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Team Inspiriko - May 2023

Menopause & Gut Health: How to Improve Your Gut Health During Menopause

Did you know there’s a close relationship between your gut health and those pesky menopause symptoms that plague your life? Now, before you raise an eyebrow, picture this: your body decides it's time to hit the pause button on your monthly cycles, bid farewell to Aunt Flo, and send you off on a rollercoaster ride of hormonal shifts.

But here's the twist: menopause isn't just about hot flashes and mood swings. It can also give your gut a little shake-up, affecting all aspects of your health and well-being. In this article, we’ll explore the relationship between menopause and gut health and give you some tips on how to improve your gut health during menopause.

Unveiling the Hidden Connection: Menopause & Gut Health

Menopause is all about hormone change. As your estrogen levels start to do the limbo dance, your gut bacteria also get a little restless, and symptoms start to appear. These tiny microbes live in your gut in a perfect balance and have a profound effect on your overall health, influencing everything from your immune system to your mood (1). And estrogen plays a crucial role in maintaining their balance, as it helps promote the growth of beneficial bacteria and inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria.

Thus, the decline in estrogen levels during menopause can lead to alterations in the composition of the microbiome, and of your health as a result. Specifically, there tends to be a decrease in the abundance of beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium and an increase in potentially harmful bacteria (2).

So, taking care of your gut health can be a game-changer when it comes to managing the rollercoaster of menopause symptoms.

Tips for Nurturing Your Microbiome during Menopause

As you can see, your gut will need a helping hand to stay balanced and healthy during menopause. For this, it's all about maintaining a balanced and varied diet, packed with fiber and probiotics (3).

Fibre, the hero of gut health can add moisture to the stool, preventing constipation and promoting regular bowel movements, among other benefits.

If you want to increase your intake of fibre, you should embrace these foods:

● Whole grains like quinoa and brown rice, 
● Fruits and veggies like berries, leafy greens, and cruciferous vegetables,
 ● Legumes like black beans, peas, and lentils,
● Nuts and seeds, like almonds, chia seeds, and flaxseeds.

These dietary wonders are not only packed with fiber but also loaded with essential nutrients that support your overall health. Now, let's shine the spotlight on probiotics, the friendly bacteria that boost your gut's resilience and aid digestion. For this, you can start eating more fermented foods, such as:

● yogurt,
● kefir,
● sauerkraut,
● and kimchi

All of these are probiotic powerhouses that can bring harmony to your gut by populating your gut with beneficial bacteria (4). But wait, there's more! To keep your gut happy during menopause, it's essential to avoid certain foods that can aggravate gut issues, such as:

Spicy and greasy foods: Spicy foods and high-fat, greasy foods can trigger or exacerbate digestive symptoms such as acid reflux, heartburn, and gastrointestinal discomfort.
Carbonated beverages: Carbonated drinks, including sodas and sparkling water, can cause bloating and gas
High-lactose dairy products: Some individuals may develop lactose intolerance during menopause, which means they have difficulty digesting lactose, the sugar found in milk and dairy products.

And let's not forget about stress management. Stress is like a villain that can wreak havoc on your gut, disrupting the delicate balance of your gut bacteria. So, take time for self-care, practice mindfulness, engage in activities you love, and do your best to lower your stress levels. Your gut—and your sanity—will thank you!

Finally, staying hydrated is essential for promoting healthy digestion, helping to move things along, and preventing any hiccups along the way. For example, hydration plays a crucial role in the absorption of nutrients (5), allowing them to be absorbed into the bloodstream and transported to the body's cells.

Supplements for Optimal Gut Health During Menopause

Natural supplements and other remedies can also help support your gut health during the journey of menopause. First, you have probiotic supplements which can provide you with a powerful punch of beneficial bacteria, offering a convenient way to replenish and rebalance your gut flora.

Next up, let's talk fibre supplements like Love Thy Gut. Sometimes, getting enough fibre from your diet alone can be a challenge, so fibre supplements are a convenient and easy way to ensure you're meeting your daily goals, supporting healthy digestion, and keeping your gut bacteria happy. Psyllium husk, acacia fiber, and glucomannan are popular options that can be mixed into smoothies, sprinkled on your morning cereal, or stirred into a glass of water.

