My Menopause Symptoms Can Reduce If I Eat More Often?????

Menopause Symptoms

Eating little and often works for me

Jane interrupted what I was saying and blurted out “Mickey…you have been harping on me to eat little and often. Are you saying that my menopause symptoms can reduce if I eat more often?”

Jane is in early perimenopause and she is overweight. She has complained of severe hot flashes, mood swings, and sleep problems.

I explained to Jane that the cause of these symptoms, in perimenopause, is fluctuating hormone levels …. particularly estrogen and progesterone. They surge and recede during perimenopause. Sometimes they are higher than usual and sometimes they are lower. The ratios between them are also changing.

I also explained to her that there are other hormones in her body that come into play, as well. The levels of these other hormones affect the levels of estrogen and progesterone in her body. The levels of these other hormones are, in turn, affected by how often she eats.

My Menopause Symptoms Can Reduce If I Eat More Often?

As your menopause symptoms become more severe and more frequent when your hormones change, in terms of their levels and their ratios to one another, it is important to understand that how you eat plays a significant role in this. Here is an excerpt from an article that will help you to understand this

Insulin may be one of the most well-known hormones affected by your diet. When you eat carbohydrates, the glucose from these carbohydrates travels into your bloodstream, triggering your pancreas to release insulin. Insulin attaches to the glucose molecules and carries them to your cells, where they are used for energy.

Glucagon is another pancreatic hormone with the opposite effect of insulin. When a woman goes without eating for an extended period of time, the pancreas releases glucagon, which signals the liver to convert stored glycogen into glucose. The sugar is then secreted into the bloodstream, where it serves as an energy source until the body receives more food. This physiological feedback system is designed to keep blood sugar levels steady.

Insulin resistance is a condition in which the pancreas produces insulin normally, but the muscle, fat, and liver cells do not respond to it properly. To compensate for this, the pancreas produces more insulin in an effort to help glucose travel into the cells. When a woman goes through menopause, the body changes from gynoid, or pear-shaped, to android, or apple-shaped. The accumulation of abdominal fat is believed to have an important role in the development of insulin resistance.

the whole article

So how can your menopause symptoms reduce if you eat more often?

When you go without eating for an extended period of time, your blood sugar (glucose) level falls to a low level. When this happens insulin kicks into action. A large amount of it is produced by your body.

When you next eat, your body coverts the food into blood sugar and the insulin helps your body to absorb it for the energy that you need…..but the body only takes the amount of blood sugar that it needs. The excess insulin causes your body to store the remaining blood sugar as fat on your body.

This is how you get fat. If you allow your blood sugar to go low, your body will produce excess insulin, which causes you to store fat.

When you are overweight, the excess fat on your body produces estrogen, which distorts the hormone balance even further and worsens your menopause symptoms.

You can regulate your blood sugar (prevent it from going low) by eating something every 2 – 3 hours. “Little and often” means eating a nutritious breakfast, lunch, and supper (eating small to moderate portions) and eating something between breakfast and lunch, between lunch and supper, and maybe something 2 – 3 hours after supper. That something can be fruit or nuts or some other nutritious snack.

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Why Do I Get Severe Hot Flashes And Other Women Dont?

Hot Flashes

Why me? Other women dont have it so bad

Betty has been having a tough time with hot flashes. Like so many women who experience this, she has been wondering “why me”.

She opened her session by asking “why do I get severe hot flashes and other women dont?”.

I suspected that she wasnt really interested in an answer to her question. It was more likely that she was fed up with the hot flash experiences she had been having and she just wanted to express that.

A moment later she asked me what she could do to reduce them, which we then discussed. I will share that with you a little later in this post.

However an answer to the first question that Betty raised, will be of interest to many women.

Why Do I Get Severe Hot Flashes And Other Women Dont?

