How Common is Nausea and Cramps During Menopause?
Menopause is kind of the last hurrah for a woman’s reproductive organs. This is essentially the end of her ability to have a child and during the course of menopause the body will produce its final eggs, hormonal production will shift tremendously, and a wide range of different side effects will occur because of the hormonal changes. Most women are already aware of things like mood swings and irritability, but along with this a number of other issues will often occur. Cramps and nausea are two common ones, and coping with them can be difficult for some – especially if they’re very intense.
Digestive issues are quite common among women going through menopause, and include other issues like gas, bloating, and indigestion. But nausea is one of the more uncomfortable problems, and the cramps can be unpleasant as well. Understanding more about just what is triggering these issues is important.
During menopause, progesterone production and estrogen production are both seriously altered. Each of these can have a very real impact on a woman’s nausea levels.
- Progesterone – Progesterone helps to keep the levels of sugar and electrolytes in the body balanced. When menopause occurs and the production of these compounds is altered and reduced, nausea often follows closely behind.
- Estrogen – Estrogen is responsible for even more bodily functions. It can control digestion, affect the production of bile, and more. When its creation is reduced, nausea also occurs.
As for cramping, the causes of cramping vary greatly. Any woman who has gone through a menstrual cycle has likely experienced cramps. These are triggered by surges in hormones, and when menopause occurs and those hormone levels practically go crazy, it’s not hard to see just why cramping can occur.
Managing the nausea and cramping is sometimes as simple as making a few lifestyle changes to help your body cope with the changes it is going through. The following could help.
- Drinking lots of water and juice can help to build up electrolyte levels and restore them properly.
- Avoiding foods with high sugar content can help manage blood sugar levels.
- Reducing caffeine can help eliminate nausea.
- Avoid alcohol consumption as well.
- Eat plenty of omega 3 fatty acids.
- Add soy and fruits with high levels of phytoestrogens. This can help normalize hormone levels.
- Avoid greasy food since the gall bladder’s production of bile may not be adequate during menopause.
- Try to identify your trigger foods – foods that bring on a bout of nausea – and avoid them.
- Work on maintaining a healthy weight.
- Some herbal menopause supplements can help manage nausea – things like ginger, licorice, and black cohosh.
- Peppermint can also help reduce nausea levels.
- In severe cases, some doctors may recommend hormone therapy – but only as a last resort.
Nausea and cramps can make it even harder to deal with menopause. But with a few simple changes to your diet you may be able to reduce the frequency of nausea or cramping attacks and get the relief that you need.