Tips from Our Nutritional Expert on How to Manage Menopause Symptoms
CUTTING one thing from your diet could help ease menopause symptoms, according to our nutritional expert.
Sue Camp, a registered nutritional therapist and functional medicine practitioner, says ditching sugary snacks could be key in helping women to keep symptoms at bay.
Sue, our resident hormones expert at Omnos, said: “People generally snack on carbohydrate-based foods which can cause a spike in blood sugar levels. With a menopausal drop in oestrogen, this can impact metabolism, fat distribution and the impact of insulin.”
Menopause is defined as the cessation of a woman’s period for a year due to a shift in hormone levels, particularly a decrease in oestrogen. It can come with a raft of symptoms including weight gain, anxiety, sleep problems, mood changes and hot flushes.
Part of Sue’s approach to managing menopause symptoms involves aiming to balance overall body systems in an attempt to rebalance hormone levels, thus helping to relieve symptoms.
She explained: “The foundations of a healthy diet are crucial. We want to be eating enough protein, healthy fats, and a variety of fruit and vegetables providing great fibre. But we can also look at how you eat and when you eat.
“Eat away from your desk and screens and slow down. Chew more. Be present and be grateful. It will all help your digestive function and assimilation of nutrients.
“We want to avoid grazing throughout the day, which is often driven by emotional hunger rather than physical hunger. Regular mealtimes work well for most people. Intermittent fasting may work for some, but not everyone.
“Start slowly, maybe by stopping snacks between meals, and then moving toward a 12-hour fast, for example between dinner and breakfast the next morning.”
As well as looking at the timing of meals, Sue says it’s essential to choose the right foods to support your hormonal wellbeing.
She said: “Phytoestrogens are plant-derived substances that can weakly bind to oestrogen receptors. They have been shown to have a balancing effect on hormones.These include lentils, soy beans, chickpeas and flaxseeds.
“Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, Brussels sprouts, radishes and kale contain a naturally occurring compound which actively promotes the breakdown of oestrogen to beneficial metabolites.
“The negative impact of alcohol and caffeine, especially on sleep, can also be underrated.
“There are positive benefits from caffeine, but I would say not more than three cups of coffee a day and aim to drink them before lunch.”
Perimenopause is considered the period preceding actual menopause, which usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55. Many of the same symptoms can be experienced during this transition.
There is NO definitive test for menopause or perimenopause but experts can take into account hormone markers in blood, urine and saliva as well as physical symptoms and a genetic history.
Part of Sue’s approach to managing hormone health involves empowering women to learn more about their bodies and using at-home health tests, such as the Omnos Hormones test (DUTCH test) and the Sex Hormones Complete Female blood test provided by Omnos, to get a more tailored approach to their wellbeing.
She said: “The NHS doesn’t often have the time and resources to address these kinds of imbalances so there’s a mindset change that has to happen. Empowering women to better understand their bodies and their biological markers can be powerful - and freeing.
“We want to put these tests in the hands of customers and help them to understand their results.”
Omnos specialises in providing an intelligent health system which uses at-home health tests to give you a fuller picture of your overall health.
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