Menopause and Constipation


Menopause is a common state that every woman experiences in a certain period of her life. It is not a disease, but a natural change that happens with ageing. It is accompanied by a drastically decreased level of sex hormones, especially estrogen and progesterone. This phenomenon therefore causes changes in a female body which especially affect the brain, skin, mucosa, bones and blood vessels. The most common symptoms of menopause are depression, lethargy and poor concentration, and changes in appetite, fatigue, insomnia, hot flashes, weight gain, loose skin, reduced libido, and dry mucosa. According to some research, the changes also affect the digestive tract. We are going to find out more about them in this article.

How does menopause affect the digestive system?

Some women also have problems with digestion, constipation and bloating during menopause. The reasons for that are not entirely clear, but different theories exist. Possible causes are a low level of estrogen and progesterone, as well as reduced physical activity, taking certain medications and stress as a very important factor. Some studies suggest that elevated levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, can cause slow movement of food through the digestive tract.

Other causes of constipation during menopause?

Besides the hormones, constipation in menopause can be caused by weakened pelvis muscles which make defecation more difficult, especially when the stool is hard and dry.

We should not ignore the fact that the transition to the third stage of adulthood is often accompanied by taking medications that might cause constipation. Many women in that stage take medications for high blood pressure, iron preparations, thyroid medications, antacids with calcium and aluminum and anti-depressants.

All these medications can have slow digestion and constipation as a side-effect. Imbalanced diet, lack of activity and emotional stress additionally contribute to all the problems, including the digestive ones.

An active elderly couple on a bike ride in autumn nature.

How to fight slow digestion in menopause?

Proper diet is a factor that can help stimulate digestion in many ways. Food rich in phytoestrogens, i.e. plant-based compounds that mimic estrogen in the body, is important for alleviating the consequences of menopause. It includes:

  • flax seeds,
  • chickpeas,
  • lentils,
  • beans,
  • dill,
  • celery,
  • parsley and
  • garlic.

Besides phytoestrogen, these foodstuffs are also rich in dietary fiber that is essential for regular digestion.

We should not forget that the first step in treating constipation is to change eating habits, and an adequate intake of fiber plays a crucial role. Recommended intake of fiber per day is 25 to 30 g, and a combination of soluble and insoluble fiber is ideal. At the same time, it is necessary to gradually increase the intake of fruit and vegetables, whole-grain cereals, and legumes because, otherwise, side-effects, such as bloating and stomach pain, might occur. It is also important to drink enough water and moderately exercise. Exercise can help fight constipation, and it is also excellent for stress prevention.

A caring granddaughter is feeding her grandma with refreshing vegetables. She is preparing summer lunch together with another granddaughter.

If changes in the diet and lifestyle do not help, the next step is generally a treatment with osmotic laxatives. They “attract” water from the intestinal wall, so the stool volume increases by three to five times. This creates a pressure on the intestinal wall which stimulates peristalsis, i.e. bowel movements.

Donat: great help also in menopause

Donat helps overcome digestive problems during menopause in a completely natural way. It is natural mineral water, and it has been clinically proven that it regulates digestion. Donat is a natural osmotic laxative that does not cause addiction nor has harmful effects. Since it works on the osmosis principle, the only side-effect can be diarrhea or loose stools. In that case, the dose should be reduced to avoid any excess excretion of fluids and electrolytes from the body.

Together with a diverse and balanced diet, sufficient fluid intake and exercising, Donat is of great help in solving the problem of slow digestion and constipation.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the most common symptoms of menopause?

The most common symptoms of menopause include depression, reduced level of concentration, reduced appetite, fatigue, hot flashes, weight gain, loose skin, reduced libido, and dry mucosa.

2. Does menopause also affect digestion?

Some women also experience problems with slow digestion, bloating, and constipation during menopause.

3. Why do problems with digestion occur during menopause?

The reasons for poor digestion during menopause are still not entirely clear. The most probable ones are reduced level of estrogen and progesterone hormones, reduced physical activity, impact of certain medications and stress. The usual causes are an imbalanced diet and weakened pelvic muscles, which additionally makes defecation difficult, especially if the stool is hard and dry.

4. What to do in case of constipation during menopause?

The first step is to change the diet, i.e. it is necessary to make sure there is an adequate intake of fiber and fluids. It is also important to eat phytoestrogen-rich food, i.e. plant-based compounds that mimic estrogen in the body. They can be found in flax seeds, chickpeas, lentils, beans, parsley, dill, and garlic. If changes in the lifestyle do not help, the next step is a treatment with osmotic laxatives which attract water from the intestinal wall and soften the stool.

5. How can Donat help with constipation in menopause?

Donat mineral water is a completely natural osmotic laxative which increases the volume of the stool due to an above-average sulphate content, and on the other hand, softens the intestinal muscles with the help of magnesium. This way it facilitates the travel of waste through the digestive tract and its excretion.

Choose chapter:

How to Effectively Manage Stress through Nutrition for a Healthy Digestive System