Digestive Health in Midlife

I wrote a short article about two types of supplements I take in midlife which have helped me tremendously in terms of feeling healthier. Also, they have reduced that three-months pregnant look whenever I eat flour-y carbs…Hey, I’m partly Italian. I like my pastas and my baked goods 😉

What is it about bloating in midlife that seems to affect so many women?

I did not grow up with supplements. My mom never gave me a multi-vitamin, strongly believing in healthy food choices (i.e., whole foods) being the better option. But both she, and now I, have encountered uncomfortable digestive symptoms in midlife. When she went to visit a naturopath doctor to address these and other issues, she was directed to do a whole bunch of tests to determine food sensitivities or allergies (issued by traditional doctors), and was given a new diet to try—a sustaining one based on test results, not some fad that was popular with celebrities.

Point is, optimal digestion slows down in midlife, and especially while in perimenopause and then menopause. Additionally, absorption of nutrients is also affected.

I visited my own health team in midlife, after my second baby finished nursing me to death (for eighteen months…I don’t wanna talk about it). I learned a whole bunch of things including the following:

  • how essential a good zinc supplement is,
  • how important it is to take Vitamin D during long winter months, and
  • what digestive enzymes and probiotics can do for my wellbeing.

In my article, The Difference between Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes, I give you my learned perspective and compare the differences between an enzyme and a probiotic bacteria. It is not a scientific piece, just a perimenopausal woman’s perspective based on information gathered from her health team. Please clap if you like the story, I appreciate the support.

Note: I am not really a fan of supplements. The bulk of my nutrition comes from a whole food diet high(er) in protein and low(er) in complex carbs. I still eat my pastas and breads at times, and occasionally treat myself to sugar-y simple-carb pastries and desserts (e.g., white flour, white sugar) but have found my body adjusted with less discomfort as I reduced, rather than eliminated them from my diet. I don’t bloat nearly as often, for instance. This may be due to the fact that I don’t eat white flour products daily, and when I do and feel bloating after, I reach for a gluten enzyme and lay off the carbs all together for a few days after.

Everything in moderation, they say. This has worked for me without making me feel like I’m missing out on some favorite foods and managed to keep my weight balanced, my skin itch free, and my mood more stable.

10 Comments on “Digestive Health in Midlife

  1. Good information, thank you! I have such a problem with Vitamin D and it seems to be especially low in the winter months and I end up on the 12-week pill therapy. Going to check out your Medium article! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I enjoyed your article.
    I remember times when we could eat what we liked, far back in the “stone age period” of processed foodstuff. Our veggie garden supplied us with everything we needed, including chickens and the occasional pig from the neighbour. Allergies were unknown, so were heart diseases, high blood pressure and even overweight. That was in the fifties of the last century. The first time I was confronted with the convenient alternatives of processed foods was when I went to university. We all have sold out to the easy availability of processed food. Of course, there is no way back. There is no alternative, but as you have described, we have to take care of our bodily biochemistry ourselves.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I really appreciate you writing this comment and coming here with the male perspective.

      I know men with digestive issues, one who has what is called a ‘leaky gut’, found taking the digestive enzymes with food intake made a big impact on their overall health, mainly because it lessened the discomforts of digestion (bloating etc).

      Agreed about taking care of our own bodily biochemistry. Concrete understanding is key, and we are fortunate today to have easy access to adequate information. Just be careful where you search and what/who you follow. In my experience, having a naturopath doctor to supplement our health care for maintaining optimal health, and a traditional medical team to treat ailments and illnesses, has benefited us the most.

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Midlife health and digestion – Writer of Words, etc

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