Here is an excerpt from an article that provides the best answer to this question that I have seen

Although the physiology of hot flashes has been studied for more than 30 years, no one is certain why or how they occur. Estrogen is involved — if it weren’t, estrogen therapy wouldn’t relieve vasomotor symptoms as well as it does — but it’s not the whole story. For example, researchers have found no differences in estrogen levels in women who have hot flash symptoms and those who don’t.

Later in the article it says

An intriguing explanation has emerged, thanks largely to research led by Wayne State University School of Medicine scientist Robert R. Freedman, who has studied hot flashes for 25 years.

The article goes on to say the following

Freedman has found that women who have hot flashes have a lower tolerance for small increases in the body’s core (innermost) temperature than women who don’t have hot flashes. The body tries to maintain its core temperature within a comfortable “thermoneutral zone.” When our core temperature rises above the zone’s upper threshold, we sweat; when it drops below the lower threshold, we shiver. Women who don’t have hot flashes have a thermoneutral zone of several tenths of a degree centigrade. But in women with hot flashes, this thermoneutral zone is so narrow, it’s “virtually nonexistent,” says Freedman (see illustration). As a result, small variations in core body temperature — by as little as one-tenth of a degree centigrade — that don’t trouble some women trigger hot flashes (and chills) in others.

the full article

The answer to the question why do I get severe hot flashes and other women dont is not certain.

It makes sense to me that the tolerance of a woman’s body to small increases in the temperature of the body, can account for it. Women with a low tolerance will experience hot flashes, while women with a higher tolerance wont.

Here is some practical advice that can help you to better manage your hot flashes

  • Drink lots of cool non alcoholic beverages
  • Avoid drinking hot beverages
  • Avoid hot places as much as possible
  • Dress in layers to enable you to remove layers when you feel hot

Here are some natural treatments and remedies that have provided hot flash relief to many women

  1. Follow a healthy and balanced diet. Avoid fast food, processed food and spicy food
  2. Exercise regularly
  3. Do yoga or meditation to reduce stress and slow down your breathing. A slower rate of breathing has helped women to reduce their flashes
  4. Medical studies have shown that hypnotherapy has a high rate of success in hot flash relief
  5. Acupuncture has helped many women
  6. Herbal remedies have provided relief to many women

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Start Walking To Reduce Your Menopause Symptoms

Menopause Symptoms

I feel better when I walk regularly

If you are reading this post, you already know how important exercise is to your current and future health. It has been discussed endlessly in the media, and on the internet, by doctors and other healthcare professionals.

Knowing this is insufficient motivation for too many menopausal women. They dont exercise or they do it insufficiently.

If you fall into this category, perhaps you will be motivated to exercise if learned that there is medical evidence that exercise brings menopause relief. A medical study has provided conclusive evidence that exercise, even in the form of walking, reduces the symptoms of menopause. If menopause is having a negative affect on your life, the least you should do now is to start walking to reduce your menopause symptoms.

A team of researchers at Temple University followed 380 women for 8 years (from pre-menopause, through peri-menopause to post menopause) to gauge the effect of exercise on their experience of the menopause symptoms. During the study, these women routinely provided blood samples and reported their anxiety, depression, stress, and menopause symptoms (including hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and loss of libido).

Before I tell you about the results of this study, I want to share with you an excerpt from an article that appears on the Consumer Reports site about exercise and menopause symptoms.

Start Walking To Reduce Your Menopause Symptoms

Power walks, gym workouts, and yoga may not get rid of hot flashes and night sweats, but women who exercise regularly are better able to cope with symptoms of menopause and are more likely to prevent serious diseases.

later in the article it says

Move your body, lift your spirits

“Exercise isn’t only great for your heart, your waistline, and your bones,” says Wulf Utian, M.D., executive director of the North American Menopause Society. “It can also reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, which some women experience during menopause. Women who exercise seem to tolerate the symptoms of menopause better; I think it’s that they have a better self-image and sense of well-being.” Fatigue from interrupted sleep caused by night sweats may also make women feel blue and anxious, Utian says. “Ask someone who doesn’t sleep how they feel.”

