Digestive trouble is confusing, isolating and just miserable for men and women alike but women have some very special consequences to an “uncooperative” digestive system. Shedding some serious light on some fixes to this common source of inconvenient misery can return confidence in social situations and aid in avoiding a progression into more serious gut health concerns. Read on and watch as the Good, the Bad and the Ugly parts of especially troubling female digestive issues come into clear view.
Please understand that the digestive system is your friend. It keeps foreign invaders out of your bloodstream that cause inflammation leading to chronic pain, autoimmune disease, hormone disorders and more. Just imagine a smart and aggressive security guard watching over an entrance into a bank. The insides of the walls of the 30 feet of intestines do just that. Now imagine that these intestines are full of bacteria that serve some special purposes. These bacteria communicate directly with the brain in order to regulate the immune system just like the thermostat in your home regulates the temperature. Furthermore, these bacteria make crucial things that directly control our emotions and state of mind. These crucial things include dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine and serotonin circulate through the blood and stimulate nerves which control your emotions. You might quickly agree that you’d want these things to be in balance and to be up to the task of dealing with emotional stress. Please understand that your intestines and the organisms living inside of them are on your side and know that they function to keep you physically and mentally healthy.
There are many many things that can disrupt the intestines. Pesticides from vegetables and fruits act like antibiotics which easily kill off beneficial bacteria. Food preservatives, gluten, medications, refined sugar and more disrupt the balance of bacteria and weaken the intestinal wall. This happens to everyone of course but there are things which affect women much more than men. Some additional gut-destroying nuisances include:
- Beauty Products.
- Hormonal Fluctuations.
First off, beauty products unfortunately contain chemicals which are absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream where they come in contact with every area of the body. These chemicals trigger inflammation which disrupts normal immune system function. After repeated disruption, the immune system can becoming fed up with being irritated and it may prompt a system-wide eviction of anything resembling an irritant or foreign invader. This can translate into intolerable and chronic diarrhea requiring a sometimes severe alteration of your personal or professional life.
And now onto hormonal fluctuations that take many forms and effect women at different points of their lives. The hormones here are described as sex hormones like estrogen and stress hormones like cortisol. The fluctuation of even normal monthly menstrual cycle sex hormones creates pressure on your body’s stress hormone supply and balance. Just imagine a table with three legs. Now kick one of those legs out. What happens? The table falls of course. This is just what happens to all ovulating women on monthly basis. Understand that the sex hormones help to not only potentially grow a baby but they are also part of a sophisticated system of stress-fighting hormones which must be in balance. Again, even normal cycles wear on the stress management system… and just think about what menopause or difficult cycles must due to the ability to deal with stress. Hard for men to understand and impossible for them to experience. The idea to grasp here is that stress and hormone imbalances can directly influence digestive function. Inability to respond to acute stress can cause a hyperactive bowel resulting in diarrhea and chronic stress from ongoing life issues can cause severe constipation. Toxic beauty products terrorize the immune system and stress coupled with menstruation torments normal digestive patterns.
As if you don’t have enough risk with toxic beauty products and regular yet wild hormone changes, there are other hidden lurking sources of female digestive woes all around you. Food sensitivities, bacterial overgrowth and more activate the digestive system’s emergency response mechanism also known as diarrhea. Food sensitivities come from eating the same foods (even if they are healthy, organic and expensive) over and over again. Food sensitivities also arise from a weakened gut wall. Food sensitivities affect everyone to some degree. These sensitivities can make ordinary foods be perceived as foreign invaders by the immune system resulting in persistent diarrhea, gas, bloating, acid reflux and more. In addition, bacteria (even friendly ones) can overgrow resulting in relentless diarrhea as the body desperately tries to eliminate them to bring balance to the state of the gut. This overgrowth often starts with constipation which leads to fermentation of sluggish food stuck in a poorly functioning bowel which leads to diarrhea. Can you see a cycle of misery here? No man or woman would want this but women have outrageous and often unrealistic beauty standards to attempt to live up to and a horribly functioning bowel often makes an uphill battle an actual firefight.
The solution to all this trouble of course is to play and win the lottery. Unfortunately new stress would probably manifest and pile onto existing imbalances. Instead of hoping for a different set of problems, you can get total control of some of the things that contribute to female digestive hell. Stress reduction through exercise, taking personal time and meditation or prayer aren’t even optional anymore… the world is jut too stressful to skip them so don’t leave them out of your routine. Using all-natural beauty and hygiene products is now easier than ever so don’t miss that one either.
For the food sensitivities, hormonal imbalance and gut bacteria overgrowth, it is often recommended to have some simple but special testing performed in order to confirm that these conditions exist. More info on GIMAP stool testing, hormone testing and food sensitivity testing can be found HERE. Don’t guess… test. Testing can determine exactly what is happening and give specific direction to an effective, all-natural treatment plan.
Knowing the Good, the Bad and the Ugly parts to what commonly causes digestive issues especially in women is crucial. Feel smarter, more aware and more confident about what to do if there’s trouble? Feel confident and say YES!
About the author: Dr. Daniel Farkas is a Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner, a professional member of the Gluten-Free Society, Author, Speaker and still practices in Troy, MI. He can be found at backtohealthnaturalsolutions.com.