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The Power of Good Gut Health in Perimenopause

By Joanna Lyall – Nutritional therapist Dip Nut, mBANT, CNHC

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Has the hormonal rollercoaster that is ‘menopause’ got you feeling like you're just not yourself? You're not alone! The journey through perimenopause can be a difficult one for many of us to navigate, bringing about all sorts of physical and emotional shifts thanks to our amazing, but sometimes unpredictable hormones.

The good news? We're starting to understand this transition more and more. Recent research has uncovered a little well-known connection between gut health and our menopause experience. And guess what? It shows that Improving your gut health can alleviate many of those unwanted symptoms.

In this blog, we'll be chatting with Joanna Lyall, Nutritional Therapist and Founder of  The Better Menopause about the ever-emerging science behind our hormones and their effect on the health of our gut during perimenopause. Jo will also share some practical tips on how you can take charge of your gut health and feel your best during this transition. So, grab a comfy seat, a glass of water, and let's dive in! 

What's your gut got to do with menopause?

Often referred to as our "second brain," the gut plays a vital role in various processes throughout our body, from digestion and metabolism to mood, heart and brain health; it's an integral organ to our overall sense of wellbeing throughout our lives. 

Recent studies have shown a fascinating connection between the gut microbiome (the community of bacteria in your gut) and the hormonal shifts that take place during menopause, when fluctuating hormone levels, in particular oestrogen, disrupt the delicate balance of the gut microbiome.

But why does this matter?

Quite simply, the hormonal fluctuations that disrupt the balance of the gut microbiome can cause your gut to function sub-optimally, interrupting many of the essential processes it performs daily. 

This disruption has been linked to being a contributing factor to many of the unwanted symptoms experienced during perimenopause such as, bloating, increased anxiety, brain fog and hot flushes to name just a few of the over 49 identified symptoms a woman can experience during this time.

Practical steps to support your gut health during perimenopause

The good news is there are so many ways you can support the health of your gut microbiome during this time to ensure it’s working optimally.

What can you do to support your gut health during perimenopause and beyond?

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Maintaining optimal gut health requires a daily commitment and a holistic approach to both diet and lifestyle, so I would always recommend the following:

  • Fibre power: Aim for at least 30g of fibre daily from sources such as flaxseeds, berries, and vegetables. This supports your gut health and facilitates the growth of beneficial bacteria.

For a fibre-rich breakfast try a smoothie with berries, banana, yoghurt, oats, plus some flax and chia seeds.

  • Probiotic and fermented food power: Incorporating yoghurt, kefir, and miso into your diet can improve digestion, mood, and hormonal balance.

Look for yoghurts with "Live Active Cultures" to ensure you're getting the probiotic benefits and stay away from anything with added sugars.

  • Protein power: Try to include protein in every meal for hormone production, Protein is also key for maintaining our energy level. Opt for lean meat, fish, and vegetarian sources like quinoa and nuts.

Aim for around 20-30 grams of protein per meal to keep you feeling satisfied and energised.

  • Healthy fat power: Consume omega-rich fats daily from sources like oily fish, avocados, almonds, and seeds to support hormone production and overall health, including your mood, skin, joints, hair, inflammation levels and brain function.

Adding a handful of almonds or a drizzle of avocado oil to your salad is a simple way to boost your intake of healthy fats.

  • Exercise power: Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise most days of the week to promote gut motility and reduce constipation, enhancing digestive health.

Regular exercise doesn't have to be strenuous. Brisk walking, swimming, or cycling are all excellent options.

  • Stress management power: Did you know that 90% of serotonin (the happy hormone) is made in our gut? The Gut-brain connection is another super important link, and we know that when we experience stress it causes our digestive system to slow down as cortisol levels rise and our body goes into a primal state of fight or flight. Techniques like deep breathing, yoga, or meditation can mitigate stress's impact on the digestive system and overall wellbeing.

Finding a stress management technique that works for you can significantly improve your gut health and overall wellbeing.

The Power of probiotics in menopause

We all lead busy lives, and it can be hard to commit to long-term dietary and lifestyle changes consistently. That's why, alongside a gastroenterologist and myself, The Better Menopause decided to formulate a daily probiotic with the specific strains of bacteria scientifically shown to be the most beneficial in supporting the gut health of menopausal women, and in doing so help to alleviate symptoms.

Introducing The Better Gut

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The award-winning Better Gut probiotic is a blend of 6 bacterial strains chosen specifically for their science-backed evidence in optimising the gut health of women during midlife and helping to relieve symptoms of menopause. 

We formulated the single daily capsule at a highly concentrated level of 50 billion CFUs, and conveniently, unlike most probiotics The Better Gut doesn't have to be refrigerated, meaning it is also travel-friendly.

The Better Gut Probiotic can help to alleviate:

  • Bloating
  • Digestive issues
  • Hot flushes
  • Brain fog
  • Anxiety
  • Vaginal discomfort, including thrush and recurrent UTIs
  • As well as helping to support bone health (vital post-menopause)

By focusing on maintaining optimal gut health during perimenopause you will then find that any other additional lifestyle changes or targeted supports you layer on top will work more effectively.

The bottom line on gut health in perimenopause 

Understanding the intricate relationship between our hormones and the gut microbiome opens a new avenue for managing menopause symptoms. By prioritising gut health through lifestyle adjustments and a targeted probiotic like The Better Gut, women can navigate menopause with a greater sense of wellbeing and confidence. 

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Perimenopause signifies the natural transition in a woman's life which many find challenging, however, with the right support and knowledge, it can be approached as an opportunity for renewed health and wellbeing.

Give The Better Gut a try for yourself!

Exclusive Offer: Get 20% off The Better Gut! Simply go to https://thebettermenopause.com/ and enter code WUKA20.