Nausea was one of the first symptoms that I noticed along with anxiety, joint pain and fatigue.
I would eat a small plate of something and then feel a wave of unexplained nausea come over me. At the same, my metabolism was slowing down so I was beginning to put on weight; my breasts were sore and tender and along with the nausea and upset stomach I also had heart burn. The last time I felt anything like that, I was pregnant with my daughter Anaïs! Accompanying that thought was a surge of panic. At 49, I hadn’t even thought about having another child and was quite terrified by the prospect.
I took a pregnancy test which confirmed that I wasn’t pregnant (thank goodness) but that only left me with more questions. If I wasn’t pregnant, just what was happening to my body? Along with all the other symptoms I was experiencing, I felt like I was falling apart.
What causes Digestive Problems and Nausea?
When estrogen drops, cortisol (the stress hormone) levels rise. This raises your blood sugar and pressure levels, and lowers the production of stomach acids, causing an upset stomach. Adrenalin levels also shoot up when estrogen drops and this switches off your digestive system.
Nausea often occurs during perimenopause, and in the morning which can make you think you have morning sickness and thank you might be pregnant. Digestive problems range from constipation, excess wind, weight gain, abdominal pain, and more.
My Top Tips
Avoid fatty and fried foods.
In my twenties, I could eat absolutely anything. I could trough down any old junk and still fit into that little black dress on a Friday night. Sadly, those days are well behind me and although a side of chips is always tempting, fatty and fried foods can wreak havoc on your digestion, especially if you’re sensitive to heartburn and acid reflux.
Regulate your fibre intake.
Because digestive problems range from constipation to bloating, your fibre intake should be adjusted according to your symptoms. Fibre from whole grains and fruits can clean up and clear your digestive tract, eliminating constipation. However, if you’re feeling bloated and gassy, it’s best to reduce your fibre intake.
Eat slowly and thoroughly.
If you’ve got a busy day, it might seem smart to grab a quick snack or lunch to go. But eating on the go means your body is focused on providing you energy to move, rather than focusing energy on digestion! Taking your time to eat and making sure you’ve chewed your food thoroughly means your body has to work less hard to digest.
Probiotics are great for regulating the “good” bacteria in your digestion system. They can be found naturally in yoghurts, but if you’re lactose-intolerant or vegan, then there are plenty of supplement options you can take. I tend to stick to plant protein and digestive enzymes.
Water is key to keeping your digestive system in order, since water is used in the digestion process to help transport nutrients through the body and keep things flowing. If your nausea has led to actual vomiting, consider beverages that include electrolytes to replenish your body like coconut water.