Two recent studies show that physical activities such as brisk walking and yoga may help take the edge off the menopause blues. A recent Temple University study found that women who walked briskly on a regular basis throughout their menopausal transition (about eight years) had lower levels of stress and less anxiety and depression compared with inactive women. Walking and yoga also improved the mental health and quality of life of menopausal women who had low levels of activity before they participated in a Penn State University study. The women who exercised also had fewer menopausal symptoms.

read the full article

In the Temple University study, the researchers divided the women into three activity levels. The first, most active group, walked for about 1.5 hours at least 5 times a week. The moderately active group walked about 40 minutes five times a week. The less active women walked for 15 minutes about five times per week.

The researchers study found that women in the two most active groups showed a much better ability to manage stress, a trigger common to virtually all of the symptoms of menopause. They also showed markedly lower levels of irritability, anxiety, and depression as they entered the menopausal transition. Physical menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes, did not appear to be affected by exercise levels.

However, other medical studies have found that exercise does reduce hot flashes.

In fact, medical researchers have found that following a healthy diet and doing daily exercise is the most effective SAFE treatment to reduce the symptoms of menopause.

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How To Manage Your Hot flashes Better

Hot Flashes

There's gotta be some things I can do to make this better

You probably have read, or heard, about many of the treatments and remedies that can help to relieve and/or reduce hot flashes.

But….what about how to manage your hot flashes better? There hasnt been much written about this.

There is a difference between relieving/reducing them and managing them better. The former implies a cure to some degree; the latter is about about dealing with them after they occur.

There are women who havnt yet decided on the best hot flash treatment for themselves. They would benefit from knowing how to better manage them until they do. There are also women who have tried one, or more, hot flash treatments that havnt been particularly effective for them. They too would benefit from this advice, while they explore other options.

I have found an excellent article on the breast cancer site that provides several practical hot flash survival tips. I think that any woman who is experiencing severe or frequent hot flashes will find this article helpful.

How To Manage Your Hot flashes Better

Here is an excerpt from the article

  • Dress in layers, so you can peel off one layer after another as you get warmer
  • Don’t wear wool, don’t wear synthetics, and be wary of silk. That leaves cotton, linen, rayon, and more cotton. (Look at the bright side: You’ll save on cleaning bills, and you can stop worrying about moths.)
  • Avoid turtlenecks. Stick to open-neck shirts
  • Keep ice water at hand that you can sip to cool down your insides
  • Where possible, lower the thermostat. Maybe it’s time for a decent air conditioner or a ceiling fan. Or maybe you’d prefer one of those little hand-held battery-operated fans or the foldable kind you flutter in front of your face. You can find perfectly adequate paper fans for about a dollar
  • Wear cotton pajamas or a nightgown. If you perspire a lot at night, your nightclothes are easier to change than the sheets
  • Use cotton sheets only, not synthetics
  • Get a bigger bed if you and your partner are on different heat planets but you still want to stay in close orbit
  • Take a cool shower before bed
  • Try a mild medication like Tylenol
  • Arrive at meetings early so that you can get the coolest seat
  • Use your freezer liberally. A number of women talked about opening the freezer at home (or in the supermarket) and sticking their head in when a hot flash hits

click here to read the entire article

While it will help you if you follow this advice about how to manage your hot flashes better, I strongly urge you to take steps that will help you to reduce/relieve them.

I am not in favor or hormone therapy of any kind, even though it is the most effective treatment for hot flashes. I think that the health risks associated with it are too great.

Studies have shown that the most effective hot flash treatment/remedy, after hormone therapy is adhering to a healthy diet and doing daily exercise. In addition to this, I also recommend doing yoga, or some form of meditation, to keep your stress levels low.

Other studies have found that hypnotherapy, acupuncture, and homeopathy have also helped women to reduce their hot flashes. Still other women have found that soy, black cohash and other herbal remedies have reduced their symptoms.

