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Do fluctuating estrogen levels cause abdominal pains?
Dawn214 posted:
I had a hysterectomy 20 yrs. ago. I'm 57. Been on Vivelle DOT estrogen patch for about 5 yrs. starting at .05 and now on .0375 dosage. I tried to go off entirely, but hot flashes returned and I had abdominal aches, bloating, and digestive problems worsened. So I am now back on the patch .0375 for about a month. Hot flashes are gone but more days than not I have a dull ache front and back at about waist level. Aspirin takes it away temporarily. Is this related to my fluctuating estrogen patch levels? I had a similar ailment about a year ago and my family physician said it was probably hormonal. He offered no remedy. Any ideas/suggestions would be most appreciated. Thank you.
Mary Jane Minkin, MD responded:
Dear Dawn,
Another good question. In general, a change in estrogen would be unlikely to produce discomfort like that (always a possibility, but not super likely)-sounds like irritable bowel type symptoms more than anything. Something that a lot of my GI friends recommend is an over the counter product called Align. It is "good guy" bacteria-which supposedly can help by recolonizing your intestines with "friendlier" bacteria. Another anti bloat remedy which is easy to try is any product with simethicone-it breaks up big gas bubbles into little ones-and it's quite safe to use-we use it in pregnant women all the time.
Good luck, hope you feel better,
Mary Jane
Voyajer17 replied to Mary Jane Minkin, MD's response:
Changes in estrogen levels do affect prostaglandins which do affect the smooth muscles and the intestines. As estrogen levels normalize, your body will regulate itself to the new levels and the intestinal problems should cease. This article is very helpful in explaining this:

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