freezing of eggs in early years when eggs are produced in good quantity. To do this, you need to consult an egg freezing center.

Why eggs are frozen

Fertilization of egg is a step that is taken way before pregnancy. It is considered as a first step in getting pregnant at a later stage. Many women go ahead with this procedure as they don’t have an active male partner. This is the main reason why they haven’t started their family yet. In some cases, they put their career ahead and want to wait while having a child as it can be a hindrance. As they age, the likelihood of the egg getting developed decreases which leads to pregnancy issues. Eggs that are frozen don’t age or get old. The biological clock is stopped for them. Medical reasons also play a part in this. Cancer treatment directly affects the ovaries and can damage the eggs by causing premature menopause.

What is egg freezing?

Egg freezing is a procedure involving preservation of the woman’s eggs. These are harvested from the ovaries and stored for use in later stages of life. They are frozen in an unfertilized condition which is then thawed and combined with a sperm and implanted in the uterus of the woman during IVF to facilitate pregnancy. Eggs freezing is basically done as complication of infertility mostly occur due to germ cell deterioration. The uterus remains completely functional.

What are the risks associated?

Before going ahead with this procedure, your oocyte freezing center will tell you about all the risk that is accompanied with this procedure. Some of the common risks include –

• You should be emotionally ready because it is not 100 percent successful. There should not be any false hopes. The process in itself is a positive and empowering step but not completely risk free.

• You are given fertility drugs which can cause some medical conditions. Use of injectable fertility drugs causes ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome leading to mild abdominal pain, bloating and nausea. Rarely, fluids get build up and there is shortness of breath too.

• There can also be egg retrieval procedure complications. Needle used in retrieving the egg causes bleeding and infection to the bowel, bladder or a blood vessel.

How do you prepare for the procedure?

Before the process begins, egg freezing centers will have some screening methods. Ovarian reserve testing is done to determine the quantity as well as quality of your eggs. The results which will come out will help in determining how the ovaries will respond to fertility medications. You will also be screened for certain diseases such as HIV. After all the tests are done, you can ask the doctor all the doubts that you have.

How is the procedure performed?

There are two methods to freeze the eggs –

• Slow freeze method – in this procedure, low concentrations of cryoprotectants are used. As soon as the metabolic rate of the eggs is reduced, concentration is increased.

• Vitrification – In this procedure, high initial concentrations of cryoprotectants are combined with cooling at a fast rate. This is done so that intracellular ice crystals are not formed.

Natural Remedies for Hormonal Problems in Women

Hormonal problems are something that a woman can face at any stage in her life. The hormones play a very important role in the functioning of the body as well as the many processes going inside your body. Hormonal problems occur when the secretion of hormones get imbalanced, which implies that either the secretion gets increased or decreased. However there are many natural remedies for hormonal problems in women which you will find very helpful. Some of the effective remedies are given here:

Chaste tree

This is one of the most popular and used herb for treating hormone related problems. Chaste tree acts on the pituitary gland in the brain, normalizing the release of both follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). It has a great effect on the imbalanced cycle as it would shorten a cycle that has continued for a longer period than natural and in the same way, would lengthen your short cycle. It has also been found very effective for treating the emotional repercussions of PMS, as it reduces the weariness and irritability as well as takes good care of symptoms such as spotting, sore breasts, painful or missed periods as well as of painful ovulation. Premenstrual acne can also be treated by this herb. Apart from all this, chaste tree has also been found very effective for treating excess of estrogen.

Shatavari

This is a great herb with effective action as a regenerative and restorative agent on the female body. It helps in balancing the female hormonal system. Shatavari nurishes and cleanse the blood and can take care of your complete reproductive system, thus improving, your fertility, libido, as well as lactation. This herb is also effective in reducing stress and relieving you of pain caused due to hormonal problems.

White Peony

When used with licorice, this herb acts as one of the best natural remedies for hormonal problems in women. Some of the major hormonal problems which this herb can take care of are: fibroids, irregular periods, painful periods, heavy periods, endometriosis, as well as high level of estrogens and androgens. This herb also works as a relaxant of muscles, and is known for improving memory also.

Calendula

This herb, with a detoxifying action, is a great way to regulate the female system of reproduction and can also relieve you of painful periods while also curing the excess of estrogen. This has also been found to have a great remedying effect on the digestive system, while also strengthening your immune system and curing acne, which hormonal imbalance can cause.

Ladies Mantle

No matter what hormonal problem you are facing, painful periods, endometriosis or painful periods, this one herb is going to efficiently treat them all. It can also stimulate the menstrual flow in the event of a missed period.

Pasque flower

Hormonal problems can cause a lot of pain to you in your reproductive system. This herb has a strong and effective anti-spasmodic and analgesic action, which can help you in getting relieved of the pain during periods or ovulation. This herb also acts as a great tonic for a soothing action on your nervous system, helping you when you are feeling depressed, emotional or exhausted.

In addition to above herbal remedies to cure hormonal imbalance among women, there are certain golden rules for women such as proper sleeping pattern, nutritious food, light exercises, avoiding caffeine, toxins and polyunsaturated fats and consuming enough supplements.