Can the menstrual cycle affect IBS symptoms?

Can my menstrual cycle be affecting my IBS symptoms?

And in so many words, yes, it can. So how does this kind of work? So we know that the majority of our body works on hormones. And whenever we're looking at our periods, we're looking at our sex hormones.

So when the body is going into two weeks a week before our menstrual cycle, we have a reduction in the progesterone. And this causes the lining of the uterus to shed, which enables us to bleed month in and month out. Obviously, unless we are pregnant. This can often cause us to bloat. For some of us, we may notice that we bloat a week before. Some of us may notice that after one or two days of our period, the bloat isn't there anymore. We may notice looser stools. We may notice that we are more constipated. All of these changes are happening in the system.

And first of all, I just want to highlight that your body is amazing. And the fact that we are able to grow a life every 28 days or be able to do that every 28 days is really amazing. So try to go easy on yourself if you're dealing with these symptoms, but what can we do to manage those symptoms? One thing that the science is showing us is that those who have diets rich in salt can often see more of these symptoms of bloating around that time of the month. So really looking into the salt in your diet, making sure that you're keeping up with the fluids, really increasing your fluids and adding more fruits and vegetables into the diet, too.

Simone Venner

Nutritionist specialising in IBS

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