Heartburn & Perimenopause – Is That Seriously A Symptom?

August 23, 2023.

A perry sister recently posted in our community

I also have really bad heartburn today which is not typical for me. Is heartburn/indigestion another symptom that
comes with perimenopause?

Why Does Perimenopause Cause Heartburn?

Experiencing heartburn during perimenopause? You’re not alone. Many women report an increase in heartburn symptoms as they transition into menopause. But why does this happen? Let’s explore. 

Table of Contents

  1. Understanding Heartburn
  2. Relation Between Heartburn and Perimenopause
  3. Managing Heartburn During Perimenopause
  4. Lifestyle Changes & Heartburn
  5. When To Seek Medical Advice?
  6. Conclusion

Changing hormone levels are primarily to blame. During perimenopause, levels of progesterone, a hormone that helps keep the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) closed, start to decrease. The LES is a muscle at the junction of your esophagus and stomach, and when it’s not working properly, acid can escape from your stomach into your esophagus, causing that familiar burning sensation. 

This change in hormones can also slow down digestion, resulting in a buildup of stomach acid. Plus, these hormonal shifts can lead to weight gain, especially around the abdomen, which can put extra pressure on the stomach and increase the likelihood of heartburn. 

Interestingly, stress and anxiety, which are often elevated during perimenopause, can also trigger symptoms of heartburn. The body’s response to stress can result in increased production of stomach acid, and heightened feelings of anxiety can make you more sensitive to physical symptoms and sensations, including heartburn. 

In addition to these physiological factors, certain lifestyle habits can contribute to heartburn during perimenopause. These include: smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol, high intake of spicy or acidic foods, irregular meal times, and insufficient physical activity. Being aware of these triggers can help you manage heartburn symptoms more effectively during this transitional phase of life.

Related: Join more than 15k+ women in our leading perimenopause app to connect about real-life peri experiences

The Role of Hormones in Perimenopause-Related Heartburn

As you navigate the choppy waters of perimenopause, you’re likely noticing a range of changes in your body, some of which are more surprising than others. One such surprise might be the sudden onset or increase in heartburn. But why is this happening? The answer lies in a complex dance of hormones. 

Estrogen and Progesterone: These are the key players in your perimenopause narrative. As your body prepares for menopause, levels of these hormones fluctuate, sometimes wildly. While both have broad roles in your body, they also impact your digestive system in specific ways. Estrogen, for instance, helps regulate the stress hormone cortisol. When estrogen levels dip, cortisol can surge, stimulating your stomach to produce more acid.

This excess acid may cause heartburn. Progesterone, on the other hand, can slow down your digestive process when levels are high, leading to heartburn as well. It’s a delicate balancing act, and your body is trying to adapt to these changing hormone levels during perimenopause.Tackling this issue is pivotal, and that’s where our app comes into play.

It offers strategies such as dietary adjustments and stress management techniques that can support you through this transitional phase. Don’t let heartburn add to your perimenopause challenges – download our app today and take a proactive step towards your well-being.

The Connection Between Stress and Heartburn During Perimenopause

Isn’t it fascinating to consider how interconnected our bodies genuinely are? Stress and heartburn appear to be two distinct issues, but during perimenopause, they can become intricately linked. Let’s delve into this further. 

Stress and Heartburn: A Perimenopausal Perspective 

Perimenopause, a phase leading up to menopause, is a time of significant hormonal changes in a woman’s body. These fluctuations can lead to a variety of symptoms, including increased levels of stress and incidences of heartburn. But how are these two connected? 

When you experience stress, your body goes into the so-called “fight or flight” mode. This response triggers various physiological changes, including an increase in stomach acid production. This excess acid can rise up into your esophagus, causing what we commonly refer to as heartburn. 

Understanding Stress-Induced Heartburn 

Stress doesn’t directly cause heartburn. Instead, it contributes to behaviors that can trigger heartburn. When we’re stressed, we might: 

  • Eat unhealthy foods, which can upset the stomach and trigger heartburn
  • Smoke or consume alcohol, both known to contribute to heartburn
  • Skip exercise, which helps keep your digestive system healthy and can reduce heartburn symptoms

Managing Stress and Heartburn During Perimenopause 

Now that we understand the connection, the question is, how can we manage these symptoms during perimenopause? Here are some strategies that can help: 

  1. Mindful Eating: Pay attention to what you eat and how much. Avoid foods that trigger heartburn, like spicy or fatty foods.
  2. Regular Exercise: Physical activity can help reduce both stress and heartburn.
  3. Stress Management: Techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, and yoga can help manage stress levels, potentially reducing heartburn.

Remember, every woman’s experience with perimenopause is unique. What works for one might not work for another. Keep a symptom diary to track your triggers and symptoms. This can be a powerful tool in managing your perimenopause journey. 