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What Can I Do About My Sagging Tender Breasts?

Breast Tenderness

I care for mine

Ellen was concerned, but not distressed by her breast tenderness. She said that at times she experienced pain, aches, or soreness in her breasts. She was also concerned about the changing shape of her breasts.

She asked “what can I do about my sagging tender breasts?”.

This is an interesting question because the hormonal changes during menopause causes the breast tenderness and exacerbates the sagging of the breasts.

I use the word exacerbates, instead of causes, in connection with breast sagging, because breast sagging comes with aging….menopause just speeds it up.

In this post, I will share some information about breast sagging and then I will tell you what you can do to relieve breast tenderness.

What Can I Do About My Sagging Tender Breasts?

Here is an excerpt from an article that may help you to understand the causes of breast sagging

Sagging or drooping of breasts is a natural, inevitable process that happens to all women at some point, except to women with fairly small breasts.

The most notable sagging happens with the process called breast involution (see below), but breasts can start drooping a little at any age, because they do NOT have muscles in them. They have ligaments and connective tissue.

When the gravity pulls the breasts down, those ligaments and the skin can stretch, and so the breast then droops. This depends on the elasticity of your skin and of your ligaments, as determined by your genes and diet, and also on normal aging processes. Obviously large breasts will sag easier since the gravity is pulling them down more. When breasts bounce during active sports, such as tennis, those ligaments can also be stretched or even torn. A good sports bra can minimize that effect, and is recommendable.

Breast involution is a process where the milk-making system inside the breast shrinks because it is not needed anymore. This happens either after weaning, or right after pregnancy if the woman does not breastfeed at all, or during menopause. When the tissues inside the breast shrink, and the skin surrounding it doesn’t, the breast can look “empty” and saggy. After weaning, a woman’s body usually deposits fat back to the breast (this process takes months), so that breasts will gain their pre-pregnancy size, but sagging usually remains.

Another common cause for sagging is when a woman loses weight. When you lose weight, some of that fat disappears from your breasts. Typically the skin and the ligaments inside the breasts do not retract accordingly, resulting in an ‘empty’ looking breast that then sags. (You could try prevent this by eating foods that provide extra good nutrition for your skin.)

the full article

This does not fully answer the question of “what can I do about my sagging tender breasts?”. From the excerpt it is clear that there isnt much that you can do about sagging breasts. But…there are things that you can do to relieve breast tenderness.

Breast tenderness is a common symptom during peri-menopause, when estrogen levels ebb and flow. When it spikes, it can cause breast pain or tenderness. It is almost never a problem after menopause.

While I encourage all of my patients to exercise daily and do a stress reduction activity for relief of all of their menopause symptoms, the best way to relieve breast pain or tenderness is through your diet.

Eliminate or reduce your intake of caffein and salt and foods containing salt. Caffeine affects many women by dilating vessels and stretching nerves, and many women find relief after cutting back on coffee. Salt works the same way for other women.

Also, increase your intake of fiber and green leafy vegetables. This helps to flush out excess estrogen from your body.

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Are Menopause Symptoms Caused Just By Declining Estrogen?

Menopause Symptoms

When will we get some answers that make sense?

Kathy opened her session by asking “are menopause symptoms caused just by declining estrogen alone?”.

She was still trying to understand why she is getting hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings, in order to decide on the best treatment to relieve her menopause symptoms.

She explained that it doesnt make sense to her that her menopause symptoms are just caused by falling estrogen levels. She said that if they were caused by lower levels of estrogen, as is commonly thought, why would some women take treatment that increases their levels of progesterone.

I was aware of an endocrinologist who has been doing research on this. Her name is Jerilynn Prior and she is the scientific director of the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research.

Are Menopause Symptoms Caused Just By Declining Estrogen?

