Can menopause affect my IBS flare ups by making them worse?

Can menopause affect my IBS flare up by making them worse?

So yes, I see this actually really commonly in my clinic. A lot of my menopauseal patients have a sort of flare up of their IBS symptoms around menopause. And it does seem that menopause often worsens food sensitivities, particularly to fatty foods.

So often women have more indigestion. I find in practice, those women that have aggravation of IBS have often got some underlying digestive problems, too. So quite commonly, SIBO, which is small intestinal bowel overgrowth. And I would do a microbiome stool test for that or SIBO breath test, and that often needs treating with dietary advice and supplementation and correcting the gut flora imbalance. So the other thing that may be aggravating it around menopause is if there's increased anxiety or stress and changes in emotional mental health.

Obviously, that may also aggravate IBS type symptoms. So the correlation can often be quite complex. And I would advise that if those two things are flaring up together, you see a functional medicine or integrative medicine doctor who can help you to understand the root cause of the problem.

Dr Sally Moorcroft

Specialist in Integrative and Functional Medicine

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