By understanding the connection between stress and heartburn during perimenopause, you can take steps to mitigate these symptoms and improve your quality of life. Want to track your symptoms and triggers more effectively? Download our app for a personalized perimenopause experience.

Dietary Changes That Can Help with Heartburn During Perimenopause

Experiencing heartburn during perimenopause can be uncomfortable and distressing. However, you can reduce the frequency and intensity of this symptom by making some dietary changes. Here are some suggestions that can help: 

  1. Firstly, try minimizing your intake of acidic foods and beverages such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, coffee, and alcohol, as these can irritate your esophagus and exacerbate heartburn.
  2. Secondly, eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day instead of three large ones, as overeating can put pressure on your stomach and trigger heartburn.
  3. Lastly, don’t lie down or go to bed immediately after eating; instead, wait at least two hours to allow your stomach to digest the food. Remember, everyone’s body responds differently, so it’s important to observe your own reactions to different foods and lifestyle choices.
  4. Track your symptoms and try to identify any triggers. This might include specific foods, stress, or other factors. Once you’ve identified these triggers, you can work towards avoiding them, potentially reducing the frequency and severity of your heartburn symptoms during perimenopause.

Lifestyle Changes That May Reduce Heartburn During Perimenopause

As you navigate the transition into menopause, a phase medically known as perimenopause, it’s not uncommon to experience heartburn among other symptoms. The good news? Lifestyle changes can often help reduce the discomfort of heartburn during this phase of your life. 

1. Adjust Your Diet 

What you eat can significantly impact heartburn. Certain foods are notorious for triggering heartburn, including spicy foods, acidic foods like citrus and tomatoes, chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol. It might be beneficial to keep a food diary to identify any potential triggers and try to eliminate them from your diet. 

2. Eat Smaller, More Frequent Meals 

Instead of three large meals a day, consider having five or six smaller meals. Overeating can put pressure on the esophageal sphincter, leading to heartburn. 

3. Maintain a Healthy Weight 

Excess weight can put additional pressure on your stomach, causing acid to back up into your esophagus and trigger heartburn. If you’re overweight, even a small amount of weight loss can potentially help reduce heartburn symptoms. 

4. Don’t Lie Down After Eating 

Lying down after a meal can cause stomach acid to rise back up into your esophagus, leading to heartburn. Try to wait at least three hours after eating before lying down or going to bed. 

5. Quit Smoking 

Smoking can weaken the lower esophageal sphincter, the muscle that prevents stomach acid from flowing back into the esophagus. If you’re a smoker, quitting could significantly reduce your heartburn symptoms. 

Remember, every woman’s experience with perimenopause is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. It’s always best to consult with a healthcare provider before making any significant changes to your diet or lifestyle. We encourage you to download our app, where you can access more personalized advice and resources tailored to your specific needs during perimenopause.

Natural Remedies for Perimenopause-Related Heartburn

During perimenopause, your body undergoes numerous hormonal changes that can lead to various symptoms, including heartburn. While medications may be necessary in some cases, natural remedies can also offer relief from perimenopause-related heartburn. Here, we’ll explore a few of these remedies such as dietary changes, regular exercise, stress management techniques, and certain herbs known for their soothing properties.

However, it’s always important to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new treatment regimen. If you’d like more detailed information on managing heartburn during perimenopause, consider downloading our app where we provide comprehensive guidelines to help you navigate this phase of life.

When to Seek Medical Help for Heartburn During Perimenopause

If you’re in perimenopause and dealing with persistent heartburn, it’s important to know when it’s time to seek medical help. Heartburn, also known as acid reflux, is a common symptom that may get worse during the perimenopause period due to hormonal changes. While occasional heartburn is quite common and often manageable with lifestyle changes or over-the-counter treatments, persistent heartburn or severe symptoms require medical attention. 

Here are some signs that it’s time to see your doctor: Experiencing persistent or severe heartburn, especially if it’s accompanying other symptoms like weight loss, difficulty swallowing, or black stools, can be a cause for concern. These may indicate a more serious condition that needs medical attention. Additionally, if your heartburn symptoms appear to worsen during perimenopause, it’s important to seek professional advice. Hormonal changes can influence the occurrence of heartburn, and your doctor can help manage these changes effectively.

Our App: The Ultimate Tool for Managing Perimenopause Symptoms

Ever found yourself wishing for a trusty sidekick in your crusade against those pesky perimenopause symptoms like heartburn? Well, it’s time to stop wishing and start downloading! Our app is your new best friend in the battlefield of perimenopause. Specially crafted for women like you, this app provides a wealth of information and resources to help you manage heartburn and other symptoms of perimenopause.

With expert advice, supportive community, and personalized solutions, navigating through perimenopause becomes a less daunting task. Don’t just cope, thrive with us. Download the app today and join our community of women who are conquering perimenopause with confidence and grace.

Disclaimer: This article is not medical advice

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