Constipation is often characterized as having less than three full bowel motions in a given week. If it persists for three months or more, it is regarded as chronic. It can be challenging to completely empty your bowels when you are constipated. To eliminate the stool, you could feel like you need more assistance. Struggling to urinate and having firm, lumpy stools are further signs of constipation. It’s possible that you feel uneasy or sluggish in general.
In addition to menopause, there are many more common causes of occasional constipation. Even more than one cause may exist at once. Your menstrual cycles must have stopped for at least a year before you enter menopause. A decline in female hormones including estrogen and progesterone serves as a warning sign. Numerous parts of the body, particularly the digestive system, are impacted by these hormones. Some postmenopausal women have constipation as a result of this hormone reduction. However, during perimenopause, which occurs before menopause, changes in bowel habits can start.
Low levels of cortisol are one of the numerous things that estrogen is responsible for. The hormone cortisol is linked to stress. Cortisol levels increase as estrogen levels decrease. This may prolong the time it takes for food to break down by slowing down the digestive process. This might make passing stool more challenging. Your colon may become slower if you have insufficient progesterone. Your colon becomes dryer as food waste sits there for a longer period of time. Low levels of estrogen and progesterone are also associated with dryer stools.
The muscles in the pelvic floor are also weaker in some postmenopausal women. Stool elimination may be challenging as a result, especially if it is dry and firm.
Women who are older may also require drugs that indicate constipation as a potential side effect. Some blood pressure medications, iron supplements, thyroid meds, antidepressants, and calcium channel blockers are among these drugs.
Treatment options for constipation are numerous. Among them are dietary adjustments, digestion is typically sped up by consuming foods high in fiber and drinking enough of water. Constipation may be lessened or eliminated thanks to this. Try replacing some of your regular meals with high-fiber alternatives to see if anything changes.
Numerous over-the-counter and prescription drugs are available that could aid with constipation. Find out which of these might be appropriate for you by first speaking with your doctor. Your doctor can advise you on the best times of day to take them and how long you should take them for.
Constipation can be eased and bowel motions can be regulated with regular exercise. Aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity each day. Exercises for your pelvic floor may also be advantageous. Many of them are intended to enhance bowel and bladder function especially. Your pelvic floor muscles can be strengthened by performing certain Pilates exercises and yoga poses like Malasana.
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