Here is an excerpt from an article that discusses Dr Prior’s research

For a long time, medical science has had us believe that as a woman enters her forties, her estrogen levels start to decline, reaching rock bottom at menopause. That assumption, we now know, is not just simplistic; it’s wrong. After all, if low estrogen were the culprit causing hot flashes and night sweats, wouldn’t little children be fanning themselves and men throwing off the covers at night?

An unexpected discovery

There’s now solid evidence that during perimenopause — the two to eight years preceding menopause — those estrogen levels aren’t steadily dropping after all. On the contrary, they’re spiking. “In perimenopause, estrogen levels, on average, are 30 per cent higher than normal,” says Vancouver endocrinologist Jerilynn Prior.

Later it says

Prior says it’s not clear why estrogen shoots up frequently during these years, although she suggests that one purpose might be to clear the ovaries of any remaining follicles to prevent random periods and perhaps even a possible pregnancy when we’re past midlife.

What is known, however, is that as our bodies start edging down from these dramatic estrogen peaks, we may experience ghastly symptoms: overwhelming hot flashes, drenching sweats, scary palpitations, and migraines. Like estrogen junkies, we get used to our newly high levels of the hormone, and we suffer when they drop from super-high to merely high, or from high to normal. Says Prior: “The brain gets ‘addicted’ to estrogen, like to cocaine or heroin, and when estrogen is withdrawn, the whole body is affected.” For some women, it’s as though their bodies force them on a regular basis into estrogen rehab, with all its nasty withdrawal symptoms, only to send them another fix a month later.

Although an increasing number of studies support the spiking estrogen phenomenon in perimenopause, many doctors still aren’t aware of it. Moreover, there’s little consensus about the best way to treat women with debilitating symptoms.

the complete article

Are menopause symptoms caused just by declining estrogen alone? I do not think so.

The most current research points to an ebb and flow of hormones during peri-menopause. This is what causes most of the menopause symptoms. They spike and then they dip, while making their way to a permanently lower level at menopause (when periods have ended forever).

Notice that I used the word hormones….and not estrogen. All of your hormones are fluctuating during menopause and they fluctuate in different ratios to one another at different times.

Furthermore each woman experiences her own unique fluctuations.

For these reasons and because of the health risks associated with hormone replacement therapy, as acknowledged by the medical community, I am not in favor of hormone replacement therapy, of any kind, at this time.

There are many other treatments and remedies, for the relief of menopause symptoms, that are safe and that are effective. These are widely covered in my other posts.

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What Can I Do To Prevent Headaches During Menopause?

Headaches During Menopause

My headaches are awful

“I have been getting a lot more headaches during menopause, than I ever got before. They start in my neck and gradually work upwards. They seem to finally land on the upper left side of my head, over my left eye. The pain is so bad that I become nauseous and I get very hot and sweaty.”

This is how Pam began her session. She then asked “what can I do to prevent headaches during menopause?”.

Headaches are most prevalent in peri-menopause. During peri-menopause, the levels of estrogen and progesterone in a woman’s body surges and dips. When a woman reaches menopause (no more periods), progesterone and estrogen level out at a low level.

Most doctors think that it is this ebb and flow of these hormones that causes the headaches, but medical research into this matter remains inconclusive.

Many women experience headaches during menopause, but you will find precious little information about it. In the few studies that have been conducted, it is suggested that the menopause makes migraine worse for up to 45% of women, 30-45% do not notice a difference and 15% notice an improvement.

What Can I Do To Prevent Headaches During Menopause?

Before I tell you what you can do about your headaches, here is an excerpt from an article that may help to increase your understanding of this matter

When Headaches are a Menopause Symptom

Women who have a history of headaches around the time of their menstrual periods or while taking oral contraceptives are more likely to experience menopause headaches as well. Women in the perimenopausal phase — the transitional period that takes place just before menopause — experience fluctuating hormone levels that can trigger an increase in migraine attacks.

