The muscular layer of the bowel wall is sensitive to sex hormones. A deficiency of the hormone, oestrogen, in women especially during and after the menopause stops the muscular contractions of the gut, preventing the bowel from effectively moving matter forward.
The bowel, can become distended, bloated and full of gas causing severe pain. Eventually the bowel will contract in reaction to the increased diameter causing spasms and further pain and there may be segments of the bowel which have spastic contractions before and after the swollen sections.
As faecal matter is not moving forward, it remains in the bowel and water is absorbed from it so that it becomes harder and therefore even more difficult to move forward. Early morning or, indeed, constant nausea may occur along with a metallic taste in the mouth and constipation and occasional diarrhoea (IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
Many women experience a marked increase in bowel related symptoms after carbohydrate or sugar load which may be perceived as being due to allergy to a particular food product. Instigating changes such as reduction in some carbohydrates especially wheat, can affect the hormone profile leading to improved bowel symptoms.
At the Surrey Park Clinic we will evaluate your symptoms to get a clearer picture of the causes of bowel discomfort and will advise on dietary and hormone treatments to improve the bowels natural function and relieve pain and bloating.