A Nutritionist To Help With Menopause
Can a Nutritionist Help With Menopause? In this article we will discuss how a nutritionist can support you through your menopause.
Menopause is a natural process in women resulting in the cessation of menstruation and reproduction potential. Normally the whole menopause can last for around 7 years from beginning to end and can be divided up into stages. Peri-menopause typically begins around 45-50 years of age when hormonal changes start to occur and cycle fluctuations and symptoms start. It happens around the ages of 50-55. With the actual cessation of periods confirmed to be 12 consecutive months after your last period. When no more periods occur and generally the worst of the hormonal symptoms have passed, women are in the post menopausal stage. Speak with our menopause nutritionist.
Typically women go through the menopause with few symptoms (which is the biological norm) whilst others can experience multiple symptoms making life very difficult. It is characterised by a decrease in estrogen. Which triggers the uncomfortable symptoms of hot flushes, night sweats, sleep disturbances and vaginal dryness. Women can experience weight gain, mood swings as well as feeling fatigued, dizzy and experiencing headaches. In addition, feeling irritiable, anxious, depressed, experience bladder issues and breast tenderness are other symptoms. Decreased muscular strength, and increased risk of osteoporosis can also be a consequence of the hormonal changes.
What Foods Should you Avoid During Menopause?
High blood sugar, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome have been linked to higher incidence of hot flashes in menopausal women (Lee et al 2012). Therefore avoiding processed foods and added sugars which cause spikes in blood sugars should help to reduce symptoms. Try to limit white bread, baked goods and added sugars to help stabilise your blood sugar levels. High salt diets have been linked to lower bone density in postmenopausal women (Kwon et al 2017). Avoid spicy foods is a common recommendation for women. However research is varied, so it’s best to see whether there is a correlation for you.
What Drinks Should you Avoid During Menopause?
Caffeine use has been associated with increased hot flushes in menopausal women (Faubion 2015). Caffeine and alcohol will also disrupt your sleep patterns so if you are already struggling alcohol and caffeine will not help matters. In addition, excessive drinking during menopause can increase risk of heart disease, developing central obesity, affect you liver, brain and nervous system.
What is the Best Diet During Menopause?
Phytoestrogens are plant compounds with estrogen-like properties they are very useful for helping the body replace some of its naturally lost oestrogen levels. These foods include flax seeds, oats, chick peas, lentils and sage. It is thought Asian diets generally involve alot of phytoestrogens (in comparision to America or Europe) and these women typically experience less hot flushes during menopause. Therefore reduced phytoestrogen consumption could be a contributing factor. Chen et al (2015) suggested phytoestrogens appear to reduce the frequency of hot flushes in menopausal women, without serious side-effects.
What Vitamin is Good for the Menopause?
The decrease in estrogens function observed during menopause, results in increased bone metabolism, a decrease in bone mineral density and the related elevated fracture risk (Matyjaszek et al 2015). If you are peri-menopausal, dark skinned, overweight and/or have a gastrointestinal condition you have an increased risk of vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D helps your body absorb and use calcium, which gives your bones their strength and hardness. Therefore making sure you include vitamin D rich foods as part of a well balanced diet like oily fish and eggs is important. It is a good idea to test your vitamin D levels either through your GP or a private healthcare practitioner. If you have sub-optimal levels, it would be worth consulting with a nutritionist. They would discuss your situation, diet, current medications and whether taking Vitamin D supplements to support you through menopause would be a good idea.
How can I get Through Menopause Naturally?
Everyone is different so individual plans are best however general rules of keeping your blood sugar levels balanced will be beneficial. Complex carbohydrates are great for slower energy release (in comparison to simple carbohydrates). Eat two pieces of fruit and five vegetables to increase antioxidants and support healthy hormone metabolism through fibrous foods and consume whole grains and increase proteins. Eat more good fats such as avocado, oily fish, nuts, seeds and olive oil. These are great for hormone balancing and can help reduce inflammation. Also increase water consumption (2 litres daily little and often).
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What is the Best Menopause Supplement on the Market?
Firstly having a well balanced diet and gaining all of your vital nutrients through foods is your best bet. However short term supplementation can be beneficial but it is important to gain the right balance when taking supplements taking into account your individual needs, interactions with other supplements and other medications you may be already taking. This is why we advise speaking with our. online nutritionists who can provide a specific nutritional plan for you which may involve taking some high quality supplements.