Also, herbal teas, like peppermint, chamomile, and ginger can offer soothing relief to your gut during menopause (6). Sip on a cup of herbal goodness after a meal, and let the herbs work their magic, easing bloating and promoting digestion!

Transformative Lifestyle Changes for Menopausal Gut Health

Maintaining a healthy gut during menopause is vital for overall well-being and can alleviate digestive discomfort. Fortunately, several lifestyle changes can positively impact gut health during this stage.
Regular exercise: Exercise promotes healthy digestion by increasing gut motility, which helps move food through the digestive system efficiently. It has been shown to reduce the risk of gastrointestinal issues such as constipation and bloating. Moreover, physical activity has been linked to a more diverse and balanced gut microbiome (7)!
Getting enough sleep: Also, a lack of sleep can disrupt the gut microbiome, leading to imbalances and increased susceptibility to digestive issues. Sleep deprivation has also been linked to changes in hunger hormones (8), which can affect appetite regulation and contribute to weight gain or unhealthy eating patterns.
Quitting smoking: Smoking has numerous detrimental effects on your gut health, as it can exacerbate acid reflux, peptic ulcers, and inflammatory bowel disease. Also, smoking disrupts the balance of gut bacteria, reduces blood flow to the intestines, and impairs the healing process of the gut lining.

So, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day, get at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night by practicing good sleep hygiene, and seek support to quit smoking successfully and improve your gut health today!

The Bottom Line

Menopause is a natural and transformative phase in a woman's life that often brings about a myriad of changes, both physical and emotional. While the commonly known symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, and changes in hormonal balance are often discussed, it's important not to overlook the impact menopause can have on gut health.

By focusing on improving your gut health during this transformative phase, you can bid farewell to uncomfortable bloating, unpredictable bathroom visits, and those moments when your stomach sounds like a forgotten drum kit. Improving your diet and making some lifestyle changes will not only enhance your physical comfort but also ensure a smoother journey through menopause.


1. Mörkl, S., Butler, M. I., & Lackner, S. (2022). Advances in the gut microbiome and mood disorders. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, Publish Ahead of Print.
2. Barrea, L., Verde, L., Auriemma, R. S., Vetrani, C., Cataldi, M., Frias-Toral, E., Pugliese, G., Camajani, E., Savastano, S., Colao, A., & Muscogiuri, G. (2023). Probiotics and Prebiotics: Any Role in Menopause-Related Diseases? Current Nutrition Reports.
3. Peters, B., Santoro, N., Kaplan, R., & Qi, Q. (2022). Spotlight on the Gut Microbiome in Menopause: Current Insights. International Journal of Women's Health, Volume 14, 1059–1072.
4. Bermúdez-Humarán, L. G., Salinas, E., Ortiz, G. G., Ramirez-Jirano, L. J., Morales, J. A., & Bitzer-Quintero, O. K. (2019). From Probiotics to Psychobiotics: Live Beneficial Bacteria Which Act on the Brain-Gut Axis. Nutrients, 11(4), 890.
5. Water after meals: Does it disturb digestion? (2022, May 25). Mayo Clinic.,%20drinking%20water%20during,softer,%20which%20helps%20prevent%20constipation.
6. Wang, J., Wang, P., Li, D., Hu, X., & Chen, F. (2019). Beneficial effects of ginger on prevention of obesity through modulation of gut microbiota in mice. European Journal of Nutrition, 59(2), 699–718.
7. Bressa, C., Bailén-Andrino, M., Pérez-Santiago, J., González-Soltero, R., Pérez, M., Montalvo-Lominchar, M. G., Maté-Muñoz, J. L., Domínguez, R., Moreno, D., & Larrosa, M. (2017). Differences in gut microbiota profile between women with active lifestyle and sedentary women. PLOS ONE, 12(2), Article e0171352.
8. SCHMID, S. M., HALLSCHMID, M., JAUCH-CHARA, K., BORN, J., & SCHULTES, B. (2008). A single night of sleep deprivation increases ghrelin levels and feelings of hunger in normal-weight healthy men. Journal of Sleep Research, 17(3), 331–334.