GP talks about the impact of the menopause on weight gain
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Adapting to declining oestrogen and progesterone levels might be easier if you have a helping hand from nature. Considered “completely natural” by Flo health app, which additions should you be adding to your diet? Diminishing hormones may lead to mood swings, breast tenderness, migraines, hot flashes, weight gain, fatigue, and insomnia – to name a few side effects. To help relieve distressing symptoms of the perimenopuase, Flo recommends phytoestrogen supplements.
These “plant-based compounds” possess oestrogen-like properties, with research suggesting they can help to reduce:
- Hot flashes
- Osteoporosis risk
Alternatively, oestrogen-rich foods include: nuts, seeds, cranberries, apples, soybeans, tofu, olive oil, liquorice root, and barley.
Another supplement to consider is dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) – a “natural steroid” secreted by the adrenal glands, which is also available as a dietary supplement.
“Some research links low DHEA levels in menopausal women with higher rates of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, as well as diminished libido and vaginal atrophy,” noted Flo.
The health app also recommends vitamin D, which has been “proven to combat heart disease, osteoporosis, hypertension, weight gain, diabetes, depression, and cancer”.
Other supplements suggested for menopause include:
- B vitamins
- Vitamin E
- Bioidentical hormones.
What’s the difference between the perimenopause and the menopause?
The perimenopause is the transitional phase where a woman’s hormone levels begin to dip.
During this stage, the onset of symptoms can develop, which may linger for several years.
The menopause, on the other hand, is defined as 12 consecutive months without a menstrual bleed.
While each woman will enter the perimenopause in her own time, the NHS stated that it usually occurs between the ages of 45 to 55 years of age.
Menstrual changes may be the first sign of perimenopause, which may include a longer or shorter cycle.
Aside from supplementation, other natural approaches can help to ease troublesome side effects of the change.
One such example is achieving a healthy weight; another is to exercise regularly.
The health body noted: “It’s worth talking to a GP if you have menopausal symptoms that are troubling you.
“Or if you’re experiencing symptoms of the menopause before 45 years of age.”
One in 100 women will experience premature menopause, which is when the ovaries stop producing “normal” levels of oestrogen.
While the exact cause of premature menopause is unknown, it may be due to:
- Chromosome abnormalities
- An autoimmune disease
- An infection.
Cancer treatments can also lead to premature ovarian failure, as can surgery to remove the ovaries.
Women who go through early menopause are also at an increased risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.
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