Nutritional Advice – Diet That Helps Combat Menopause in Women
You have probably heard about menopause and its symptoms ever since you were a teenage girl, you don’t like what you hear about it.
The symptoms-mood swings, hot flushes, vaginal dryness, depression, weight gain, which won’t look good on you, aging signs like wrinkles and loss of skin elasticity are a girl’s nightmare.
You don’t even want to experience it, but you can’t escape it. Yes, menopause is natural.
Menopause is a not-so eagerly anticipated, but an inevitable time in a woman’s life when our estrogen and progesterone hormones take a downward dive and those hot flashes sneak up on us.
Understanding what is going on in your body during this phase of life can help you find challenges to the health problems menopause brings you.
How Do You Know When Menopause Sneaks Up On You?
Most of the symptoms that accompanies menopause actually happen during the perimenopause age.
Some women go through menopause without any unpleasant symptoms, while find themselves battling with these symptoms for years.
Common menopause symptoms are:
- Hot Flashes
You may experience hot flashes as a primary symptom of menopause. Hot flashes can be a sudden feeling of heat either in the upper region of your body or all over your body. Your face and neck might turn red and you may begin to feel sweaty.
The intensity of your hot flash may be mild or very strong. It generally lasts between 30 seconds and 10 minutes.
Most women experience hot flash for a year or two after their final menstrual period and it mat still continue after menopause, but the intensity reduces over time.
- Vaginal Dryness and Painful Sex
Women can experience vaginal dryness at any age, but it can be a problem for a woman going through menopause. Vaginal dryness can make you experience painful sex or make you feel like you need to urinate frequently.
The inability to fall asleep is another symptom of menopause. You may find it hard to sleep at night when you are going through menopause.
You might wake up earlier than you wish and have trouble going back to sleep.
- Frequent Urination or Urinary Incontinence
It is very common for menopausal women to loose control of their bladder. During menopause, you may feel the constant urge to urinate even when your bladder is not full or you may experience painful urination.
This is because during menopause, the tissues in your vagina and urethra lose their elasticity and the lining thins.
The surrounding pelvic muscles may also weaken during menopause.
- Urinary Tract Infection
During menopause, you may experience urinary tract infection. Lower level of estrogen and changes in the urinary tract makes you more susceptible to infections.
See your Doctor if you experience this. Your Doctor will likely ask that you take a urine test and give you antibiotics.
- Depression and Mood Swings
Changes in hormone production affect your mood during menopause. You may have the feelings of irritability, depression and mood swings and often go from extreme highs to severe lows in a short period of time.
- Changes In Skin Hair and Other Tissues
When menopause sneaks up on you, you begin to see changes in your skin and hair. Loss of fatty tissues and collagen will make your skin drier and thinner. Reduced collagen will cause hair loss or cause your hair to feel brittle and dry.
- Decreased Libido
Low libido during menopause is caused by reduced estrogen. Reduced estrogen brings physical changes like delayed clitorial reaction time, slow or absent orgasm response and vaginal dryness which causes painful sex.
- Breast Pain
Breast pain, soreness or tenderness is a symptom of hormonal changes. It can occur during pregnancy, menstrual period, post-partum and menopause.
If your breast pain is severe or persists for two or more months or if it is accompanied by lumps or nipple discharge, you should consult your doctor.
- Irregular period
Irregular period is common among menopausal women. Your period may come earlier or later than before, bleeding may be lighter or heavier than usual, the period may be brief or go on for what feels like forever. Skipping periods and spotting may also occur.
You should see your doctors when you experience these symptoms so you can be tested for other possible causes.
There are other conditions similar to menopause and they have almost the same symptoms. Thyroid disorder, pre menstrual syndrome, pregnancy are examples of health issues that share the same symptoms with menopause.
How Can My Diet Combat Menopause?
You must have heard that a healthy diet is the prevention to all disease. You heard right. Eating healthy helps can help curb the symptoms of menopause.
Eating good and nutritious food can help make a real difference on how you feel and can help maintain health during and after the menopause.
There are specific kinds of food that supports hormone balance. These are the kinds of food that should be incorporated into your diet as you approach the menopause age.
Foods That Help Ease Menopause
Eating a healthy diet will help you fight the symptoms of menopause and decrease the risks of certain diseases associated with menopause.
Foods that help ease menopause are:
Women who consume phytoestrogens rarely experience hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. Phytoestrogens, by acting in a similar way to estrogen, help keep hormones in balance.
Increase your intake of phytoestrogens by eating foods like Tofu, Tempeh Sesame seeds, Pumpkin seeds, Soy beans, Sunflower seeds, Celery, Green beans.
- Legumes, Nut and Seeds
Legumes, nuts and seeds such as pumpkin, walnuts, hazel nuts, sunflower seeds, almond contain vitamin E, zinc and calcium.
These nutrients and the oils in the nuts and seeds may help lubricate dry skin and normalize hormone levels.
- Vitamin D Rich Foods
Getting enough vitamin D is critical for your bone health during menopause. Vitamin D also comes for the sun but it is vital to supplement on vitamin D too especially during winter and non-sunny climates.
- Fruits and Vegetables
Your metabolism slows down as you age and you ten to become more sedentary. This adds up to weight gain which one of the most dreaded menopause symptoms.
Eating low calorie fruits and veggies would help you minimize weight gain and you will still get the essential nutrients your body needs.
- Whole Grains
Incorporate whole grains like oatmeal, brown rice, barley into your diet. They provide B-vitamins which helpmanage stress, boost energy and keeps the digestive system functioning.
Whole grains also contain folic acids and fiber which helps lower the risk of cardiovascular disease which may rise after menopause.
- Low Calorie Foods
The truth is your calorie need declines as you grow older. The less weight you gain during menopause, the less symptoms you have in general.
So eat low fat diet, healthy foods, and lean protein that would help you maintain your weight.
As we age, we need more protein. Protein plays a vital role in helping the body recover from illness, infections and surgery.
Eat foods rich in protein. Beans, fish, meat and egg are good sources of protein.
A healthy diet plays a vital role in making us feel good. It keeps illnesses and infections. Eating nutritious foods is the key to keeping menopause symptoms away.
If you have been busy taking care of other people and seeing to their needs your entire life, now is the right time to look into the mirror and say “It is time to start taking care of myself”. Read who we are and diet for hiv people here.