What Foods Can Hasten Or Delay Menopause
MONDAY, April 30, 2018 — What women eat might determine when they enter menopause, new research suggests.
After tracking more than 35,000 British women for four years, investigators found that menopause tended to start earlier among those whose diets were heavy in refined carbs. In contrast, menopause tended to begin later among those who consumed a lot of fish and legumes.
“In particular, a higher consumption of oily fish was found to delay the timing of natural menopause by approximately three years, and fresh legumes — such as peas and green beans — was linked to a later menopause by around a year,” said study author Yashvee Dunneram.
“On the other hand, a higher consumption of refined carbohydrates — such as pasta and rice — hastened the onset of menopause by 1.5 years,” said Dunneram. She is a postgraduate researcher with the nutritional epidemiology group in the school of food science and nutrition at the University of Leeds, in England.
The reason for the link remains unclear. But Dunneram speculated that it may have to do with the way certain foods affect hormones.
“Refined carbs are one of the main culprits for insulin resistance,” Dunneram said. “A high level of circulating insulin could interfere with sex hormone activity and boost estrogen levels, both of which might increase the number of menstrual cycles and deplete egg supply faster, thus causing an earlier menopause.”
Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health
Maintain An Ideal Weight
Everyone knows that being overweight or obese can put a persons health at risk on so many levels. Are you aware that its also something that can trigger premature menopause? According to doctors, excessive amounts of fat in the body can cause a considerable drop in estrogen, resulting in hormonal imbalance that can lead to early-onset menopause.
Decrease Alcohol And Caffeine
Studies show women who drink too much ramp up menopausal side effects, including hot flashes and night sweats. Sandi admitted to being a caffeine fiend, often downing black coffee many mornings as breakfast to fuel meeting magazine deadlines. I explained that third cup of dark roast can jack up your cortisol levels past their prime, making you anxious and jittery. She tapered to green tea and kept wine intake to a few glasses each week.
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What Is Early Menopause
Typically, early or premature menopause is when menopause happens when a woman is still in her 20s, 30s, or early 40s. Medical experts describe early menopause as a total cessation of a woman’s period for 12 months before the age of 40. If premature menopause occurs naturally, it is commonly referred to as premature ovarian failure . POF indicates the ovaries have stopped functioning at their optimal years or sometimes decades before their time. Recent studies have found that approximately 25% of women suffering from POF still have viable follicles and do ovulate, and 80% actually become pregnant.
Early menopause can also be medically induced by a variety of procedures, including surgery, radiation or chemotherapy treatment occurring. Surgeries that can induce early menopause usually involve the ovaries, such as hysterectomies or oophorectomies.
Safety Note About Natural Remedies
Always remember that natural does not necessarily mean safe. Many herbal, plant, and dietary supplements interact with prescription medications or may have a negative impact on chronic medical conditions. Natural approaches are not risk-free, and the more you know, the better you can choose treatments that will keep you safe and well.
Before deciding to use alternative and complementary remedies for your menopause symptoms, check with your medical provider and read up on possible side effects and cautions for any remedy you are considering.
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Uterine Bleeding: What’s Normal What’s Not
One concern for perimenopausal and postmenopausal women is knowing whether irregular uterine bleeding is normal. Most women notice normal changes in their cycle as they approach menopause. Periods are often heavy or more frequent, and they may stop and start. But abnormal uterine bleeding may be a sign of benign gynecologic problems or even uterine cancer. Consult your physician if any of the following situations occur:
- You have a few periods that last three days longer than usual.
- You have a few menstrual cycles that are shorter than 21 days.
- You bleed after intercourse.
- You have heavy monthly bleeding .
- You have spotting .
- You have bleeding that occurs outside the normal pattern associated with hormone use.
When you report abnormal vaginal bleeding, your clinician will try to determine whether the cause is an anatomic problem or a hormonal issue. He or she also will investigate other possible causes. In addition to identifying the cause, he or she will help you manage any excess bleeding, which sometimes leads to anemia.
On rare occasions, postmenopausal women experience uterine bleeding from a “rogue ovulation,” which is vaginal bleeding after a hiatus that may be preceded by premenstrual symptoms such as breast tenderness. Presumably, the ovaries are producing some hormones and maybe a final egg.
What Are The Symptoms Of Early Menopause
As Sandi emphatically verified during our initial consultation, symptoms of early menopause are vast and can be pretty brutal. They include hot flashes and night sweats, vaginal dryness, having to urinate often, incontinence, sexual dysfunction, and sleep disturbances, joint pain, and inability to concentrate. While these are similar to symptoms of menopause, early menopause can make them feel more intense.
Sandi had gone off the pill before I saw her, which had created additional birth control side effects. In my practice, I also see how birth control pills can mask many signs of early menopause. In Sandis case, they may have masked the symptoms of primary ovarian insufficiency for years.
