Perfect Poo in Perimenopause
Oh yes, as if perimenopause couldn't get any more glamorous..!
Anyway, you can always rely on SheBANG! to bring you everything you need to know about perimenopause, warts (poo) and all. We're not proud!
Okay, ready? Let's get into it...
During perimenopause, hormonal changes can lead to a variety of symptoms, including changes in bowel habits. Your poo can be a really good indicator of your overall health and raise little flags when something's not quite right.
For example, fluctuations in oestrogen levels can affect the gastrointestinal tract, leading to symptoms such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhoea. As well, hormonal changes can affect the gut microbiome, which can also impact your bowel movements.
Having a good poo (and on the regular), can help ensure you're getting rid of the stuff that doesn't serve your body like toxins - this all helps reduce the risk of inflammation and other health issues we really don't need right now!
So! What is your poo telling you?
The Bristol Stool Chart is used to classify the consistency and shape of human poo (developed by researchers at the University of Bristol, UK. The chart is widely used in clinical and research settings to assess bowel health).
Types 1 and 2 indicate constipation
Types 3 and 4 - ideal stools.
Types 5, 6, and 7 indicate varying degrees of diarrhea.
The Bristol Stool Chart can be helpful in monitoring your bowel movements and identifying any changes that may point to a potential health issue.
For example, if you typically have type 4 stools and suddenly experience type 1 or type 7 stools, it could indicate a problem with your digestive system that requires medical attention.
Generally speaking, poo that looks most like type 3 or 4 is considered to be normal, while bowel movements appearing like Type 7 could be suggestive of something that would need medical attention.
A persistent change in bowel habit, especially going to the toilet more often or having looser, more diarrhoea-like motions for several weeks can be a sign of something wrong and you should reach out to a medical practitioner.
How to Have Great Poo
Having a lovely regular bowel movement is important for overall digestive health, reducing perimenopausal inflammation, optimising your immune system and reducing perimenopausal symptoms. Here are some tips that could help:
- Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated can help keep stools soft and easy to pass.
- Nourish your body: Consuming a variety of fibrous fruits, vegetables, whole grains, good fats and lean proteins as they can provide the nutrients and fibre needed for healthy bowel movements.
- Exercise regularly: Physical activity can help stimulate bowel movements and promote overall digestive health.
- Establish a routine: Try to set aside time each day to use the bathroom, preferably after a meal when the body's natural gastrocolic reflex is strongest.
- Manage stress: Chronic stress can have a negative impact on digestive health, so finding ways to manage stress such as through meditation, yoga, or other relaxation techniques may help.
- Avoid ultra-processed foods: high in fat, sugar, and salt can be difficult to digest and may contribute to constipation.
- Eat pro and prebiotic foods: to support your gut microbiome which will promote healthy digestion and regular bowel movements. Here’s a post on eating for gut health.
- Avoid alcohol: booze damages the gut microbiome, and promotes inflammation and intestinal permeability.
How often should you be pooing?
The frequency of bowel movements will vary from woman to woman, but generally speaking, it's considered normal to have a bowel movement anywhere from one to three times a day to three times per week.
It's essential to pay attention to any changes in bowel habits, because sudden or persistent changes in frequency, consistency, or colour of stools can indicate a problem with the digestive system. If you’re experiencing anything unusual in your bowel habits or experiencing symptoms such as abdominal pain, bleeding, or weight loss, it's important to speak with a healthcare provider for further evaluation and treatment.
So, whilst there is no set frequency for decent bowel movements, it's important to be aware of any changes that are unusual for you and go and see your doctor.
Our SheBANG! Peri Chai Latte is loaded with collagen which is helpful in maintaining a healthy gut biome. Find out more here.