Menopause is a midlife transition in women usually characterized with a halt of monthly periods. This inevitable change of what we would call a ‘normal life’ occurs between age 40 and 60 years. During the menopause period and beyond, the reproductive hormones, estrogen and progesterone level declines in the body. The fall in the level of these reproductive hormones causes a wide variety of menopausal symptoms that may last for several months or to the worst, for some years.
There are three categories of women based on climacteric symptoms severity. A few women may experience extreme symptoms such as high blood pressure, heart conditions and osteoporosis. A good number of women experience symptoms including anxiety, depression, hot flashes and mood disturbances. Lastly, some women also have no real psychological and physical symptoms during menopause.
Causes of hot flashes
Hot flashes usually affect women who are approaching the menopause and are caused by changes in their hormone levels affecting their body’s temperature control.
This can happen without any advance warning throughout the day and night, but can also be triggered by a number of factors viz-a-viz :
- eating spicy foods
- caffeine and alcohol
- wearing thick clothing
- a high temperature
- feeling stressed or anxious
- medical treatment treatment for certain types of cancer women)
- Some medications
- some health conditions, such as an overactive thyroid, diabetes and tuberculosis
With this said, are there ways to help relieve these uncomfortable symptoms? Is it possible to have a smooth transition with no or less post-menopause symptoms? Here is the answer.
Make healthy lifestyle choices
The best way to make peace with your changing body during menopause is by modifying your normal lifestyle. The main component of lifestyle change during menopause treatment is diet.
A change of diet during menopause should have two elements: Foods to eat and foods to avoid.
Foods to eat
A good number of menopausal symptoms studies have shown that particular food can relieve climacteric symptoms. Here is a list of these foods:
• Proteinous foods- Proteinous foods such as meats, fish and legumes improve bone strength, reducing instances of bone fractures common in menopause.
• Dairy products- Decreasing levels of estrogen increase the risk of calcium loss in the bones. Dairy products such as milk increase calcium levels in the body and hence reduce the risk of bones weakening during menopause.
• Fruits and vegetables- For a more absorbable form of calcium, you should consider consuming more fresh fruits and green vegetables. Fruits are also packed with tons of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. These components reduce symptoms such as hot flashes, blood pressure conditions, anxiety and depression.
• Whole grains- Eating whole grains reduce the risk of developing heart conditions and blood-related problems in menopause. Consider consuming whole grains such as brown rice, barley and whole wheat.
Food to avoid
There is also evidence that avoiding some foods can reduce menopausal symptoms. Here are the foods you should avoid:
• Caffeine-Studies have shown that reducing caffeine intake can reduce the incidences of hot flashes frequent in menopause. Avoiding caffeine during bedtime can also reduce sleeping problems.
• Spicy foods-Although there is still limited research studies on spicy foods and menopause, cutting down on the amount of spicy foods you take can reduce symptoms such as anxiety and hot flashes.
• Processed carbs-Processed foods such as baked goods are known to raise blood sugar. If blood sugar is increased rapidly during menopause symptoms such as hot flashes and blood pressure conditions may be observed. Reducing the intake of high-sugar foods can alleviate these symptoms.
• Alcohol- High alcohol intake has been related to increased instances of hot flashes and sleep disorders. You should reduce or quit alcohol consumption during and after menopause.
Menopause treatment can be intelligibly achieved with the above simple diet changes . The key to this is having a whole balanced natural diet with less processed additives. Integrating this change of diet and keeping physical fitness through exercises such as strength and cardio exercises brings a perfect menopause transition with few or no adverse symptoms
The underlying philosophy of holistic nutrition is that one’s well-being is an expression of the complex interplay between the physical and chemical, mental and emotional, as well as spiritual and environmental aspects of one’s life and being. We know that the entire being is a function of the relationship between genotype and environment. As such, professional places like Rose Wellness Center and others who specialize in women’s health approach health and healing from a whole-person perspective and that is the reason these organizations stand out from the crowd of medical professional centers out there.