“My migraines were always tied to my periods, especially around ovulation,” says Patricia Belcher, an educator in Rehoboth, Mass. “I routinely lost two, three, even four days in bed. These migraines sent me for such a loop that I needed recovery time. It would be a couple of days after the attack was over before I’d feel comfortable driving.”

Once periods completely cease, hormone levels stabilize and remain low. For as many as two-thirds of women, menopause can bring some relief from migraine headaches — the headaches become less severe, and common migraine symptoms such as vomiting and nausea may also improve. Recent research from the European Neurological Society shows that this is especially true of women whose headaches, like Patricia Belcher’s, are tied to menstruation.

“I’d heard and hoped that migraines improved with menopause,” says Belcher. “And that’s exactly what happened as I went through menopause. Now that I’ve stopped menstruating, my migraines are much less intense.”

the entire article

There is one more bit of information that you may find helpful….even though it has not been conclusively proven in medical studies

Many doctors think that the reason women are prone to headaches during menopause,
has to do with the effects that estrogen and progesterone have on the brain and its blood vessels. Estrogen causes blood vessels to dilate, while progesterone causes them to constrict.

Doctors think that as the hormones fluctuate during menopause, or to be more precise …. during peri-menopause, the blood vessels are forced to expand and contract, which causes intense pain in the head.

None of what I have written thus far tells you what you can do to prevent headaches during menopause.

There are foods that you can eat and activities you can do that will help to reduce your headaches.

Studies have shown that diets rich in foods that promote estrogen levels (such as soy, apples, alfalfa, cherries, potatoes, rice, wheat and yams) help to regulate menopause headaches.

There are also some foods that it would advisable to avoid, as they can trigger headaches. These include nuts, alcohol, caffein, and aged cheeses such as blue veined cheese, cheddar, stilton, gorgonzola, mozzarella and parmesan.

Activities that reduce stress and relieve pressure such as message, aromatherapy, meditation, and aerobic exercise can also reduce headaches.

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What Can I Do To Relieve My Itchy Skin?

Itchy Skin

My skin is driving me crazy

“Since menopause, itchy skin is driving me crazy. The sensation is a prickly, itchy feeling that is so intense that I want to scratch my skin off. I wake up several times during the night and also I get the feeling during the day.”

This is how Sharon began her session.

She explained that she never had skin problems prior to menopause and then she asked “what can I do to relieve my itching skin?”.

Skin problems can start as early as perimenopause, and they’re usually permanent. Like most of the other menopause symptoms, itchy skin is caused by the falling levels of estrogen during menopause.

In addition to itching, falling levels of estrogen also causes acne, dry and flaking skin, and wrinkles during menopause.

What Can I Do To Relieve My Itchy Skin?

Here is an excerpt from an article that explains how the falling levels of estrogen during menopause, causes itchy skin and other skin problems

At this time the body undergoes many hormonal changes and in particular this includes a decline in estrogen (hypoestrogenism). Estrogen has been found to affect all of the major organs and this includes the skin which is what causes the changes to the skin during the menopause.

Later in the article it says

The mechanisms through which this decreased estrogen effect the skin are many. For instance as estrogen diminishes so too will the thickness of the skin and the collagen production that makes it more cushioned and flexible. This increases the appearance of wrinkles and lines around the face and particularly around the eyes and mouth. Meanwhile this will affect the body’s ability to retain moisture and that will in turn result in itchy skin, more visible lines again, flaking skin and potentially an alteration in the natural ‘flora’ of the skin.

This will result in the changes that are seen to the skin and this is why you will notice your skin appear more aged as well as itching more during and after menopause.

the complete article

In summary … during menopause, many women report itchy, irritated skin. This is because the changes in hormone production cause a decrease in collagen, the material that helps support and moisturize the skin.

So….what can you do to relieve your itching skin, or other skin complaints, during menopause?

