The digestive system is closely related to our menstrual cycle. Therefore, being aware of how it works can allow us to take appropriate measures to reduce any problems.
Female hormones, particularly estrogen and progesterone, have a substantial impact on the health of the digestive system. The passage of food through the intestines can be affected by hormonal imbalances, which sometimes accelerate the process and cause diarrhea, nausea and pain in the abdomen. In addition, there are situations in which the process slows down to the point of causing bloating and constipation.
Progesterone levels increase rapidly after ovulation. The hormone progesterone relaxes the muscles. It is even given to pregnant women to prevent premature labor, as it has calming properties powerful enough to prevent uterine contractions. However, this sedative effect can also cause constipation.
In actuality, this is another reason why pregnant women get constipation. Food may be challenging to digest during pregnancy because of the increased amounts of progesterone in the body.
Through peristalsis, stool moves through the digestive tract. The waves created by this process, which also involves the smooth muscles of the digestive system contracting and relaxing, enable the contents to descend.
Tips to avoid constipation during menstruation
- Refined carbohydrates, sugar, gluten, fried and processed foods should be eliminated from your diet.
- Add fiber: Fiber will help you move things along, so increase your intake of fruits, vegetables, flax, chia, hemp, lentils and other legumes.
- Hydrate: If you increase your fiber intake, it is imperative that you also increase your water intake. In addition, water is necessary for your digestive system to properly break down foods. One of the reasons for constipation is dehydration.