Hot flashes, bloating, abdominal pain, mood swings—these symptoms are all common among women going through menopause or perimenopause, and they all suck. But as it turns out, there may be an easy way to tame those pesky symptoms by sipping on a tasty (and nutritious) beverage.
Research has found that probiotics may be a helpful tool when it comes to combating menopause symptoms, and one great way to get more of those in your diet is by sipping on the super trendy kombucha.
Kombucha is an age-old fermented beverage made with tea, sugar, bacteria, and yeast—it might sound gross, but it’s delicious, we swear! But best of all, it’s brimming with probiotics that are beneficial for our microbiome.
The human microbiome essentially consists of all the microorganisms that reside within the body, specifically in the gut, mouth, and vagina in women. Maintaining a healthy microbiome is crucial to one’s overall health.
Women experiencing menopause may have problems maintaining a healthy microbiome due to the interaction between gut microbiota (a community of microorganisms) and estrogen, which decreases during menopause. Fortunately, the gut microbiota, which regulates estrogen levels, can be helped with a healthy dose of probiotics.
Menopause-Related Or Not, It Helps Ease Gut Discomfort
It’s not uncommon to experience digestive issues such as abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel movements during menopause. A lack of estrogen and progesterone hormones during menopause and perimenopause can lead to gastrointestinal (GI) issues, which ultimately affect digestion. This can lead to a lot of discomfort.
The hormonal fluctuations of menopause can also worsen symptoms in women who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Fortunately, probiotics can help promote healthy digestion and get you back on track. Enjoying kombucha regularly can replenish your gut’s probiotic supply and ease GI discomfort significantly.
Whether your GI distress is related to menopause or not, probiotics can help restore gut bacteria and promote colon fermentation—basically, they’re just really great for helping you feel better.
It Can Boost Your Brain Health And Mood
Feeling short-tempered, angry, and impatient? If your mood swings have those around you walking on eggshells, you’re not alone. Although more common in perimenopause, sudden mood swings in menopause are a troubling symptom that many women wish to overcome.
Luckily, probiotics have been shown to possibly improve mood and cognitive health as well. A whopping 95% of the body’s serotonin, a key hormone that affects mood and emotion, is regulated in the GI tract via the vagus nerve that connects to the brain.
This relates to a concept researchers refer to as the gut-brain connection, which looks at not only how the brain can affect the gut (like stress causing a stomach ache), but also how gut health can impact our mental health.
While traditionally scientists have believed that our brain has a bigger impact on our gut, more recent research is suggesting the inverse may be true. This means treating gut issues could be key to improving our mood and overall well-being.
For example, in one March 2019 study published in Frontiers in Psychiatry, participants showed marked improvement in mood, sleep, and feelings of anger following the consumption of probiotics for six weeks.
It May Help With Hot Flashes And Night Sweats
Menopause is synonymous with hot flashes and night sweats, and though they may seem unavoidable due to their overwhelming prevalence, they’re not impossible to remedy. Once again, probiotics may be able to come to the rescue.
Research has shown that a healthy microbiome can also help control vasomotor symptoms (VMS) such as hot flashes and night sweats.
A July 2020 study published by the Journal of Clinical Medicine involved supplementing the diets of women aged from 40 to 60 with Lactobacillus acidophilus, a certain kind of bacteria often used to ferment kombucha. The findings showed that the bacteria helped alleviate a number of menopause symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, heart palpitations, and even vaginal dryness.
A Word Of Caution
Kombucha is a good example of how too much of a good thing can be harmful. Drinking an excessive amount of kombucha can cause nausea, headaches, upset stomachs, and possibly even ketoacidosis, a life-threatening condition when acid builds up in the bloodstream.
As a general rule, it is recommended to drink four ounces of kombucha a day. Still, kombucha has many health benefits that shouldn’t be overlooked. If you’re looking to start incorporating kombucha into your diet, Health-Ade and Remedy Kombucha are two brands we recommend.
With Health-Ade’s delicious variety starter pack, kombucha beginners can kick off their journey to a healthy gut with sensational flavors such as Pink Lady Apple, Pomegranate, and Bubbly Rosé.
And if you’re looking for a sugar-free option, Remedy Kombucha offers their fan-favorite 24-pack in flavors like Raspberry Lemonade, Ginger Lemon, Mixed Berry, and Peach.