  1. Include essential fatty acids in your diet … like the omega-3s found in salmon, walnuts, fortified eggs, sardines, soy, safflower oil, and flax or algae oils. These help produce your skin’s oil barrier, vital in keeping skin hydrated
  2. Increase water intake: This will help to hydrate the skin from the inside out
  3. Avoid hot showers. Hot water can be harsh and drying, experts advise taking shorter showers using warm water
  4. Use gentle, non-irritating soaps
  5. Use a moisturizer after a shower or bath. Mineral oil and petroleum jelly are both excellent and inexpensive skin moisturizers

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Can Too Much Estrogen Cause Menopause Weight Gain?

Menopause Weight Gain

I eat well and exercise regularly, but I cant get rid of this

Janet is desperate to lose the weight she has gained during menopause. She hates the way it makes her look and feel. She has been researching the cause of menopause weight gain and what can be done to lose it.

She asked me “can too much estrogen cause menopause weight gain?”. If the answer is yes, she wanted to know what can be done about it

This is such an interesting question, because most menopausal women know that the reduction of estrogen in their bodies is the cause of most menopause symptoms.

Could it be that the very treatments and remedies that increase the amount estrogen in the body, in order to relieve other menopause symptoms, is actually causing weight gain during menopause?

To answer this question, one needs to understand what happens naturally in your body , in response to the decrease of estrogen during menopause.

Can Too Much Estrogen Cause Menopause Weight Gain?

Here is an excerpt from an article, which helped Janet to better understand her menopause weight gain

Your body’s hormones have a direct impact on your appetite, metabolism, and fat storage. This is why it is so difficult to control your weight during menopause …. no matter what you do, fluctuating estrogen, testosterone, and androgen levels will fight you all the way.

Hormones Involved in Weight Maintenance

Estrogen: Estrogen is the female sex hormone that is responsible for causing monthly ovulation. During female menopause, your estrogen levels decline rapidly, causing your body to stop ovulating. However, estrogen also seems to play a big role in menopausal weight gain. As your ovaries produce less estrogen, your body looks for
other places to get needed estrogen from. Fat cells in your body can produce estrogen, so your body works harder to convert calories into fat to increase estrogen levels. Unfortunately for you, fat cells don’t burn calories the way muscle cells do, which causes you to pack on the unwanted pounds.

Progesterone: During menopause, progesterone levels will also decrease. Like estrogen, lower levels of this hormone can be responsible for many of the symptoms of menopause and that includes weight gain, or at least the appearance of it. Water retention and menopause often go hand in hand since water weight and bloating are
caused by decreased progesterone levels. Though this doesn’t actually result in weight gain, your clothes will probably feel a bit tighter and you may feel a bit heavier. Water retention and bloating usually disappear within a few months.

Androgen: This hormone is responsible for sending your new weight directly to your middle section. In fact, weight gain during menopausal years is often known as “middle age spread” because of the rapid growth of the mid-section. Often, one of the first signs of menopause is an increase of androgen in your body, which causes
you to gain weight around your abdominals instead of around your lower half.

Testosterone: Testosterone helps your body to create lean muscle mass out of the calories that you take in. Muscle cells burn more calories than fat cells do, increasing your metabolism. In natural menopause, levels of testosterone drop resulting in the loss of this muscle. Unfortunately, this means a lower metabolism. The
lower your metabolism is, the slower your body burns calories.

the whole article

I believe that it is so important for women to understand the contents of this article, because approximately 90% of menopausal women gain some weight between the ages of 35 and 55 and around 30% of women aged 50 to 59 are not just overweight, but obese.

From this article it is clear that estrogen plays a major role in menopause weight gain, but the other hormonal changes affects it as well.

So can too much estrogen cause menopause weight gain?

Research has shown that estrogen has an effect on your eating and drinking behaviors. Hormone replacement therapy (both HRT and bio-identical), which increases the amount of estrogen in your body, can cause you to eat more and also retain water in your body.

While exercise is very important in the management of other menopause symptoms, it often does not help to reverse menopause weight gain. If you are not doing daily exercise, start now. If you are doing daily exercise keep doing it.