Because the pill suppresses ovarian function, your ovaries arent making sufficient estrogen or progesterone. Instead, the pill provides synthetic estrogen and progestin, which means you still get your periods regularly as part of a withdrawal bleed, not to be mistaken for a “real” period. Because it can mask symptoms, the pill can make diagnosing menopause or early menopause difficult.
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Ways To Reduce The Symptoms Of Menopause
- May 10, 2021
- Frederick Health
Menopause is an important time in a womans life; a time;to focus on her health. Its not an illnessits a major transition that comes with a lot of symptoms. During menopause, there are steps to take to help with these symptoms and protect your health against some of the risks you might face.
What, exactly, is menopause? Its defined as the end of a womans menstrual cycles due to age or sometimes the removal of the uterus or ovaries. It usually happens between the ages of 45-55, with a median age of 51, and lasts a few years before menstruation stops for good. A woman has reached full menopause when she stops having periods for a full year.
Its possible for it to start earlier or later than the usual range, and some women go through perimenopause first. Thats a time before menopause when a woman might have hormonal changes, irregular or changing periods, and other symptoms in preparation for menopause. Not all women go through it, and it can start as many as ten years before menopause.
So how do you know if youre starting menopause? Youll most likely have several of these common symptoms:
- Hot flashes
- Periods that are heavier or lighter than usual
- Trouble sleeping
- Vaginal dryness
- Depression or anxiety
- More facial or body hair
- Loss of breast mass
- Dry skin, mouth, or eyes
- Frequent headaches or joint pain
How Carbs Fish Legumes Affect Menopause
On average, the age at which the women got their menopause was 51, and the study found that certain food items were linked with the timing of this onset.
Specifically, each portion of carbohydrates, such as pasta and rice, consumed per day correlated with experiencing menopause 1.5 years earlier.
By contrast, for each daily portion of fish and fresh legumes, such as peas and beans, the delay in menopause onset was of over 3 years. Additionally, a higher daily consumption of vitamin B-6 and zinc was also associated with later menopause.
When comparing vegetarians with meat eaters, the researchers found that eating meat was linked with a 1-year delay in menopause onset.
Among women who had not had any children, a higher intake of grapes and poultry was linked with later menopause.
As Dunneram and her colleagues conclude:
Our findings confirm that diet may be associated with the age at natural menopause. This may be relevant at a public health level since age at natural menopause may have implications on future health outcomes.
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Keep Stress To A Minimum
Last but not least, its a good idea for you to keep your stress levels low if you dont want to face menopause in your 40s. Its for the fact that chronic stress can disrupt proper levels of hormones. So make sure that you avoid as many stressors as possible and carry out stress-busting activities as necessary to keep menopause at bay.
Be a doll and repost this article to let women your age know that premature menopause can be prevented naturally!
Switch Caffeine For Matcha Green Tea
A study of over 2,000 women found that those who consumed coffee regularly experienced more hot flashes and night sweats than those who didnt consume caffeine. Matcha green tea has caffeine in it, the better solution would be to cut it out completely, but its a smaller portion in milligrams per serving than coffee ad has L-theanine a compound that keeps you calm.
Our Tip: switch to matcha green tea latte ;when possible and slowly wean yourself off the daily habit.;
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Increase Your Intake Of Water:
Menopausal women often experience dryness, possibly because of a fall in their oestrogen levels. However, you can make this up by drinking water through the day, about six to eight glasses a day. By doing this, you also prevent yourself from experiencing bloating that is a natural fallout of hormonal changes. Additionally, water prevents any weight gain by giving you a feeling of satiation while also increasing your metabolic level.
Start Or Continue To Exercise
Research shows that women who exercise and are physically active experience fewer body and mental menopause symptoms compared to those who are sedentary.;
Our Tip: Help balance hormones naturally doing something you actually enjoy and that doesnt challenge your symptoms. Maybe skip the Bikram yoga and Five-Rhythms class if youre struggling with hot flashes a lot.;
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What Are The Most Practical Ways To Address Early Menopause
Ive supported many woman in their journey to reclaim their body and break free from the symptoms holding them back, which is why I created a hormone reset program to help you kick your unwanted hormone symptoms and feel fabulous. During the initial and follow-up consultations, I used 12 strategies with Sandi to help reduce or eliminate many side effects of early menopause while we worked on the root cause. I also find these strategies work well with many patients who want to avoid early menopause.
Delaying Menopause May Come With Some Health Benefits
People with ovaries are born with a set number of eggs at birth, says Dr. Christianson. That number gradually decreases over time, until levels start to drop in a person’s late 30s and early 40s. Menopausedefined as not having periods for at least a yearis ultimately triggered when a person’s eggs are gone, so their ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone and make lower levels of testosterone. The average person with a uterus starts menopause at age 51, although that depends on a combination of genetics and lifestyle, says , a reproductive endocrinologist and OB/GYN at NYU Langone.
