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Digestive Issues A Year+ later... Digestive Issues A Year+ later...

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Unread 01-10-2021, 04:33 PM
Digestive Issues A Year+ later...

Hi--it's been over a year and a half since my hysterectomy. I've been experiencing increasingly bothersome digestive issues during the past year - Acid Reflux and possibly an ulcer? - and I'm wondering if they might be at least partially related to the surgery. Of course it has been a very stressful year as well. Has anyone else had digestive issues crop up or get worse after their surgery?
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Unread 01-11-2021, 05:19 AM
Digestive Issues A Year+ later...

I've had chronic digestive issues for many years, which became worse after I went through natural menopause, and I have heard from several sisters experiencing acid reflux after having their ovaries removed. The main culprit here is reduced production of stomach acid stemming from estrogen loss, which causes the normal signals that move food through your GI tract to malfunction, so this food is left sitting in your stomach, and is then pushed back up into the esophagus. A simple solution to this is to drink 1 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar in a shot glass of warm water prior to every meal, to help with proper acidification. Also check your diet for common reflux triggers and poorly digested food, including dairy products, legumes, onions and garlic, cruciferous vegetables, plums and prunes, apricots, cherries, artificial sweeteners, tomatoes, peppers, chocolate, citrus fruits, carbonated or alcoholic drinks, coffee, fried foods, and mints. Finish your last meal at least 3 hours before bedtime, and when you do lie down, you can utilize gravity to keep your stomach contents where they belong, by elevating the head of your bed with blocks under the feet or a wedge between the mattress and boxspring; also keep in mind that the esophagus empties into the stomach from right to left, so sleeping on your left side can also help. For fast relief of sudden symptoms, I recommend powdered or crystallized ginger, which I always keep on hand in my pantry. Best wishes for dealing with this soon, and for your continued health!
Unread 01-11-2021, 07:26 AM
Re: Digestive Issues A Year+ later...

About 18 months after my surgery, I experienced a scary intestinal bleed and was hospitalized. "Ischemic colitis" (a one and done episode) was the initial diagnosis, but I was also treated for possible diverticulitis. A few months later, I had a colonoscopy which revealed "moderate diverticula" throughout my colon, and that would not likely have developed so widespread in the time since my surgery.

I do believe the inflammation from surgery can influence the digestive system in the weeks following surgery, but digestive problems themselves are within the digestive organs - stomach, intestines, etc. What happened to organs outside of the digestive tract which have no connection to it didn't create what's happening inside of it.

Having said that, women in menopause may experience digestive issues due to the drop in estrogen (which keeps cortisol levels low) and progesterone. The result is a slower digestive system. You had both ovaries removed putting you in surgical menopause. Are you a candidate for HRT? Whether or not you choose HRT, it might be beneficial to get in touch with a GI specialist if your symptoms warrant it.

I hear ya on the stressful year! In the last week, I'm pretty sure I was dealing with a diverticular flare-up, partially brought on by stress as we continue to deal with a deceased relative's estate affairs. This pandemic has made it more difficult to wrap things up.


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