The foods that you eat may provide the key to losing weight.

There has been some research into what can be categorized as foods that are sources of “good estrogen” and “bad estrogen”. Foods that help you to lose weight are good estrogen sources. Bad estrogen sources cause you to gain weight or prevent you from losing it.

Good estrogen sources include fatty fish, passiflora, chamomile, bee products, citrus fruits, onion, garlic, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and cabbage), flaxseeds, and hempseeds.

Bad estrogen sources include diets high in animal fat, excessive consumption of omega 6 rich oils (such as canola, corn, safflower and soy oils) and soy and products high in soy isoflavones. Do note that while soy products have helped women reduce hot flashes, they are a source of menopause weight gain.

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How Can I Increase My Desire For Sex During Menopause?

Sex During Menopause

I love him .... and sex is an important part of that love for both of us

Jan opened her session by saying “I have always enjoyed sex and have rarely had trouble having an orgasm. Since menopause, however, I do not want sex. Id like to have that feeling back where I actually want and enjoy sex.”

She wanted to know if it was possible to do this and when I said yes, she asked “how can I increase my desire for sex during menopause?”.

I explained to Jan that a decrease in the desire for sex is usually caused by one of 2 things and sometimes by both. Many women experience the disappearance of, or decrease in, their sex drive during menopause. Many others are less interested in sex during menopause because it can be painful, due to a condition known as vaginal dryness.

Both of these conditions can be treated.

For many years, proponents of DHEA have said that it is an effective solution to help women to increase their interest in, and their enjoyment of, sex during menopause. A new medical study has recently looked into this and reported its findings.

How Can I Increase My Desire For Sex During Menopause?

Here is an excerpt from an article reporting on that study

Dehydroepiandrosterone, better known as DHEA, is the most abundant steroid in the human body involved and is involved in the manufacture of testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and corticosterone.

DHEA levels continue to rise up to about age twenty-five, when production drops off sharply: by age 65, the human body makes only 10 to 20% of what it did at age 20.

Andrea Genazzani, from the University of Pisa (Italy), and colleagues followed a group of 48 post-menopausal women troubled by symptoms including hot flushes, night sweats, loss of sex drive and mood swings. Over a one-year period, 12 women took vitamin D and calcium, 12 took DHEA, 12 took standard hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and 12 took a synthetic steroid called tibolone (used to alleviate menopausal symptoms).

Later in the article it says

The study authors report that: “Daily oral DHEA therapy … provided a significant improvement in comparison with vitamin D in sexual function and in frequency of sexual intercourse in early postmenopausal women.”

the full article

I am not convinced that DHEA is an effective and safe treatment to help menopausal women increase their interest in, and enjoyment of, sex during menopause.

There have been medical trials that have shown no improvement in the sex drive of menopausal women. Also, there have been no long term studies on DHEA, so the jury’s still out on both its benefits and its risks.

The Mayo Clinic says this about DHEA “No studies on the long-term effects of DHEA have been conducted. DHEA can cause higher than normal levels of androgens and estrogens in the body, and theoretically may increase the risk of prostate, breast, ovarian, and other hormone-sensitive cancers. Therefore, it is not recommended for regular use without supervision by a licensed health professional.”

If you were to ask me how can I increase my desire for sex during menopause, my answer is to adhere to a healthy diet, do daily exercise and do yoga … or some form of meditation …. to reduce stress. I recommend this to increase libido and decrease vaginal dryness. I also advocate hypnotherapy for both.

If vaginal dryness is contributing to decreased sex during menopause, doctors can prescribe localized low-dose hormonal treatments, which do not carry the risks associated with hormone therapy. These treatments put estrogen directly into the vagina. They soothe vaginal tissue, and allow the secretions necessary for comfortable sex.

As so many women experience these sexual changes during menopause, please LIKE and SHARE this post with friends to help spread the word about this.

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