Dietary approaches for banishing the bloat in menopause

If I was given a dollar from every menopausal client that has mentioned, they feel so bloated that they look ‘six months pregnant ‘I would have enough money to book a return trip to Bali. In addition to the bloating, clients often mention they feel sluggish due to being constipated and/or have reflux. This is due in part to the decline in oestrogen levels at menopause, as oestrogen is important in motility and integrity of the gut lining and the microbiome.

There are oestrogen receptors throughout the body, including the cells of the digestive tract, or intestinal barrier.  The barrier is maintained by oestrogen, as oestrogen has a role in the synthesis of collagen a building block of skin and the gut lining. The cells in the digestive tract are joined together by tight junctions and with reduced oestrogen this barrier may be compromised increasing the risk of intestinal permeability (or leaky gut syndrome). When the lining is permeable the passage of bacteria, toxins and undigested food particles enter the bloodstream, provoking an immune response (resulting in allergies and/autoimmunity).

Additionally, oestrogen has been found to contribute to the diversity of our gut microbiome, and a reduction of oestrogen may have adverse effects on our health including on our immune function, mood and skin health. Therefore, eating a plant rich diet, in which you should aim to consume a minimum of 40 different foods a week, such as different types of rice, varieties of apples, herbs and spices will improve the diversity of your microbiome through the increase of fibre and prebiotics which feed beneficial bacteria. By looking after our gut flora, we then promote the synthesis of B vitamins, serotonin and promote the excretion of toxins for better gut and overall health.

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