There are estrogen receptors throughout the entire body, so unpleasant menopause symptoms appear in some pretty odd places as estrogen levels decline, says Dr. Nachtigall. These include bone density loss, hot flashes, mood swings, trouble sleeping, vaginal dryness, and low sex drive. Since estrogen is also a natural insulin sensitizer, when it disappears its as though youre less sensitive to your own insulin, making it harder to maintain a healthy weight. These symptoms technically can start 10 years before menopause at the start of ovarian decline .
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Foods To Include In Your Menopause Diet
Your overall focus should be on broadening your diet in the menopause, says Laura Southern, nutritional therapist at London Gynaecology. The nice thing about supporting hormone health when thinking about the menopause is we can focus on including lots of foods, rather than removing them, she says.
Eat Foods Rich In Calcium And Vitamin D
Hormonal changes during menopause can cause bones to weaken, increasing the risk of osteoporosis.
Calcium and vitamin D are linked to good bone health, so its important to get enough of these nutrients in your diet.
Adequate vitamin D intake in postmenopausal women is also associated with a lower risk of hip fractures due to weak bones (
Additionally, calcium-fortified foods are also good sources, including certain cereals, fruit juice or milk alternatives.
Sunlight is your main source of vitamin D, since your skin produces it when exposed to the sun. However, as you get older, your skin gets less efficient at making it.
If you arent out in the sun much or if you cover up your skin, either taking a supplement or increasing food sources of vitamin D may be important.
A diet rich in calcium and vitamin D is important to prevent the bone loss that can occur during menopause.
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Exercise Regularly To Prevent Early Menopause
Exercising should be part of any healthy living plan it works wonders for our bodies with its wonderful holistic approach. It stimulates the blood circulation, improves the nourishment of the tissues, de-stresses our minds, rejuvenates us, and speeds the metabolism.But which types of exercises are best for postponing the early menopause?When it comes to workouts, I always follow my rule of choosing the type of movement which is most pleasant to me! That is how I can stick to my regimen and keep reaping the benefits of it. Of course, I am a big proponent of yoga because it has been proven extremely effective for many types of ailments and for all ages.It works beautifully on a holistic level, balancing our hormones and increasing our energy levels! Pay special attention to the hip opening asanas which are excellent for the reproductive system.Also, there is a specific yoga variation sequence, designed for rejuvenating our bodies and increasing our life energy . It is called the Five Tibetan Rites. You can find more about this magical yoga practice, how to perform it correctly, and the specific breathing pattern associated with it in Healthy Body Cleanse!
Risk Factors For Early Menopause
Premature ovarian failure affects about 1 out of every 1000 women from ages 15 to 29 and about 1 out of every 100 women aged 30 to 39. It can be related to genetic factors, to illnesses like autoimmune diseases, thyroid disease, viral infection, hormonal disorders, and eating disorders. The risk of premature ovarian failure risk increases in women who have relatives with the condition.
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Treatments To Relieve Signs And Symptoms
There is no treatment that can reverse or prevent premature menopause. However, women who have reached menopause do have treatment options that can help control unpleasant symptoms.
Types of treatments for symptom relief include:
- Hormone therapy: hormone therapy is available in different forms including pills, patches, transdermal sprays, or gels or creams. Localized hormone treatments are also available for intravaginal use. HT/ET is the most effective way to control symptoms like hot flashes and vaginal dryness. Because HT/ET has been associated with certain health risks , experts recommend using the lowest effective dose of hormone therapy for the shortest period of time necessary for symptom control.
- Oral contraceptive pills are a form of HT that is sometimes used to help relieve menopausal symptoms.
- Antidepressant medications: the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and related medications have been shown to be effective in controlling the symptoms of hot flashes in up to 60% of women.
- Non-hormonal vaginal gels, creams, and lubricants can help prevent the symptoms of vaginal dryness.
- Assisted reproductive technologies: in selected cases, pregnancy may be achieved using donor eggs in women with premature menopause.
Mental And Emotional Health
As mentioned previously, stress plays a major role in early menopause. As observed in a study by the Boston University School of Public Health, 80% of women who experience chronic stress overload, go into premature menopause. This is a huge number to be ignored!Alternatively, managing stress in a healthy way can be the main key to postponing this syndrome effectively.So, how to do it? It can be as easy as setting aside some time to exercise, do some yoga or attend dance classes. Meditation, gardening, massages, aromatherapy, reiki, EFT there are countless ways you can release the daily pressure and improve your overall well-being and longevity!
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