Hi I just registered here and was hoping someone could maybe tell me what's going on!
First off I'm approaching 49 and have not had a period now for 5 months, no spotting, nothing. This is the longest I've ever gone without a period. Prior to my last period it was pretty erratic - and I could go 25 days or 60 days without a period.
Anyway, I mostly feel fine - I do periodically get hot flashes during the day, haven't experienced any that have woken me up at night.
My problem however is that for the past week and a half I have had some very different (for me) bowel issues. I don't have the flu, I haven't traveled out of the country recently and I don't feel nauseous at all. I've never had digestive issues before other than the occasional diarrhea/food poisoning kind of stuff. So this is different for me and of course I want to figure out what it is.
I'm not eating odd food, just whatever I normally eat, but every morning, except one, for the past week and a half I have had semi-diarrhea, then feeling constipated (yet can't go) and then have that constipated feeling for several hours following. Usually by mid-day that goes away and I feel fine for the rest of the day. Next morning, get up and it starts all over again. Also an increase in gassiness, which had started prior to this digestive stuff.
I'm going to go see my gyn but that appointment is still a few weeks away. Just figured I'd throw this out there to see if anyone can explain, offer any similar experience/advice, etc. THANK YOU!
Last edited by mod-anon; 03-11-2009 at 10:58 PM.
Reason: starting a new thread with this post.
Welcome wwchi, You have come to the right place to chat about these issues that come up. It sounds like you are peri menopausal and many time women start to have digestion problems. You might try and find a digestive enzyme that helps you, I have been taking one for a couple years now and it has helped me. You might consider a very bland diet for a few days and see if it helps to clean up the semi-diarrhea issues. Hope that helps some, keep checking back and ask what ever you need to.
Last edited by mod-anon; 03-11-2009 at 10:59 PM.
Reason: changing title
I saw your message and thought I'd recommend for you to get some magnesium. Also increase your green vegetables and eat more fiber rich foods. Do you drink coffee? If so, coffee decreases the magnesium in your body and can make you constipated. Your body will know when it has enough magnesium because you'll end up with diarreha. Also, salmon and fish oils are a good way to get your system moving. "P" fruits - pears, pineapple, etc. are also good. Bananas have magnesium in them but watch that they don't cause binding. Use them if you're getting the runs. The BRAT diet - Bananas, rice, apples & toast - is for the runs. Exercise is also good for getting your insides working. Drink a lot of water too. Keep hydrated. Water washes everything through.
Mmmmm quite weird eh ? But then again your body is changing gear, steaming along into old age hahahaha (I'm the same) so maybe it's like an old boiler whirling, screeching, gasping, wheezing to stop the things that it's been used to doing for 30 years or so and you're having a clear out (so to speak). Just see what the doc. says but I'm sure it's nout to worry about.
I can totally relate! I am 44 and have developed digestive issues and IBS over that past couple of years. I literally have to watch everything I eat. Ha! Which I don't always do and pay the price. I firmly believe it is perimenopause. After 40 all these little ailments started happening to me. ugh!
I even had an endoscopy done and they found nothing wrong in there.
I take digestive enzyme capsules with a good portion of my meals and a probiotic pill. I also try to get that in my yogurt. This all helps but doesn't mean you won't suffer with these inconviniences. Just part of the change I guess.
Hormones and hormonal flucuations do affect the gut. I've experienced it and I've had two Drs confirm it.
For those of us with IBS, it is always worse just before our period and most women who have had a total hysterectomy have horrible digestive issues from the lack of hormones. Once they get their hormones regulated via HRT things usually settle down.
Did you not have any problems during perimeno? My mom did not (only mild hot flashes and heavy periods) but my grandmother had a horrible time. She ended up bedridden. Of course back in her day there wasn't much Drs could do to help the transition. She eventually was OK and lived to be 90!
Last edited by Chantal231; 03-16-2009 at 11:55 AM.
I have never come across any scientific literature that suggests (much less proves) that bowel problems are caused by menopause. If anyone can post an allowed government or university site, I would be very interested in perusing the studies.
For those of you interested in learning more about menopause, the following government links may be a helpful place to start...please note there is no mention of bowel problems as a symptom of menopause.
What a doctor says can be open for interpretation. For the sake of time and money, they may abridge comments and the meaning may get changed. Other times, they simply haven’t kept up with the scientific literature as they are too busy developing their “practice”. I have found that some of the best medical experts lack basic health info…for that reason, I no longer take their word until I check out the information myself...but I rely on government and university info only.
My concern for those of you who are attributing your bowel issues to menopause, is that you and your doctors may be overlooking another condition, perhaps, something more serious.
Last edited by bethsheba; 03-19-2009 at 07:51 AM.
The following link lists 240 sources addressing a change in bowel habits. Again, my concern is that if someone and their doctor assumes the change is due to menopause, the real cause of the problems may be overlooked...and in some cases this could be deadly.
I also have to disagree with Beth, I have talked to my Doctor and read plenty of books about perimenopause and changes in hormones bring on digestive issues and part of that is IBS issues. So I have to stand firm on that.
bethsheba, It is always a good thing to do the research and feel comfortable with the knowledge you gain, but I trust my body way more then I will ever trust the government to tell me what is going on with me during menopause. I found the web sites you sent interesting though. I agree that we need to find out what is going on so something is not overlooked but most of the time that involves many many doctor appointments with not answers. Thanx
Julie, you are so right about many Drs with no answers and I might add many tests too with no answers. They all equal a lot of money, anxiety and frustration.
I believe one very important fact needs to be pointed out: we are talking about PERI menopause and not menopause, at least that is what I'm referring to. The "pause" before the "pause" when our hormones are fluctuating wildly and our bodies are not quite sure what to do.
Digestive issues are worse then because of the hormonal fluctuations and yes, they do sometimes improve once a woman is fully menopausal. I'm hoping I feel better once my periods stop and I'm off this hormone rollercoaster.
There are hormone receptors in every organ of our bodies which is why, I believe, peri is such a difficult time.
Yes Chantal, you are correct, we are actually referring to Peri-Menopause. I didn't type that earlier but sure meant to. It is when our hormones are the most up and down. I hope you feel better soon.